I’m back & sea turtles! •·.·´¯`·.·•. •·.·´¯`·.·•☀


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Sea Turtle, ancient Greek silver coin

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Two days ago and I’m back in Ikaria and I am taking part in my own cleansing ritual as always In my blog: A pink woolen baby hood - Ενα ροζ μωρουδίστικο σκουφακι' early in the morning and after that I put something on and lie on the sand and I am tired and I drowse off and although it was cold earlier, now the sun rises higher and I wake up from the heat, and I think I’m dreaming baby sea turtle october ikaria 1‘cause next to my waist, and my left thigh small black creatures emerge from the sand hot babes and they look as if made of rubber and they are six or seven (maybe there were more while I was asleep) and they crawl and paddle towards the sea – because they are newly born baby sea turtles!!! baby sea turtle october ikaria 2
😊 😍
And I jump on my feet and one more baby crawls out of the sand from the spot where I had laid my head and I’m trying to reach my camera while I’n also trying to keep my pareo around my waist and the camera drops on the sand and I am wasting time to clean it and I think that I’m screaming -from baby sea turtle october ikaria 3 impatience, excitement and joy…
😖 😆 😄
And I open the lid of the lens and I finally take three good shots!!!
📷 😤
Bravo, chelonakia!
Bravo, baby sea-turtles!
Thanks for the short crazy momentmy shadow on the sand
I felt you were my own little brats!!!
👶

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Now in case some of you thought I am some kind of animal enchanter ☺ – according to latest records, loggerhead sea turtles are not uncommon in the eastern Aegean islands, including Ikaria, and that in spite the fact that we don’t have many appropriate sandy beaches. Several friends have seen nests and even witnessed mothers laying eggs.

Sea turtles in the surf, from Nana to agrimi's article '∩oso ∩ια Vα?'Turtle tale, a set by angeloska on FlickrCaretta-caretta eggs in Syrtiko beach near Agios Kyrikos, a set by Giorgos Sourtis on FlickrERT: (article in Greek) 'Και οι καρέτα – καρέτα επισκέπτονται την Ικαρία'

But I think I was the first person on the island that baby Sea turtles in the Aegeansea turtles hatched and crawled out of the sand right under my body!
^^’

Ikaria 22/10/2016

Windbag of Aeolus


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«Windbag of Aeolus»
«Ο Ασκός του Αιόλου»

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About the documentary, in short

Director, journalist Nasim Alatras You cannot conceive the beauty or the ugliness of this world when you are observing it from a distance. You have to approach, dive into its depths and explore… It is only then that awareness and objectiveness are acquired.

Green growth was introduced to Greece round the early ‘80s, when E.U. directives applied to Greek Government energy policy led to the installation of the first wind farm. Since then the number of wind farms has been increasing at an immense rate. The incentive for this investigation was the observation of wind turbines being inconsiderately dispersed across invaluable regions of the mainland and the islands of Greece, in the name of clean, “green energy”.

The main objective of this documentary is to shed light on the environmental, financial and social consequences of this policy and the aftermath of the so-called “high priority” investments supported by huge subsidies.

Why?

Ikaria with towers and propellers While following this objective numerous questions were raised. Is this energy policy the essence of green growth and if so, could this be considered a truly sustainable form development?

When examining the environmental aspects, one could wonder about the following:

  • Which are the spatial criteria for selection of areas of installation?
  • Under what kind of environmental assessment sites like forests, conservation areas, sites near traditional settlements or historic sites are approved as suitable?
  • Why are those environmental assessments carried out mostly by private companies and not by scientists, and how are their results validated?
  • Which are, if there are any, the obligations of the wind farm owners considering the removal of the turbines and the restoration of the environment and who sees that it is actually carried out?
  • In other words, is this really a strategy or a predatory way of harnessing renewable energy sources? Could green energy under these circumstances ever be actually “green”?

profit Such an obvious lack of strategic planning raises more questions considering the financial aspects of the matter.

  • Whom do these “strategic investments” really serve?
  • Under what legislation is the constitutionally defined meaning of sustainability being annulled, when permits are being issued inconsiderately and subsidies are given out to one-person companies and affiliates of the same key companies in the energy field?
  • Why isn’t there any consideration whatsoever of the actual energy needs of the country?
  • Why aren’t those companies fined when they are not meeting their dept to land owners?
  • Or, why is the ownership status scouted?

Risks & Challenges

No to the giant wind turbine plant on mt Atheras Τhe strength, support and motivation for this 16-month journey of searching, filming and visiting the farthest corners of Greece came from the people of this land, people who have been conveniently silenced. This raises the biggest question of all:

  • Why are all the above taking place while communities around Greece are provided with no official information at all?
  • Why are the views of Municipalities totally disregarded in decision making? Why are their arguments, protests, petitions passed by?
  • Is this really where the birthplace of Democracy ended up to?

As a production team we decided 16 months ago to open the windbag of green growth in Greece and separate the lies from the truth. We did so being fully aware of the risks involved and while knowing well enough the power of the key players in the energy field in Greece…

source

—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—⊥—

Ο «Ασκός του Αιόλου» με λίγα λόγια

 

Director, journalist Nasim Alatras Δεν μπορείς να συλλάβεις την ομορφιά ή την ασχήμια αυτού του κόσμου όταν τον παρατηρείς από μακριά. Πρέπει να τον πλησιάσεις, να βουτήξεις μέσα και να τον εξερευνήσεις… Μόνο τότε αποκτάς πλήρη συναίσθηση και αντικειμενικότητα. Ο όρος και η πρακτική εφαρμογή της πράσινης ανάπτυξης εμφανίστηκαν στην Ελλάδα τη δεκαετία του ’80, όταν η ενεργειακή πολιτική των Ελληνικών κυβερνήσεων, καθοδηγούμενη από τις Ευρωπαϊκές οδηγίες, συναίνεσε στη δημιουργία του πρώτου αιολικό πάρκου. Από τότε ο αριθμός τους αυξάνεται με φρενήρη ρυθμό. Η παρουσία πολυάριθμων ανεμογεννητριών που αλόγιστα φυτεύονται στο όνομα της «πράσινης ενέργειας» σε ανεκτίμητες περιοχές της ηπειρωτικής και νησιωτικής Ελλάδας, αποτέλεσε το έναυσμα της έρευνάς μας. Ο κύριος στόχος του ντοκιμαντέρ είναι να φέρει στην επιφάνεια τις πραγματικές περιβαλλοντικές, οικονομικές και κοινωνικές συνέπειες της εφαρμογής αυτής της πολιτικής και τις «παρενέργειες» τον αποκαλούμενων «στρατηγικών επενδύσεων» που επιδοτούνται αδρά.

Γιατί;

Ikaria with towers and propellers Ακολουθώντας το στόχο αυτό γεννήθηκαν πολυάριθμα ερωτήματα. Αυτή είναι τελικά η ουσία της πράσινης ανάπτυξης και αν ναι, υπό ποία έννοια χαρακτηρίζονται βιώσιμες οι εφαρμογές τέτοιων πρακτικών; Σε ότι αφορά το περιβάλλον ορισμένα μόνο από τα βασικά ερωτήματα  που προκύπτουν είναι τα εξής:

  • Ποια είναι επιτέλους τα χωροταξικά κριτήρια επιλογής των περιοχών εγκατάστασης;
  • Τι είδους και πόσης αξιοπιστίας περιβαλλοντικές μελέτες «επιστημονικά» συναινούν στην επιλογή δασών, προστατευόμενων περιοχών NATURA, σημείων σε απόσταση αναπνοής από παραδοσιακούς οικισμούς και κατοικημένες περιοχές ή ιστορικούς χώρους, ως περιοχών κατάλληλων για εγκατάσταση;
  • Γιατί αυτές οι περιβαλλοντικές μελέτες, που συνοδεύουν τις αιτήσεις αδειοδότησης, πραγματοποιούνται κυρίως από ιδιωτικές εταιρείες και όχι από το άρτια καταρτισμένο επιστημονικό προσωπικό των Πανεπιστημίων της χώρας και με ποιον τρόπο ή από ποιο φορέα ελέγχεται η αξιοπιστία των αποτελεσμάτων τους;
  • Ποιες είναι οι υποχρεώσεις των ιδιοκτητών αιολικών πάρκων σε σχέση με την απομάκρυνση των ανεμογεννητριών μετά το τέλος της λειτουργικής περιόδου τους και την αποκατάσταση του περιβάλλοντος;
  • Ποιος ελέγχει ότι εργασίες αποκατάστασης όντως πραγματοποιούνται;
  • Με άλλα λόγια, είναι αυτό στρατηγική και σχέδιο ανάπτυξης, ή απλά ένας ληστρικός τρόπος εκμετάλλευση κοινωνικών αγαθών όπως ο αέρας, το νερό και ο ήλιος;
  • Πως θα μπορούσε ποτέ η “πράσινη ενέργεια” να είναι υπό αυτές τις συνθήκες πραγματικά «πράσινη»;

profit Η προφανέστατη έλλειψη στρατηγικού σχεδιασμού λοιπόν, δεν μπορούσε παρά να γεννήσει ακόμα περισσότερα ερωτήματα, ειδικά σε σχέση με το οικονομικό καθεστώς που επικρατεί στις «επενδύσεις» αυτές.

  • Ποιόν εξυπηρετούν στην πραγματικότητα αυτές οι «στρατηγικές επενδύσεις»;
  • Υπό ποια νομοθεσία καταργείται στην ουσία η συνταγματικά κατοχυρωμένη έννοια της βιωσιμότητας με την αδιάκριτη έγκριση αδειών και την συνεχή παροχή επιδοτήσεων σε εταιρείες του ενός ατόμου, ή σε θυγατρικές των ίδιων βασικών παικτών στον τομέα της ενέργειας, εγχώριων και ξένων;
  • Γιατί παραβλέπονται και αποτελούν δευτερεύον κριτήριο οι πραγματικές ενεργειακές ανάγκες της χώρας;
  • Υπάρχει κάποιος μηχανισμός προστασίας των ιδιοκτητών γης όταν δεν λαμβάνουν τα συμφωνηθέντα από τις εταιρείες για την ενοικίαση της γης τους;
  • ‘Η, για ποιόν ακριβώς λόγο το ιδιοκτησιακό καθεστώς περιοχών απαξιώνεται και αλλάζει εν μια νυκτί;

Προκλήσεις

No to the giant wind turbine plant on mt Atheras Η  δύναμη για αυτό το 16μηνο ταξίδι μας προήλθε από τους ανθρώπους της χώρας αυτής που αποτέλεσαν και το ισχυρότερο κίνητρο, γιατί έχουν πολύ βολικά και επιμελέστατα αποσιωπηθεί. Και αυτή ακριβώς η παράμετρος γεννά το μεγαλύτερο ερώτημα από όλα:

  • Γιατί όλα τα παραπάνω συμβαίνουν ενώ οι Δήμοι και οι τοπικές κοινωνίες δεν λαμβάνουν απολύτως κανενός είδους επίσημη πληροφόρηση;
  • Γιατί οι απόψεις των Δημοτικών Συμβουλίων απαξιώνονται και παραβλέπονται κατά την λήψη των αποφάσεων;
  • Γιατί οι διαμαρτυρίες, οι φωνές των ανθρώπων αυτών αποσιωπούνται;
  • Εδώ κατέληξε τελικά η γενέτειρα της Δημοκρατίας;

Ως ομάδα παραγωγής αποφασίσαμε πριν 16 μήνες να ανοίξουμε τον Ασκό της πράσινης ανάπτυξης στην Ελλάδα και να ξεχωρίσουμε τα ψέματα από την αλήθεια. Το κάναμε έχοντας πλήρη συναίσθηση των κινδύνων που ελλοχεύουν και γνωρίζοντας πολύ καλά τη δύναμη των μεγάλων παικτών στον τομέα της ενέργειας στη χώρα…

source
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 .Thursday December 1, 2016 - 10:37pm (EEST)


‘The Hiking Trails of Ikaria’ – illustrated interview by OPS Ikarias


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In life it's not where you go but who you you travel withHello readers! 

You know that my blog likes interviews and this one… well, it’s a good one because it’s like a documentary! I mean that you can just stare at the photos (loads of them) streaming over the questions and answers, only that I thought that the context was interesting too, so I got into the trouble to translate the whole thing in English and then I sent it over to be added as subtitles to the video on youtube. Which video is an illustrated version of an interview to my good Ikarian friend, Angelos K., founding member and representative of the Mountain Climbing and Hiking Association of Ikaria (OPS Ikarias), by Babis Kokosis for «The Hiking Trails of Greece» a regular radio show on «The Voice of Greece», the international Greek state Radio (ERA 5). Unlike what you might have expected, the pictures do not show landscapes and trails and maps and stuff like that but people!
As the introduction goes:

«The photos showing in this video made by OPS Ikarias were taken along our various hiking trips and many other activities in the nature of Ikaria from 2008 to 2016. They are a tribute to our older and newer friends and members of the Club who walk and enjoy the island’s fascinating landscapes and take part in the club’s projects and activities. They are our inspiration and our one and only support. This video is dedicated to them!»

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***Find button to turn on "subtitles". Seen best in full screen mode!
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You can read my translation of Angelos’s radio interview by opening this link to OPS Ikarias Google docs. The interviewer introduces the show like this:

«Today we will visit Ikaria, an island that has managed, in spite of the growing tourist development, to maintain a big part of its cultural traditions.
The natural particularities of Ikaria are many. They are shaped by the geographical features and the position of the island in the Aegean Sea. Ikaria consists of a long mountainous mass stretching from east to west forming a ridge with heights over 1000 m. and separating the island in two sides: the northern side with mild slopes, forestlands and abundant waters, and the southern side with stony grounds and steep slopes. Therefore, it displays an impressive variety of landscapes and natural sights which the visitor can discover by following its numerous trails while getting in touch with its history and the legendary particular way of life of its inhabitants.
Let’s find out a bit more about the hiking routes of the island as well as what a hiker may encounter in them through our talk with Mr. Angelos Kalokairinos, representative of the local Hiking Club.»

read more...

And if you are a Greek reader you can check out the original transcript in this link.

The video, seen best in full screen mode, it goes without saying, includes a selection of pictures from the Flickr Album: «Mountain Climbing and Hiking Club of Ikaria».  I have exercised my influence 🙂 and gotten a specially coded link so you can see all the pictures -not only the public ones. So take advantage of this privilege and enjoy an amazing slideshow! But if you just like a quick view, here is the album straight out of Flickr:

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Mountain Climbing & Hiking Club of Ikaria, a set on Flickr

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⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


Eleni Ik

https://www.561media.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/heart.png 

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Ikaria, May 14 2016
[BIG DAY!]

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What I blogged about in 2015


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My blog posts about Ikaria in 2015
.hope for 2016

Happy New Year, my friends!


Google Image Search for Eleni's blog in 2015
The same as last year it’s again time to review for you my blog posts of 2015. I wasn’t counting but now I can see they were actually twelve, one for every month! If you are too lazy to scroll, you can just click on the image on the left and you will be directed to Google Image Search to see a gallery of random pics from my posts of 2016. But if you like things to come one after the other, go ahead and scroll below my gaping mouth 🙂 I have set my posts in order of appearance: a book, two maps, a guiding woman, a group of friends, a cook, a craftsman and a crazy girl, a food gathering man, a survival manual, yoga in the wild, hikers in the wild, my river and me, mushrooms, and finally, amazing landscapes in winter. I hope 2016 will be as rich with good subjects as 2015. I hope,..

My photos in FlickrI am in Ikaria now and it feels like in a lifeboat: heading for the unknown but safe and calm.

love

 

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Presenting Ikaria Guidebook, an honest, careful and responsible piece of work based on long field research. The texts are to the point without unneeded literature and the maps are bold, nicely colored, clear and helpful. But the best thing about this Guidebook is the emphasis on hiking!

Ikaria Guidebook !!! 😎

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Presenting the Google map of a circular hike in the Forest of Radi which lies between the village of Petropouli in Messaria and the village of Frantato in Perameria as created by the Mountain Climbing and Hiking Club of Ikaria and the Google map of several hikes in Ikaria, especially the one in Chalares canyon, created by our Czech friend Zdeněk who visited our island with his girlfriend Petra.

Two big hikes Google mapped! ^^’

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Presenting our friend Xenia and her work as bee-keeper and mountain tour guide in Ikaria

Xenia, the Ikarian mountain guide ❤

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My friends Angelos, Xenia, Lefteris, Lina and Giorgos, all of them well-educated and experienced local guides, joined their forces and formed a collective. They are opening an agency of mountain tour guiding in Armenistis, the main tourist town of Ikaria.

KANGA! ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ ⭐

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Presenting three irrelevent events which happened at the same time: 1) Jamie Oliver's visit, 2) Beautiful polished and painted pebbles on sale, and ... 3) Girls who do headstands in wild places!

food, pebbles and headstands 😉

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Presenting a translated interview with Lefteris who, besides being a partner in KANGA, is a modern food gatherer, specializing in samphire. He has been gathering this tasty and nutritious wild plant which is very abundant at the rocky shores of Ikaria, since he moved to the island nine years ago.

Gathering samphire at the brink of the waves ^^’

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Presenting a translation of a groundbreaking article issued by the local municipal party 'ASPI' pointing out the the basic facts and oddities a young visitor should know about our strange island during the high tourist season. Excellent!

Ikaria in August – Instructions for Use 😎

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A new tradition is born! Yoga and other health and fitness exercises on the mountains and beaches of Ikaria!

These Mountains are for Yoga! 🙂

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One more post on my favorite subject of dramatic Ikarian landscapes. This time there are tiny people in them too!

Large views – Small people ⭐

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Flashback to 2003 when we discovered Chalares canyon in Ikaria. What happened then and what happened afterwards.

≅ river 2003 ≅ ❤

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Presenting a group hike with the Hiking Club of Ikaria inside a wooded mountain ravine, looking for mushrooms and learning their names, getting to know their qualities and the big part they play in the eco-system. I am sharing this post because, like many Ikarians, I love mushrooms.

Mushrooms! 😀

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My friend Angelos contributes to my blog with a great article presenting 36 amazing black and white photos taken in the rocky landscapes of Pezi by an American writer and photographer during the winter.

Thick with the eerie awe of the uncanny 😮

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016
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Mushrooms!



Hello friends! 🙂 🙂 🙂
This is a reblog from the OPS Ikarias blog about their recent
 
Parasol mushroom (Lepiota proсеrа)a guided group hike inside a wooded mountain ravine, looking for mushrooms and learning their names, getting to know their qualities and the big part they play in the eco-system. I am sharing this post because, like many Ikarians, I love mushrooms. I like to look for them, I like to pick them, to eat them, to talk about them, to take pictures of them -like for example, that unforgettable x-large «Parasol mushroom» (lat. «Lepiota proсеrа») from 2005 which I have picked as an introductory image. My dear readers, through the following set of pictures I hope that you will get a bit of the taste, if not of mushrooms themselves, of the magical places where mushrooms like to grow, a bit of the taste of the well-known, yet always unexplored, natural places of my island. Enjoy! ^^’
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All pictures open in the source. Move over your mouse to read titles and descrpitions.
Mountain Climbing and Hiking Club of Ikaria
© all rights reserved

 

Amanita vaginata The woods and the river inside the ravine of Myrsonas in Ikaria Large old terraces as we go deeper and deeper in the ravine It's a fine sunny morning in Vathes, Rahes Ikaria

 

Lepista nuda Scleroderma polyrhizum Amanita sp. Hard to identify. Probably Lycoperdon (L. pyriforme) Mother and daughter examining the harvest The teacher is waiting for the students with a mushroom in his hand Laccaria laccata Amanita phalloides - Deadly! Laccaria laccata Marianna, one of the two photographers of the group Rotten and unidentifiable The pine forest on the banks of Myrsonas Crossing the stream of the river Detail of the stonewall inside an old house inside a 'lost village' the teacher is giving a lecture about mushroomsthe inside of an old house inside the 'lost village'Maya, the youngest member of the Club
Tricholoma acerbum - not edible Mushrooms inside the basket: Lepista nuda, Lepista flacida, Lactarius sanguifluus, L. deliciosus, Tricholoma caligatum. Leccnellum lepidum, Suillus collinitus, Suillus bellinii, Cantharellus cibarius, Agaricus sp. Russula delica the 'square' of the 'lost village' in the mountains tiny barn to keep a goat

 

Our baskets, bags and gear on the old stone where the people of the 'lost village' used to crush olives for their oil The teacher and the group talking about old things, nature and... mushrooms! one more of the houses of the 'lost village' in the mountains the place inside the old house where they grinded grain to make bread
One more of the old houses under ancient holm oaks ruins of ancient beehives made of clay The dogs are looking for mushrooms too! The teacher explains something about a mushroom

 

Difficult to identify Russula sp. Amanita Pantherina - Toxic, deadly! Gymnopilus junonius The teacher is taking down notes about a mushroom Teacher and children happy on the way back

Now watch the photos in slideshow!
That’s all from me!

Note: If you like to get in touch with the OPS Ikarians, besides  their blog,
you may join the following facebook groups
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animated mushroom


~ ❤ ~



≅ river 2003 ≅


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aqua1006 (msaz) - Ikaria 2003 Seeing pictures of those new girls as they went around and posed proudly in the wild nature of Ikaria last summer, I said: «Hey, young ladies! We were there long before you!» Not that -goes without saying- we were the first. We don’t claim a title which righteously belongs to the hippies. But we were the first who took photos and shared them with the world. Retracting my memories, I had even made a drafty webpage in 2004 where I described the magic of one of those places -the best in my opinion in the whole island. «Hike Chalares, canyon of my heart», was the title, if I am not mistaken. I had received critisism for that page, critisism of the kind, «You shouldn’t give out secrets» and so on. But I was sure of my step. Wonders of nature shouldn’t be kept secret. The same goes for «pockets of freedom», they shouldn’t be kept secret either. But this is not the issue today. The issue today is that, twelve years after that day of September when we walked up bravely for almost the whole length of that river, today that I am not as young and posy as I was in 2003, I am sharing again with the world some of the material stored in the poor memory card of our obsolete Casio Exilim which could contain no more than 20 hi-res shots. But first let me review a few stories about the river – the scenery where these shots where taken.
♦ ♦ ♦  As I said, in 2003 we visited the canyon to survey the location and take photos. Besides sport and fun, our purpose was to a evaluate: «Was it as beautiful as they said? And if so, what kind of threats to the environment were there?».
♦ ♦ ♦  Having proven that Chalares was an amazing place, having shown that inspite it was September, there was plenty of water and the vegetation was lush, having warned that the sides of the hills were infested by disastrous free-grazing goats, I suggested that a hiking trail was created in order to put in value the beauty of the canyon and hopefully promote its protection.
♦ ♦ ♦  My appeal was heard and in 2005 a large trail network spread in the area. In addition, the large river pool which appears in the photos below was chosen for a very interesting experiment: the construction of a small environment-friendly semipermeable dam, meant to slow down the flow of the river and give new strengh to the vegetation.
♦ ♦ ♦  But though in the coming years the canyon got to be more and more known, visited and enjoyed, the main threat to its environment was not treated.
Unfortunately the goats were always there. As a matter of fact, for reasons that don’t concern this review, there were even more! As a result, exactly five years ago, in October 18, 2010, when a torrential rainfall hit the western part of the island, the overgrazed, barren and unstable sides of the lower part of the canyon collapsed. Tons of earth and rocks were carried by the water smashing the trees  and wiping out all vegetation, leveling the lakes, transforming what used to be a detailed natural handiwork into a flat highway of gravel and sand.
Today is the black anniversary of that disaster. For older girls like me it is a bitter reminder that it takes much more things than just good intentions for paradise to happen. For younger girls I hope it is a lesson to be learned, I am afraid, only through experience. I am spreading my winds (which have started to turn grey) over their pretty heads and I am dedicating to them seven pictures from that blissful day of 2003 in the river when it was rich, when it was green, when it was mine. For better or worse it’s their turn now.
The following photos were heavily processed using different methods in different periods of time. In this entry, as they always should, they appear their real «order taken», which is «in order of feelings»: curiosity, worry, happiness, pride, relaxed bliss, anxiety, humility. Their titles in Flickr are different but if you move your mouse over each picture, you will be able to know which is which.
That’s all. Let the old show begin again! ^^’

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curiosity

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worry

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happiness

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pride

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relaxed bliss

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anxiety

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humility

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Copyright © Eleni Ikanou



Ikaria in August – Instructions for Use


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Hello readers!
The future belongs to the young. And the young -a special kind of young- have always prefered Ikaria for their holidays in July and August. Not only we respect that but it’s actually an honor. The following 
article which is also going to be distributed in print appeared in the website of the local municipal party ASPI in June 2015. In this manual-like style of document ASPI makes a list of the basic facts a young visitor should know about our strange island. I was very happy about this good piece of straightforwardness, friendliness and understanding. As there are a lot of foreign young people who come to the island in high summer and knowning from experience that they also need a warm welcome and a helping hand, I felt I had to translate it in English. I am letting you read my translation. No embellishments! Facts and instructions! Big times!!
! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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   ^^’ 😀 ❤

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ΑΣΠΙ: Ικαρία τον Αύγουστο - Οδηγίες Χρήσης

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«Welcome friends

You can see it from the ferry, Ikaria is one long and high mountain without plains and many beaches, while most of the villages are hidden in its slopes. By nature it’s not suitable for mass tourism. Its mountainous landscape does not offer the comfort and convenient pleasure seeked by the average consumer/tourist. Nonetheless, since the island was known as a tourist destination, the followning paradox occurs: Ikaria’s difference (not only in the landscape but in the way of life and the way of thinking of the inhabitants) attracts many people, mostly young, who want to see «what goes on here» – to catch a glimpse and understand a bit of this difference. But because they also want to be together with other young people who are after the same thing, they all arrive in August. As a result, during those few weeks different Ikaria becomes «alternative Ikaria» – a chaotic (alternatively massive) «anti-Mykonos».»

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Camping in AntiMykonos

«We would like holidays in Ikaria to be a break from the massive consumer way of life.»

«It’s a shame, because inspite of our many defects and faults, we believe that our difference can tell (maybe teach too) one or two things to the people of the city. This, however, is very difficult to happen with so many people around, that is, when the city moves to the island.

It’s a shame also because we are used to being few. Although we love to have a lot of visitors, it is difficult for us to get along with the hustle and bustle, evenmore to run matters in the way we should.

This text is not a tourist guide.

It was written by a group of friends, members of the Independent League of Citizens of Ikaria (*) to inform the young people who visit our island in August about our problems and our lacks and help them get round pitfalls. Our motive is love for our island. Our purpose is to be together and have a good time. Because we love the crazy Ikarian August as much as you do.»

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Panigiri in Langada: The harmful effects of wine ☺

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Photo from our friend Shana's myspace: Shana on the bus in IkariaTransportation

B u s e s : Unlike other islands in Ikaria there is no organised transport network with a central station, billboards with timetables etc. There are buses, of course, and they are more frequent in August, most times even servicing the two ports of the island, combining with the arrival and departure of ferries. Their timetables are usually pinned at central shops of towns and villages where unfortunately they soon disappear under several layers of irrelevent posters and ads. So we end up getting information from mouth to ear or by asking the drivers. T a x i s : there are many taxis with helpful drivers and a rather cheap fare given the state of the roads and the distances. However, they are difficult to find in August. H i t c h h i k i n g : When they have spare seats local cars (plates with AT, MOA or MOB) often stop and take hitchhikers. Yet, nothing is for free in life. The «fare» is communication with the driver and the passengers. Don’t keep your mouth shut but talk. Speak about your impressions, ask questions about the island. W a l k i n g : Nobody in Ikaria will think that you are pauper or tramp because you go on foot. Everything is a road and no road in Ikaria is boring.

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In Nana's blog: Camping solutions : Όλα Τέντα τον ΑύγουστοAccomodation

«R o o m s : they are countless, found even in the most remote villages, some of which in amazing natural settings and with low prices even in August. O u t d o o r s : Three are the basic facts, 1st) Ikaria is ideal and very inspiring for camping, 2nd) camping is forbidden on the island -everywhere!, and 3rd) there is no organised camping site -nowhere! Not only to avoid eventual protests and raids but also because we think it is best, if you stay outdoors we suggest you are thrifty, light and flexible (and more «lawful»), by rejecting big «mobile summer villa» tents. An open awning for shade in the day and for protection from moisture at night is enough. Choose a spot as far as possible from the beach which should be kept free for everybody. If you camp on the mountains and hills, sooner or later you will be spotted and asked to leave by the locals or the fire service. As far as private land is concerned, there may be people who won’t object if you camp in their properties for a few days. As long, of course, as you find them and ask their permission. Whatever you do, wherever you go, even in the remotest wilderness, don’t behave as if you were the owner. It’s wrong.»

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PinakidaNasTrash

«Let’s face it, Ikaria may have an enviable natural environment, but unfortunately we are not famous for our cleanliness. As if the «resident trash» haunting the streets (junk metal, rubble piles, broken cars) wasn’t enough, the 3-4 weeks of the short tourist season create a garbadge bomb! There are not enough bins, not enough trucks, not enough space in the landfills, and finally not enough cleaning workers. Recently we are doing our best to handle the situation. But we also need your help.»

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In my blog: The problem with our festivalsVillage festivals

«The famous village festivals («panigiris») of the island are neither «shops» nor «free parties». It’s an institution (the word is not extravagant) serving multiple, religious, social and economic, needs of the small communities of every village. It is true that in the last years panigiris have been massified and commercialized (with serious impact on the environment due to over-consumption of meat and over-production of trash), nonetheless they still keep their basic characteristic as a communal egalitarian feast for everybody regardless of gender, age, origin, dress code or ideological profile. The secret is that all the organizers are volunteers. Therefore, if you have complaints, don’t behave like «dissatisfied costumers». Talk to the people of the village. They want to talk about it too. A panigiri is no one-night clubbing. Its a reunion and a celebration.»

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oops!The roads

«It is to wonder how roads were built through those mountains and over those cliffs. And yet, the road network of Ikaria is huge and immeasurably complicated. On the other hand, most of these roads are not in a good condition. Even the main roadway (Agios Kirikos – Evdilos – Rahes – Karkinagri) is messed up in many parts with reverse slopes, sudden narrow curves, obstacles, holes, bumps etc. Drive at speeds not exceeding 30-40 km/h, wear seat belts, put on bike helmets. Don’t drive, if you drink a lot in a panigiri. Find a spot, lie down and sleep you are sober.»

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In Nana's blog: Riding the Jumping GoatsThe sea

«Often when the meltemi wind blows, big waves beat the most known beaches of the northern side of the island (Kiparissi, Kampos, Messakti, Livadi, Nas). We like to watch them and to swim against their strength, but unfortunately there have been many drownings too. Besides the rules of safe swimming, when you play in the waves you must keep in mind that this activity is actually a sport. Even in the form of simple game body-surfing requires good physical condition and self-restraint. You should also keep in mind that the hardest part is at the end, when the countercurrent which runs under the waves makes it difficult for the swimmer to get back to land. You shouldn’t forget yourself in the pleasure of the game. You must have kept forces to fight the countercurrent. Finally, if you are tired of this sport, of course there are several hospitable, calm beaches in the southern side of the island, that’s something to remember too.»

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In my blog: The fog in the Aegean is purple!The mountain

«You may have heard about it, among the islands of the Aegean sea Ikaria is considered a top mountain climbing and hiking destination. Indeed its hiking trail network is boundless. It was created by volunteers with no help from the government in the course of many years. A d v i c e : a) When it’s windy in the summer, it hardly ever rains, however the mountain-tops are often covered with thick fog. b) The canyon of the river Chalares (what most people know as «the river of Nas») has acquired a fair reputation regardless of the fact that there is too little water in the river in August. The canyon itself is quite impressive, however hiking can be hard because the trail has been destroyed in several parts by floods and overgrazing goats. c) A successful hiking day in Ikaria is a day that has started early in the morning. The island has a very high relief and the ground is rocky. As a result, distances come up longer than their actual length shown on the map.»

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In my blog: food, pebbles and headstandsFood and local products

«Small-scale agriculture is a way of life in Ikaria. We search, find and buy wine, moonshine, cheese, fruit, vegetables, dried herbs and everything that comes from the island. It’s good quality and it’s good for our economy.»

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«We would like holidays in Ikaria to be for you a break from the massive consumer way of life. We know, it’s odd to ask for such a thing in August which is the most wholesale and haphazard month of the year as far as holidays are concerned. But it’s exactly at that month that we think it’s worth asking. Look at the works of out ancestors on the mountains, the houses in the rocks, the terraces over cliffs. It’s in our nature to ask for the impossible. We don’t know what results we attain, we do know however that a beautiful story is being written, little by little, slowly, piece by piece, every year. It’s the fairy-tale of Ikaria. Catch the spirit and be part of our story.»

Have a good time!

ASPI website

(*) Aftonomi Sispirosi Politon Ikarias is an independent party in the Municipality of Ikaria. It was founded in 2010. Webpage: aspik.gr Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/290700171092825/

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p.s. the last part was powerful, wasn’t it? I am celebrating those words with a slideshow of related pictures from my blog. Goodbye for now. Have a great summer! Let’s hope that Greece will make it through and give the world a lesson! ^^’
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Ikaria, Friday 17 July 2015

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