A chronicle of twenty years in the paths and the mountains of Ikaria. What has been done, by who, how and why.
A thrilling true story.
We are opening our hearts and sharing the secrets in the village hall of Agios Dimitrios, Rahes,
on Sunday, March 3 at 5 a. m.
Thanks George for the video.
It’s not a good day today.
This is the mail I received from a dearest friend this morning with the request to post in my blog. I couldn’t help adding some pictures as a tribute to the past and testimony of a great work that has come to an end.
Here it goes:
Hello, my name is Angelos K.
As some of you may know, I have been the designer and administrator of an expanded network of hiking trails in Ikaria for over 15 years. However, today, with mixed feelings of grief and relief I am shutting down the project. Unfortunately I can’t afford to work anymore without recognition and substantial support from the locals and the local authorities. It was my mistake to suppose that such a thing would happen in the course of time. Yet, my initiative, despite it’s success, remained unperceived even by those who drew a direct profit from it every year (hotel and restaurant owners etc.).
I just can’t do it anymore.
The project was never supported by the central government and I have come to the end of my financial means and physical strength.
I am aware the shutdown of planned hiking in Ikaria will make us a poorer island from many points of view. On the other hand, as things as with tourism in Ikaria, it’s likely that only few people will notice the fact and even fewer will know the cause.
Therefore starting from spring the main signs at the beginnings of the trails will be removed and the map will go out of sale (*). It would be the responsible thing to do as, despite the efforts of several friends, the paths haven’t been maintained and the marking hasn’t been refreshed for a long period of time, so in many cases trails have become too difficult or impassable.
The good side, however, of the shutdown is that I and my occasional helpers would be free to work without stress “behind the scenes”, like when a shop closes down but the team stays ans works inside. After all, in either case, open or closed, no-one was paid.
Ikaria is still and as always a beautiful natural island and hiking is by far the best way to know it. In my heart the shutdown will be temporary. The amount of money that is needed for a restart is small. If it is given to the project with with good faith and in some more or less permanent basis, via, for example, the Mountain Climbing and Hiking Club of Ikaria, the signs will be up again and a new hiking map will be published, that will cover, as it is due, the whole of Ikaria and not only a part.
We shall always walk.
Thank you very much
(*) I am not giving up the copyrights of the traced routes and the map.
I have nothing to say or add other than that someone cannot be a volunteer for 17 years!
The Ikarians must read about it so Nana put up this announcement in the original Greek in her blog very soon.
Bye for now
The Unofficial Guide to Ikaria Island #9
isl_gr -> decalcomanias? 😆 sure look like ! it took me long to fix the thick paint on this rough rock wall. Do you like them?
‘kalimera’ -> ma io no scherzo! it’s exactly as you say. Rocks are my friends. I just want to keep the brainless people out!
You see, for better or worse, the place is not too far from the road. ‘Fat’ people without love and respect will want to drive up there in their monstrous SUV cars. They will want to see (read, consume) this. You know what I mean, don’t you?
Oh yes Angelos, I understand:-)
You speak with a person who has no car and no «license to drive». I make my journeys on my foot, bicycle or public transportation, slowly (as is my nature …). Ernesto have a jeep (not a suv!) and he loves nature too and only uses the car for long trips.
I think that some people consider the car an integral part of his body and can no longer walk even a few metres on his legs.
I know people like that. And their brain is increasingly flawed and fat. And crashes and thinks «can go where he can go my dear car» … This is not good.
Sorry, I see every night, in front of my shop, many cars in a row, rolling because of traffic in each car only one person and I was coughing (not for too many cigarettes, I am sure). You think people are intelligent? I think that the lazy brain is really limited (stupid, I seem canned sardines).
Thanks for preserving a small portion of world dear friend.
(I am aware that my English is always worse… :-P)