Greek Journal Part VII

Greek Journal: 5/13/2005-6/8/2005

Summary: DenveràLondonàAthensàLeptokaryaàLitochoroàMt. OlympusàLitochoro àKalambaka (Meteora)àIguominitsaàCorfu TownàCorfu TrailàIguominitsaàZorganian Villages, Vikos Gorge and Mt. AstrakaàAthensàLondonàDenver

 

5/25/2005: On the Corfu Trail, Corfu: It is a little strange.  We are the only people at this resort.  We woke about 7:30 am packed our stuff for the days trek and studied the map.  Went down stairs for breakfast and to pay our bill, but everything was locked up.  Mo went around the building knocking on windows and doors, but there was no sign of human life.  We felt bad, but what could we do.  Mo wrote a note with our contact information and we headed north on the narrow strip of sand now made passable by the receded tide.

NßCTàS

 
After several kilometers we came to a channel that was impassible without removing shoes and wading across.  Mo was less than enthusiastic about this prospect since we could not tell how deep the water was and she doesn’t swim.  It also didn’t make much sense to me that we would have to wade though a salt water bog on a “major trail”, so we backed tracked while carefully examining the inland side of the beach for a sign of passable trail.  We found a vague path that went through some bushes, in to a small garden and then on to a small dirt road.  Again luck and skill combined and we came upon the blessed

 

We followed the path through olive groves back to the east coastline and continued north for a few km.  Finally intersected another path heading west and hopefully toward Parovoli and Santa Barbara.  After many km in the hot sun we came to the town of Parovoli and headed for the only visible café.  No one except the owner was there and he prepared a small meal accompanied by water, cold lemonade and beer. 

 

 

 

 

 

After a long walk from the east to the west cost of Corfu we came upon the Parovoli road side fast food café.  It’s not McD’s but you take what you can get.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once recovered we walked the final 5 km west to Santa Barbara.  We were way over due for Kavros’ friend so we found a place right on the beach (25 E/n). 

We hung out on the beach, reading, swimming and sleeping for the afternoon.

For dinner we went to the restaurant attached to the hotel.  They must have warned the other guests that we were eating since once again we were the only ones there.  The head waiter and the son of the chef took care of us personally.  They first brought us a bottle of the local kokano Krase (red wine) with octopus in vinegar, followed by fried calamari, tzaki (yogurt and chives), peta, spinach, zachuri and feta and abogines (19 Euro).

 

5/26/2005: Santa Barbara to Paramonas: Packed and got going around 8 am.  The trail to day stretches as far as the eye can see north along an uninhabited shore line.  The trail is not actually a trail but a gradually narrowing strip of beach.  We haven’t seen a CT trail sign since yesterday morning, but I’m pretty sure we are heading in the right direction.

 

 

 

 

Santa Barbara Beach with the “trail” stretching out along the beach behind us.

 

 

 

 

 

We walked for about 3 km along the sand until we came to the last civilization for a long time to come.  The Village of Agios Georgios is a pretty little sea side resort sitting on a low bluff above the ocean.  We stopped a small grocery store and bought some tomatoes, feta cheese, fresh bread and tuna for the day.  We always traveled as light as possible with just enough food and water to get us to our next town.  We have had a lot of great veggies in Greece, but the Agios Georgios tomatoes were the best tomatoes I have eaten in my life.  We sat at an open air café overlooking the Ionian, ordered up some coffee and made breakfast from our new provisions.  The taste experience is always influenced by the life experience surrounding the act of eating, but it would not have mattered if I had been stranded in the middle of the Gobi Desert or sitting at the Chart House Restaurant, these tomatoes were off the chart good.

Several miles north of Agios Georgios the beach narrowed to maybe 20 meters backed by a 100 meter juniper covered sandy knoll that separated the ocean from the fresh water Lake Korission.  Lake Korission is a wetland biotope and nature preserve for wild birds.  We walked on soft low tide sand with in feet of the water for miles.  This stretch of shore line is uninhabited for about 10 km and was the site of some of the filming for the James Bond movie “For Your Eyes Only”.

The setting was pristine, the water was crystal clean and blue, but he overall scene was greatly diminished by copious human garbage that had washed ashore over time and not been cleaned up.

 

 

Miles to no where, think I’ll take my time, oh ya…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further north the beach became rocky with small tide pools as we traversed some small sea cliffs.  At the end of this section we came to the Korission Canal.  We followed the canal inland about 100 m and came to what the guide sheet had generously called a bridge.  It was a couple of planks with no side rail that crossed the creek about 10 ft off the ground.  We crossed the bridge and there, tacked on the side of a small abandoned shed, was a CT trail sign.  Like a morsel of food for a famished man, that little yellow sign was nourishment for the soul and hope for the future.

We then hiked north between the lake and the sea until we reached the north end of Korission Lake.  Seemingly in the middle of know where we came to an inhabited beach.  There were no buildings, but there was an out door mobile bar staffed by a couple of Brits, with ice cold been and the works.  We took a break on the sand for a snack and rest and I decided to take a swim.  I stripped down for a skinny dip which was most disturbing to Mo until I pointed out that the beach was populated with naked people including a couple of absolutely gorgeous woman, and it was unlikely that anyone would be paying much attention to me.

From the beach we headed a little inland along the top of the sea cliffs.  The scenery changed to vineyards, olive groves, fruit trees and a variety of wild and cultivated flowers.  Behind gates and ivy covered walls we could occasionally see lovely Greek Villas.  The well established paths and dirt roads were relaxing and peaceful and the presents of CT signs was reassuring.  The trail led back to the coastal town of Paramona where we would spend the night.  After 8 hours of walking my injured was foot was sore and because I was walking abnormally my good foot was covered with blisters. 

We got what was referred to as the S-2 efficiency unit, which meant the room was about 8’ X 10’ and the shower and bathroom were combined in a 3’ X 3’ space down the hall.  It was efficient because you could take a dump and a shower at the same time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Villa Rena on the road to Paramonas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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