Kardamili: A walk on the South Side

It seems a little pointless now to say: “Wednesday dawned cloudless and warm” , but it did.  After the uncertainties of the weather in Meteora, Metsovo, Ioannina, Parga and Paxos, the appearance of heavy cloud over the high Taigetus Mountains on Tuesday evening left me a little apprehensive.  But by Wednesday morning it had entirely disappeared.  The summer does now seem to have settled in.

I had worked out a route on the very good ‘hiking map’ of the area produced by Anavasi which would take me up onto and along the southern rim of the Viros Gorge and then dropping down onto the bed of the river for the walk back to Kardamili.

This blog is mostly images from that walk but a couple of asides first.

The drop down to the bed of the gorge was on a footpath from the highest settlement shown on the south side.  There is a hotel and taverna at that point with stunning views straight down into the gorge where I had a frappé and a chat with the owner.  She said that the footpath I intended to follow was very dangerous, which sparked my interest, and was a jungle, which put me off a bit.  Nevertheless I gave it a go. Given that the drop at this point is nearly straight down to the bed of the river it is not surprising that the path was steep.  That I can cope with.  What I couldn’t be doing with was that the path just disappeared into dense vegetation, a lot of it pretty aggressive.  Given that the path would inevitably twist and turn every which way it would be impossible to find.   So I turned round, went back up to the hotel and adopted Plan B.

Which turned out to be very enjoyable, incorporating a quick walk up a rock pinnacle to a tiny church on the top with precipitous drop down vertically 1000 feet on three sides. to the bed of the gorge.  It looked as if I could have thrown a cricket ball and it would have landed at the bottom without a bounce.  Best thing to do with a cricket ball really.  Even if I was daft enough to ever carry one.

Another good if tiring walk.  Covered 21 kms, highest point 475 metres.  Visually stunning, hence the number of photos.



Agios Spiridos church in Old Kardamili

Agios Spiridos seen through olive grove

One of the Mani towers, this one in Old Kardamili the former home of the Moutzinos family of warlords

Looking back to Kardamila as the path climbs higher into the crags

Church of Agia Sofia with the peak of Profitis Ilias behind

Zooming in on Profitis Ilias

Old door in the village of Agia Sofia

Old limekiln in the village of Agia Sofia

Small church higher in the mountains

At the lower edge of Chora, a bit wonky but standing the test of tiem

Very old church tower in Chora which seems to have had the top blown off

There are many stone/marble tablets set in the wall of the tower, this one of a trireme

From the top of the rock pinnacle looking down on the bed of the gorge and Agios Sotiros monastery

Zooming in on Agios Sotiros monastery

Photographer on the edge looking upstream

Looking back up to the pinnacle from which the last 3 photos were taken (right of centre)

Zooming in on the pinnacle

Does anyone know what these are? High under an overhanging cliff and seemingly attached to broken stalactites. Bees? Bats? Birds?

As the walls of the gorge close in, the canyon sections are in deep shade for much of the day

A reminder that Kardamili has a harbour, albeit a small one

End of the day, time for reflection

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