Sunday, 5 December 2010

Magic forest, trolls and haunted houses ...

Well it was a lovely day for a walk ...

I had a few hours free, so joined Andrea & Tommy for a walk. It was a tough one, from Ag. Antonios to Panagia Kechria then the to the Magic Forest. 4 hours 5.6 miles, and a strenuos hike just as it says in the book ...

There was a cool breeze and some cloud cover adding to the chill as we made our way up the hill beneath the aerials.



We set a brisk pace, and soon the heart was thumping and the ears ringing, but we still managed to collect some ripe strawberry fruits, and picked wild sage on our way.

We paused at the Church of Konstantinos, which is hidden in the woods alongside the road. Its tiny but very impressive ...




When we crested the hill, i suggested we pause to take in the view, The west of the island with the Pelion distant ...


We made our way down the valley towards Kechria, taking time to view the Kechria Monastery.

... and the hand painted icons and religious artefacts within the domed roof, which are sadly decaying away with ravages of time and the island humidity ...



The bell is interesting, it was made in Germany. Its a German shell that was deposited on the town in 1944 ...


However i did find time to pick some lovely olives, before we made our way again down through the olive groves into the valley. Overhead a kestrel was calling and hovered nearby.

The path heads off into the 'Magic forest' and crosses the Kechria Brook on a number of occasions. Further into the forest you find the old Olive press.
Its now a ruin, however the mill stones are still there, guarded by an old goats head ...

The old bag press is slowly rusting away in what is left of the building, which must have collapsed many years ago ...


Leaving the Old Olive press behind, we headed downstream, and the trees and foliage were notceably different to the rest of the island ...


The Valley is almost permanantly shaded. Huge ferns reach for the sunlight, below moss covered plane trees and ancient sycamore trees.

A home for a troll perhaps ...


All the time the brook meanders through rock pools , with vivid colours as you look into the deep, as roots and marble are washed bare ...


This old ruin we passed lower in the valley, It appears the owner had built the chimney up the tree trunk, to get a good draw on the chimney from its sheltered position.

However i wondered if as the tree grew, it ripped the chimney off in a storm and the roof went with it too ...



Slowly there is more light, through the woodland cannopy, and the valley widens out to reveal a large pool, shafts of sunlight and the entrance to another old ruin ...


The old ruin, just waiting for someone to love it again ...


Walking through the yard of the old house you emerge into the olive grove, branches bursting with ripe olives, just waiting to be picked ...


Beyond was the blue sea, and crashing surf of Kechria beach ...



The flag clearly had seen better days, and what was left of it stood firmly to attention in the stiff breeze ...


The waves crashing on to the rocks below, showering us, the air fresh and full of ozone, and misty salt water spray ...


We paused for reflection and to rest aching muscles and limbs. These were rejuvenated by a beer and a cornish pasty as we sat ibn the sun, befire starting the trek back to town.

The rather windswept taverna, lent us some seats for lunch on the lawn ...


After a bracing stiff climb i stopped to look back at the flag, still holding out against the breeze ...

Pausing to scare a pheasant. We were probably the only humans, the poor bird had seen that were not armed with a shotgun.

We climbed further into the hinterlands of the island, scrub areas that had once been forest and affected by forest fires in the past. Trees down in the valley below were being attacked with chainsaws and areas cleared for some unknown reason.

Then climbing onward and upward to return to civilisation, with shadowy friends ...



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