After relaxing in Athens for 9 days with Giorgos and Dimitri (George and Jimmy), who I travelled Petra and Wadi Rum (Jordan) with, it was time for some gnarly nature adventure.
First stop was Vikos Gorge; according to the sign at the entrance, it’s the deepest gorge in the world. At 900m, I’d believe it. This is a beautiful 6hr/18km hike which contains a 7 degree celsius mountain spring/pool at the northern end (perfect for swimming after walking 4 hours in the height of summer carrying 20kg of crap). The hike ended at Mikro Papigo (elevation 1000m) where I slept overnight before climbing to the mountain refuge (elevation 2000m) and visiting Dragolimni (a mountain lake, more opportunity for swimming, I miss the beach , sad face).
This morning I climbed from the refuge to Gamila Peak (elevation 2497m); I planned to do this climb alone but I was joined by approx 150 flies who instantly fell for me and persisted in trying to make love with the inside of my ear. It felt like every cow dung I walked past I collected more ‘lovers’; didn’t think I stank that bad, although I hadn’t showered in 2 days… I ended up getting the peak to myself for at least 30mins (2.5hr up, 1.5hr down); perfect opportunity for some epic photos. Returning back to Mikro Papigo, while avoiding angry farm dogs protecting their cattle, I was time for a few beers. Unfortunately solo but fuck it, I deserve it.
The plan for next 2 days is to hike back to main road via more mountain spring/pools and villages before either heading up to Mt Smolikas (if the bus station finally answers their phone) or the famous Metero monasteries.
1. Path leading to the monastery above Monostraki || 2.Climbing out of the gorge at the northern end || 3. Dragolimni (Dragon Lake) || 4. Gamila Peak