Ramblers Walking Holidays

The Pleasures of Pelion - Peter Verity

Blog post   •   Aug 01, 2012 14:27 BST

Walk Pelion & Sporades 21 May – 4 June

Our late May, early June trip to Pelion had a few surprises!

One was the weather: at the same time that the UK (particularly the West of Scotland) was having a heatwave, Greece had… yes, rain! I have never had to navigate through a Greek rainforest before – nor to worry about whether a stream would be fordable… but it was. Given that Pelion and Skopelos are both unusually forested, maybe the rain should not have been a total surprise?

But Pelion is rather different: fine traditional houses with projecting timber upper storeys; chestnut forests; cool shady stone-paved central village “plateias” with immense plane trees for shade; cherry trees with boughs hanging heavy with fruit.

A typical shady “kalderimi” – traditional mule path between villages on Pelion.

The waterfront of Skopelos town.

One big surprise was how much live music we found (it can never be guaranteed). There were two events in Kala Nera with live clarinet music (and only one was grossly over-amplified…) and I found live “rebetika” (traditional bouzouki “blues” music) three times, and joined in twice “wiv me little ukulele in me ‘and” – well, what the Greeks call a “baglama” – without embarrassing the group too much…

Kala Nera – The blessing of the horses and the waters accompanied by traditional music and electronic keyboards with ear-splitting amplification.

Kala Nera – Locals dancing, occasionally grabbing a passer-by to join in.

This snap shows live music on our last night in Skopelos – the player in black is the chef who had cooked our excellent food earlier in the evening!

Paul in front of the new church, in the hill village of Agios Lavrentis (St. Laurence).

Sharing each other’s music on the ferry to Skopelos (well, it is the island where they filmed Mama Mia).

From the Hellenistic graves, on the end of the ridge at Sendoukia, Nick admires the views towards the next island of Alonissos…

…and one of the group, Annie White, makes friends with a local horse.

Woodcutters and their mules, working on the ridge above Xourichti.

Caroline walking down from Milies, on the railway track, which is extremely busy with four trains a week. No vertigo problems this time!

A refreshing pause at a water source where the “kalderimi” mule-track and the aqueducts run on a bridge over the railway.

We check the fisherman’s catch at the Kala Nera waterfront.

Looking at a traditional house interior, which is now a hostel, in Vyzitsa.