Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Waterfall Hike Through Kotsifou Gorge

July 6, 2012

Greece/Turkey Trip
Waterfall Hike through Kotsifou Gorge
We enjoyed yesterday’s hike so much that we decided to take on a 6-hr hike through the river and waterfalls in the Kotsifou Gorge today.  The hike was awesome; we both loved it!  It was not easy and there were times I thought, “We are climbing up there …or down there?!?”  But, I did it!  Certainly there were times that one person would assist the next in line as we ascended up or down through the rocks and waterfalls, but everyone worked together!  We really enjoyed visiting with this one guy; again, he was from Germany.  He and his family had hiked with us yesterday as well and him and his son were hiking again today with us.  We had visited quite a bit both days; but I did not get his name or address; wish I had, who knows he might have lived only 25 km from the other two families we met on the first hike!

Anyway, our hike started at 9:00 a.m. from the Hapimag Resort in Damnoni (where we were staying); again with Florian as our guide.  We shuttled to the village of Plakias where we were to enter into the Kotsifou Gorge. 

As we began our hike heading outside the village we came across this library.  I can’t remember  exactly what he said about it; but it was something to the effect that it was the largest, oldest or only library in the area... probably all three.  It is run by a retired British man living in Plakias.  The books numbered in the thousands and all all donations.  Many books are in English and German.
This is the gentleman that founded and runs the library.
Here is a peek inside.  He was very nice and proud of his accomplishment.
It was a great library to be located in such a small village!
We continued our decent down the wall of the gorge and our next goal was to reach an old aqua duct.  The pathway led us to an idyllic site where an old water mill from the 16th century had been in operation.
Here you can see a small white dot
in the bottom of the gorge
...that is a small church and it is fairly close to the old aqua duct used for the water mill in the 16th century.  So this gives you an idea of the pathway we traversed to get to the bottom of the gorge… but getting to this point is not the bottom yet!  But, you can see in the next picture, we are getting closer.
This is the aqua duct that powered the the watermill for grinding the grains.
We also began to see the stream of water,
as we got closer to the old mill
We crossed this old bridge 
After crossing the old bridge, we had to hike back up
to get to the aqua duct and old mill
...getting even closer, we can now actually see
part of the old mill
Climbing all the way up to stand on the aqua duct
We then made our way back down to the old church
We began our hike through the stream
We traversed up through the waterfalls,
hiking around some of them,
but only to enter back into the main stream once again 
DT swimming in another pool along the way.  Water was a little chilly.
Yes, I did take my good camera with us on this hike; Florian told me the day before it would be okay to take it... just to put it in a plastic bag.  We had a gallon size baggie that was air tight in the event we had any falls (Although, I did wish I had my waterproof bag made for this sort of thing... but you can only travel with so much!)  The deepest we ever had to wade through the water was maybe just above my waste.  The camera was always put away in the backpack unless we stopped and I could sneak a few pics.  We needed both hands for climbing.

We basically followed the stream and hiked, climbing up and down though the waterfalls.  We had the opportunity to stop and swim or cool off in several pools. 
Some parts were more forceful than others
Dennis and Florian enjoying a massage
Deb - more of the adventurous hike!
As we exited the gorge we reached a small path leading to the village of Myrthios.  We again passed many herbs along our path. Here are a few pictures along the way.
I think this is rosemary 
New olive trees
We saw many grove of olive trees.
Fig Trees... figs to be harvested in August.
I know my camera doesn't do justice,
but we had gorgeous views along the way!
View to the Mediterranean Sea
We end up reaching a small path leading to the village of Myrthios, where we recovered in one of the taverns for lunch.

We made our way up the winding stairs for lunch

Dionyssos means Dennis in Greek.
Lunch and of course, some Raki and white wine! 
While lunch was being cooked, I was able to take
some pictures in the kitchen where everything looked
nice and clean!
They were hard at work slicing our vegetables.
Florian ordered for all of us; and it was served family style, just passing the plate!  It was the same as we did after our hike yesterday.  I loved it because we got to taste a bit of everything and it was all foods that I had never eaten and it was delicious!  Darla posting pics as you requested…
They would bring it one plate at a time... this was a stuffed blossom
and was verrry good!  Almost everything was served with Greek Yougart
As you can see I couldn't help but eat some while waiting... but,
The far left was a pastry stuffed with cheese, which is almost gone;
middle was a bread with a yummy topping
cucumbers to the right with parmesan or some cheese.
They had many many white cheeses!
Every salad was so fresh and good.  We ate many things that according to
the health department we should not... but you have to taste the local cuisine
or you are missing out on the cultural and adventure!
We then walked back to the resort using the main road; which took approximately one hour. 
Florian told me what this plant was called, but I forget.
We saw it in abundance and it was pretty covering the roadsides.
Getting close to Damnoni where our resort is... nearing the end of our hike!
I am obviously running behind in posting to my blog.  It does take time, and wi-fi is also not always available.  We are trying to enjoy our trip along the way and post when I can.  We have one more day on the Greek Island of Crete then we fly to Istanbul, Turkey.  There we will meet up with friends who visited in Oklahoma in 1997!  Fifteen years later, finally, we are returning a visit to their country.  Seeing our friends in Turkey was the purpose of our trip!  

Continued:  Children on the Beach.

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