A Sunday walk at Gerania Mountains

24 10 2011

I remember that during the whole week we were discussing with “M” that the weekend to come would be a weekend dedicated to “ultimate relaxation”…..
We thought we needed a small break from everything, no matter if that was called hiking or cycling or if it was simply involving going out and doing stuff with friends, like we usually do the times we stay in Athens.

So, we decided to spend the weekend at my parents’ cottage, a place that we don’t actually visit so often. The fact that the house is not far from Athens, was just perfect for us, since we wouldn’t have to spend the finite time of a weekend driving in a car.
Despite the fact that the place we would go is located by the seaside and under the foothills of Gerania Mountains, thus combining both sea and mountain, it didn’t seem to matter for us that much, at least for that particular weekend. Our plans did not include any of the usual activities.

On Friday evening we left Athens and got to the cottage, feeling really content that a full weekend of relaxation was lying ahead of us.

Next morning, we got up, had a giant breakfast and set up a meeting with some friends to a nearby town for having a coffee and catching up. After that they invited us over for dinner, which was further away. After having dinner, we stayed there a little bit longer listening to mucic and chatting around. Eventually, it got around bedtime when we decided that it was apparently time to go.
On the way back, we thought that Saturday didn’t actually came out to be as relaxing as planned. But nevertheless, we still had a full Sunday ahead of us to try and make it up…..

The weather forecast was talking about heavy rain coming up and actually, while still on the road back, we noticed some heavy clouds gathering above our heads.
On Sunday we woke up late, since there was no reason for us to rush….. Despite the forecasts and the heavy clouds, when we got up we found out that the weather men had got it all wrong again and the sky was much clearer than last night. Only a few scattered clouds, which didn’t seem that threatening, were still there to remind us of  yesterday’s expectations of heavy rain.
It was a bright and sunny day. I simply couldn’t resist to the temptation of a short hike on the mountains…..
“What would you say if we went for a little walk on the mountain over the village, love? Just to see what’s up there,…. we won’t stay long”, I asked “M”.

We put our hiking boots on, took only one backpack and a bottle of water and drove off….

We drove all the way up to the old church of Virgin Mary at the location named Prathi. We parked our car and started walking uphill the same dirt road that had got us there. During the past, I had been there with my family many times, for various reasons, but never for hiking… So, I chose to follow a trail that was actually heading towards Gerania’s highest peak, around it and eventually on top of it. Gerania’s peak is at 1,369mts altitude and is situated north and above the ridge of Makryplayi. The trail leading there is from the other side of the mountain, that is from its northern side.

We walked at an easy pace. Despite the terrific weather, “M” wasn’t really in a good mood for doing a proper hike. Nonetheless, she made the effort to go through the whole thing just for my sake. She didn’t want to spoil it for me…. I tried to add some “adventurous” tone to our “walk”, checking on the GPS whether we should follow this or that trail and putting “M” to participate indirectly to this whole procedure. I hoped that by doing so I would stimulate her mood and interest and thus the whole thing would become more pleasant for her as well. Of course I wasn’t expecting that we would go all the way up to the top of Gerania, but at least I hoped to go that far so that our “walk” would qualify being called a “hike”…

It didn’t take neither too long time nor much effort till”M” got her spirit back and started leading our way….!! I followed with a big smile on my face. The trail was passing by an unnamed peak and we decided to follow it all the way up there. The unnamed mountain peak was 1,019mts high and was about 1/3 of the total trail distance till Gerania’s peak.

Took us about an hour till “M” set foot on that mountain top…..

The westerly winds and the way that the sunbeams were spreading the sunlight through the gaps of the fast-moving clouds, along with the white colour of the clouds themselves, were all together creating one of the most luminous sceneries ever….

Although we weren’t standing at the highest peak of Gerania Mountains, the specific one was situated in such a way that made it possible for us to see both Korinthiakos Kolpos (Corinthian Gulf) and Saronikos Kolpos (Saronic Gulf). It was really wonderful and it actually gave us a clear geographical view of where we were actually standing map-wise.

We stood for a while, looked around us, had some water, discussed about which way the trail was reaching Gerania’s highest peak, agreed that we should better postpone this for some other time and headed our way back…..

Walking down that mountain top was really refreshing and invigorating. We were so excited that we actually talked and talked for all sort of things and we didn’t notice how soon we made it back to the place we had parked our car.
By that time, nearly three hours had passed since the moment we had set off earlier that morning. Our short “walk”had eventually been upgraded to a mini-hike and we had added up one more must-hike destination to our future hikes’ “list”.

But that was not what was most important in all this….
What really made the difference and actually mattered, was that eventually that particular day we had done an excess and that, indeed, meant a worthily spent day!

“N”

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One response

11 03 2012
Harold Pichoff

I really like your writing style, good information, regards for posting : D.

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