On top of the Ionian

The ridge looking East and the fir tree forest

Yesterday Nikos and I took the path that goes up to the top of mount Ainos from the Northern side, straight up. Mount Ainos is the highest mountain in Kefalonia and in the whole Ionian sea.

An 800m ascent (from 820m a.s.l to 1628m), that starts from a dirt road, goes all the way through the fir tree forest, crosses the road along the ridge and ends up on the barren top.

The path is new and well marked. It’s also steep!
According to the GPS we walked the 2.4km in 1h05m, which is pretty impressive. The path starts with some very high steps, just to kill your legs from the beginning. We found the first snow at 1350m, and from there it increased. After 1450m we were just walking on half a metre of old frozen snow.

We’re on top!

We got to the road along the ridge just below the top and the sign indicated 500m to be covered in 25minutes! Our thought was ‘screw it, we’re going up straight’. The path wasn’t really visible anymore, most signs covered by the snow as well. We climbed up with the help of our hands, over 50% slope, and in a few minutes we came out of the forest to find a strong wind blowing from the other side. I was left breathless, literally, while Nikos was merrily hopping towards the peak.

It was a great feat. We pulled out the visitors book, delighted to find out we were the first ones of the year to sign it. We had a vital little snack.

Shame views weren’t great, it was cloudy and hazy. We could see Sami and the bay in front, but nothing much on the Southern side.

Then we skidded back down quickly until the snow stopped, and from that point we kind of ran all the way to the bottom. Got back in 45 minutes, well exhilarated.
Nikos kept repeating he wanted to do it again. And again.

Museum of natural history

One nice day in mid November we all went for a nice excursion to the Museum of Natural History in Davgata, opposite Argostoli.

A very educational experience. Giulia loved especially the butterfly, dragonflies, beetle and mantis displays. She probably knows more insects’ names than people’s.

Sofia at the museum

One day you will understand

Sofia was a bit dazzled, as usual.

The path in the valley

The path valley

Bramble, erosion, steep cliffs and thick overgrowth. A wild walk.

There used to be a nice marked footpath going from Katelios to Pastra, following the river valley. It doesn’t appear to be marked anymore, possibly after the big fire in 2007. After trying to find my way down from Pastra I can confirm that at the moment there is no clear path, although I managed to find my way until the 3rd mill.
Then I took left turn down the very steep hillside through burned brambly terraced fields, only to get to the thickest overgrown area just before the riverbank with that vertical cliff just above me.
I will have a better look at maps and old directions before trying again.

Sunset for real

Sunset for real

No need to touch up anything

Every night another beautiful sunset. Boring! But it’s hard to believe our eyes, and it’s impossible to resist the temptation. We see so many unbelievable skies, and just before the sun sets the camera always finds its way to the balcony. The truly amazing thing for this sunset was the colour of the sea, fading from grey-blue to wine-mauve.
Both shots are from the last couple of weeks.

Seedy sky

Who sowed the sky?

The end of the world is dark

darknight

It was a dark and stormy night

It was a dark and stormy night, and it was looking as though the world was coming to its end.

Then the rain moved away, the warm wind was well wild and the electric storm was visible in the distance. I set the camera on long shutter and used the lightning light to shoot some pictures.