The Trail of the Elves
Once upon a time some kids from the village of Christos in the Raches area, started out for an exploration in the forest, leaving there mothers and grannies and aunts back for some hours.
So they took the footpath and started. At first they came to the old watermill on the Charakas river, which the people said was haunted. After playing for a while near the river, they went inside the watermill. The older kids lighted a fire to warm up and started telling stories with ghosts and goblins to scare the younger ones amongst them.
Then they continued their walk , passed the church of Agia Triada and continued to the village of Kastanies and then walked along the other river, Myrsonas, until they turned again towards Lapsachades. There, at the church of Agios Markos they had one more break to rest a little and to eat some nuts and dried figs they had in their pockets.
Some of the pictures below are from OPSI (Hiking and Mountaineering Club of Ikaria).
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After a long walk they would reach the Theoktisti monastery, but before that many surprises waited for them. On their way they would find some clearings, where they could have a glance at the sea and the horizon and then again their would be tunnels of trees and bushes so dense, that they couldn’t see anything around them, but the forest. Once in a while they would see the head of an elf peeping from behind a tree or a bush and then disappearing again quickly, so they couldn’t see him. They also heard the song of the fairies, but couldn’t find them, no matter how hard they tried to get closer to the sound.
At the monastery they offered them Loukoumades (little warm round donuts with honey), they saw the church of Theoskepasti and continued to Kampos, before night would fall. Singing and laughing they would go downhills, until they got to the village of Kampos at dusk, hungry, but cheerful. There their parents and uncles would wait for them on their mules, because Argyro, a little girl that overslept in the morning and didn’t follow the others, confessed the secret of their excursion, when by late afternoon they weren’t back yet and the families started to get worried…
- Duration of the hike: 5-6 hours
- Difficulty: Easy.
- Notes: We can fill our water bottles at the church of Agia Triada and at the Theoktisti monastery. Some food and fruits would be useful, especially from November to April. From May to the first days of November, Mrs Mary can prepare coffee, herbal tea and little donuts with honey for us. If lucky there might also be some pie.