Text: Anna Kalatzi
Photographs: Maria Lambriadou, Eleni Salouvardou, Valentini Desculidou
Translation to English: Violanti Vratsanou

On 7 January 2023 at 10.30 a.m. the gathering of the 17 participants took place in Kapparia for the 1st maintenance hiking of the New Year along the circular route, known as Kapp1. And who could be a better guide for the group than the Route Angel of this route, Stelios Vartholomaios, a resident of the same village and very familiar with the route, the history and the particular beauty of this village of southern Andros, which surprises the rambler with its green surroundings. We started this route (total distance 4 kilometers) from the south to the north , passing firstly through the settlement of Morakaioi, then through Jeo, Pera Chorio to finally reach Megalo Chorio (Kapparia).

The slopes are gentle, at the beginning downhill and then slightly uphill, while the surrounding landscape is characterized by well-formed and well-preserved dry masonry walls, olive trees and impressive clusters of cypresses, pomegranates and almond trees. The houses in all four settlements are well-kept. The most impressive of course are the old stone buildings that still resist the passage of time, fully integrated into the landscape to which they have belonged for centuries. The old houses of the first settlement, which has now been abandoned and in its place has been developed further north Jeo and Pera Chorio, were built during the Venetian period, . Numerous pigeonries, dating back to the 13th century during the Venetian period, are evidence of the breeding of pigeons. Imposing two-storey half-ruined houses, scattered throughout the settlements, stand and communicate their own history, dating back to the time when they were inhabited by their householders and their floors were full of crops. Interesting is also the version of the name of the village “Kapparia”, this word deriving not from “capari” (caper), but from “kaparo”, which given for the purchase of the pigeons that were systematically farmed in the numerous pigeonries.

Cultural Association of Kapparia
Our hike was pleasant with enthusiastic interactions between the hikers, with many photo clicks trying to capture the moments and the landscape and a guided tour by Stelios Bartholomaios. The perfect condition of the path and the hospitality that Stelios had made sure we received, exceeded our expectations and imagination. There were: reeds to be used as hiking sticks at the beginning of the route, baskets full of oranges in the narrow alley, sweets offered at the end of the route from the pastry shop of the village of Yannis Bakelas, who had his name day, drinks and refreshments offered by the president of the community Nikos Manetta … and – as if that all was not enough – the pasta, the pumpkin pie and salad, offered to the hikers by the Cultural Association of Kapparia.

We are really very grateful for the touching way, with which all the people of Kapparia embraced the ANDROS ROUTES hiking and the hikers in their village.

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