Text: Yiannis Tridimas, Anna kalatzi
Photos: Gerard Kramer, Antonis Sassalos, Georgia Kalaimi
The Sunday 2.10.2022 – along with the wishes for a happy month – coincided with the start of the new hiking season by organizing the first autumn care hike on the ALBA circular route. This route is brand new, since it was signposted and included in our map during the summer, while during the last two years it had been cleared by our volunteer Yannis Tridimas and with the involvement of ANDROS ROUTES workers, both sponsored and non-sponsored, and and it had been signposted through the work of other volunteers (Antonis Sassalos, Olga Karagiannis, Anna Kalatzis and Gerard Kramer). Many cheers ,then, at the meeting point before starting the hiking, which was the parking area of the taverna on the beach of Vitali.
The group, consisting of 17 people, made the usual round of introductions of its members; everybody wished “A GOOD SEASON” and “NICE START FOR THE NEW PATH OF ANDROS ROUTES”. And indeed it was a nice footpath and well kept, however demanding …only for “strong hikers”!!!! The hike had a distance of about 12 km with an height difference of 650 meters. We started our circular route clockwise towards Livadeza. A 10 min stop was taken at the church of Agios Simeon of Livadeza, where the group enjoyed various super foods; raki was offered by some participants in order to strengthen the group. Everybody admired the impressively renovated chapel.
The route continued along the old road from Livadeza to Gavrio, which has an altitude of 640 meters and a wonderful view in all directions. In the place up there one can see Kavo Doro and Evia on one side and the bay of Gavrio on the other. A short stop was taken at Stavros, where the ALBA meets the certified route Nr 14. From there, the path descends to Agia Kiriaki and the school of Vitali and – after passing several houses in the centre of the village – it continues mainly along the river, through dense river vegetation, shady places and cool spots, passing two old watermills, a stone arched bridge, an impressive cave with stalactite formations and arrives back at the beach where we had started.
It is noteworthy to mention here that Vitali has seven ruined watermills that worked without a cistern as the river had plenty of flowing water during all seasons. The duration of the hike was longer than the planned 5 hours due to the maintenance work, the heat and the difficult terrain of the route which requires careful walking and competent hikers.
However, all participants proved to be worthy of the challenges of the trail and stood up to the challenge…. knowing, of course, that at the end they were awaited by the fantastic sea at the beach of Vitali, where they cooled their body heat with a delightful plunge in the water and with a frozen beer at the beach taverna, along with all the other delicacies that had been prepared especially for the hiking group and and about which, during the hike, all hikers were tantalizingly forewarned by the owner of the taverna, Christos Katsikis, who was hiking with us.
Description of the route here androsroutes.gr/on-sunday-vitali-ammolochos-livadeza-circular