From Kochilou to Chora – 12th maintenance hiking 2022
Text: Anna kalatzi
Photographs: Maria Lambriadou, Sofia Stalmpoutzi
Translation in English: Violandi Vratsanou

On Saturday, the 10th of December, with a south wind clouding the sky of Andros the 12th care hike took place on part of route 3, which connects the bay of Korthi with Chora. This route was the main artery, which – many years before the use of the motorway – served exclusively the transfer of the inhabitants of the bay of Korthi and the villages of this area, in order to go to Chora for their purchases or the handling of their affairs, but also of the pupils of the Gymnasium in order to attend the sixth grade Gymnasium of Chora, which until about 50 years ago was the only one in Andros. The recollections of the old people bring to mind the people of an other period more difficult but more riding on mules or on foot, the crossing of the fertile valley with its well-formed terraces and water mills, about which many stories and legends have been created and circulated.

We started our route from the village of Kochylou, which has an incredible view down to the bay of Korthi and up to the Pano Kastro (which we unfortunately failed to visit – for technical reasons – as scheduled). We started walking on the well-preserved terrain from the Francocracy, an example of the significant use of this hiking trail over the centuries, and in a short time, while we crested the mountain, we took the descent to Dipotamata . The intense relief of the landscape , with the watermills still standing along the riverbed and the arched bridge with its rich flora, testify the intense agricultural activity of the past . Also remarkable are the impressive rock formations on the slopes of the mountain, which form natural shelters for the fauna of the area.

Visit to the Folklore Museum of Syneti

In about an hour and a half we reached the village of Asyneti, which is spread over the riverbed overlooking the famous beach of the natural bay of the village, where the river exits. The president of the Folklore Museum of the village, Margarita Korkodilou, responded gladly to our desire to visit the museum with the exhibits of another era , also witnessing the way of life of the not distant generation of our grandparents. Whole rooms of houses of that era have been set up and represent in detail the household of these people who just sixty years ago crossed the same route on foot or on horseback. Even the room of the one-room elementary school with its blackboard and desks of that era, as well as the farming tools, the handicrafts that decorated the tables in the hall, the underwear with their embroidery and the characteristic wooden frames with the portraits of the ancestors, have found their special place in the museum. The reception of the President of the Museum, exuberant and typical for Andros, with her handmade amazing melomakarona (we didn’t stop at one…) tsoureki , beverages ,rakaki and the warm welcoming atmosphere, created an atmosphere of intimacy in the group that showed great interest in the exhibits and the offerings. We especially thank her for her time and hospitality.

The view of Chora from the south

After that, we went around the village through its small streets, we went back on the asphalt road (which took the place of part of the old path) for a short while to re-enter the path towards Chora. It wasn’t long before the view of the peninsula unfolded before us, with its mansions, the Kato Kastro at its edge and Tourlitis as its trademark. At this point you can feel the alternations of this route that connects the South with Central Andros, the rural landscape with the urban cosmopolitan part of the island, the Pano Kastro (Upper Castle) with the Kato Kastro (Lower Castle), the fishing village of the South with the noble Chora of the shipowners. So many variations and contrasts marry harmoniously in route 3 and lead you smoothly from one to the other…. as if it were something absolutely natural…. because this is ANDROS.. “The contrast of harmony or the harmony of contrast” !!!!

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