Text: Anna Kalatzi
Photos: Mathios Mansolas, Valentini Deskoulidou

And finally, the bold ones win….or, in other words, we must always think positively….or is it that if you want something badly then the universe advocates with you? …..More likely the latter !!! Yes, the latter !!! Most definitely the latter!!!!
When the ANDROS ROUTES organizing team began early on Clean Monday morning to make a telephone survey in order to check whether the people, who had registered participation, still wanted to hike – as scheduled – despite the risk of rain… the responses left no room for cancellation.
And these wonderful and courageous people were right!!! Meeting time 10.30 am at Menites. Transfer to Chora and hiking start at 11.00 under dense clouds and ominous weather forecasts. Wet terrain … but is it so important? Super mood!!!!

We started from the city of Chora in direction to the hills of Ypsilou. The view of Chora behind us, whenever we turned our heads, was magnificent. The villages of Ypsilou and Mesathouri – with their orange and lemon trees full of fruits and their well-tended houses – woke up a little from their slumber of the passed heavy winter, as the joyful hiking group passed therethrough… Suddenly, 400 meters before Lamyra, came the cloud… and the cloud brought rain… Was it so important? Adventure belongs to life.

Arrived at the Primary School of the village of Lamyra, we were taken by surprise. The Lamyrian volunteer of ANDROS ROUTES, Violandi Vratsanou, together with members of the Cultural Association “Agios Nikolaos” of Lamyra had already prepared the Lenten Table! Traditional bread („lagana“), olives, taramosalata, halva and raki, food and drink being accompanied by accordion music, played by Violandi, to welcome the hikers.
The clouds disappeared and the fun came instead, the raki warmed all the hikers and the dancing began at the schoolyard: tango, vals, syrtos, balos, chasaposervikos, syrtaki, sousta, zonaradikos… Very difficult to interrupt the jolly atmosphere and the dancers in order to continue the hiking to Menites.
But nice people think positively… so we spilled out again to the path to Menites, we admired on our way the beautiful and green valley of Mesaria and the fertile plains, we walked through Raousa, we passed by bridges and river banks, we admired the green landscape and arrived at the village of Menites, which is famous for its vegetation and water springs.
We covered a distance of about 6.1 kilometres out of the 11.5 kilometres of the total distance of route No. 1, which connects Chora with the surrounding villages and the Monastery of Panachrantos (degree of difficulty moderate and – in some parts – difficult). Amazing pictures, great mood and honestly a big THANK YOU and BRAVO from ANDROS ROUTES to all hiking participants, who filled the path with their positive energy.

After two months inertness caused by bad weather and restrictions due to the COVID-epidemic, hiking and being together with so many joyful and active persons, coming to us and hiking with us, was very refreshing!
Many thanks also to the cultural association “Agios Nikolaos” of the villages Lamyra-Mesathouri-Strapouries-Ypsilou, which very kindly provided the traditional bread („lagana“) and opened for us the rooms of the Lamyra Primary School
Be well everyone till our next hiking activity!

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