We left unnecessarily early for Arlanda in my opinion but did so to keep peace in the house. I was able to catch up on my interrupted sleep on the three and a half hour flight. Our hotel was 1600 m from the airport terminal but I didn’t think I would live to enjoy the vacation if I suggested that we walked so we took a taxi and arrived at the hotel within 5 minutes.
We were staying in Pythagorion where there was only one cache aars3 within walking distance and that was at the Monastery of Spillianis that lies a couple of kilometers from our hotel (Fitp Bay Resort) and just a few hundred meters from the Tunnel of Eupalinos – a feat of engineering from 600 BC. It’s a kilometer long tunnel hewn in the hill from both ends that met in the middle using the primitive measuring methods of the day. Pretty genial technique to get it to connect. Read more here.
As I quickly mentioned in my last post the tunnel was closed for maintenance but nothing was posted anywhere in internet that I could find to inform about the closure.
Samos aiport and our hotel just to the left of the pond.
The wee underground chapel
Tiny chapel in the cave under the monastery
View over Pythagorion
Poppies outside the Monastery of Spillianis
“aars3″ at the Monastery of Spillianis
I had rented a small car for a couple of days with pick up at the airport. We walked there from our hotel as it was so close (no taxi this time) and headed off to the western part of the island passing through small villages such as Ireon and the nearby temple of Hera, Mili, Pyrgos and Ormos.
The village of Ormos on the south coast
There we had a well earned morning coffee after an hour of driving :-) From there it was a climb of a couple of hundred meters on winding roads through Marathokampas, Kastania and Leka and a similiar elevation drop down to Karlovassi.
Forsythia on the hills near Kastania
We made a short detour to Potami to hunt for a cache of the same name.
The view from the cache Potami
A Greek salad for lunch
My partner wanted to do some shopping in Karlovassi which is the second largest town on Samos but all the shops have siesta between 14:00 and 18:00 so I was luckily spared that task.
We took the main road back towards Pythagorion making a detour when we reached Chora to head north to Mytilini and our second cache of the day – Windmills of Mitilinii. This was a short multi where information on the windmills but no exact coordinates could be read off a map. They were not visible when I started walking up the path on the hill that I hoped they were on and only appear when I reached the summit as they were hidden away on the other side of the hill. The cache was found after a careful search. I didn’t feel like getting the walls falling on my head. They looked a little unstable.
Two of the remaining windmill ruins at Mytilinii
An unusal black flower inside the abandoned windmill at Mytinilinii
One of the windmills of Mytilinii
Our next day’s drive took us to Samos and there I couldn’t avoid spending a couple of hours in the shops. From there we drove on to Kokkari where we stopped for coffee.
The little village of Kokkari on the north coast
Salvation came in the form of The forgotten Mining Cave which was found at the splendid little village of Ampelos. We had earlier driven up to another mountain village, Manolates. Our rental car struggled up the hills in first and second gear and on a couple of occasions felt as though it wouldn’t make it.
The forgotten Mining Cave was up a six hundred meter track from the village. I am used to tramping up and down hills in New Zealand in sandals so I had no problems but my partner had to stop before arriving at the cave and waterfall as the track became too difficult. Walking up a stream with a rope as support isn’t her idea of fun. I had seen pictures from the mine and have no problems with being underground but the water filled hole hallway in was a little hazard that I circumvented with care. I had failed to notify my partner that I was going into an adit as I would probably have got a red card! The cache was quickly located but my attempt to take a photo wasn’t too successful. I have rotated the photo to get the water back on a level keel.
The waterfall was pleasant but not spectacular. I really enjoyed the experience though as there was a little challenge involved. The challenge was too much for some earlier geocaching visitors who didn’t venture far enough into the mine to reach the cache but logged it as a find anyway. In my world a cache is not found if there is no signature in the log. Just think of all the effort I could save on the T5 caches though. “Know the cache is up that tree/cliff so I will log a find”. Hmmm.
The mine and waterfall are six hundred meters from here somewhere
Waterfall at the village of Ampelos
Abandoned mine at Ampelos. A deep water filled hole to the left with the adit continuing on ahead.
Note the rope to help you walk up the stream… er path
After our couple of days driving round the small island we spent the remaining days in and around Pythagorion enjoying the sun and relaxing in the small cafes and on the beach.
Non-caching related activities
Evening in the harbour at Pythagrion
One thing that struck me during our stay was the huge palette of colours that we were surrounded with, some of which are recreated in the photos in this posting.