SOS The Return

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SOS The Return

Postby silverfox » 15 Jun 2016, 19:41

Silverfox on Symi The Return

Preamble

Having been soaked to the skin walking home with heavy showers and thunder continuing I thought i'd start the blog early as I did last year.

As many my remember it was our first time on Symi last year and we have never returned to an overseas destination in all our years. (57 now). We are going back the same weeks and staying up top at the Sevasti Studios (highly recommended) and we have even asked for the same room...fingers crossed.

It will be very interesting to see if we enjoy the visit as much as last year but we did fall in love with the place, the locals and the food of course.

We are hoping to get more walking in and stay up later at nights too!

My list subject to change:

Walking in the hills with at least one walk all the way to Panormitis. Any advice welcome and i'm presuming I will be able to catch the bus back. I say I because Liz may not be up to it with her back! :) Any other great suggestions of interesting walks welcome as i can't seem to locate the Lance book!

How long to Toli anyone?

Beer up top....only one place I can think i'll be! :D

May do a boat trip but we are not so keen on the boats to be honest.

So many more eating places to try that we are tempted by the great D & E blogs! Elpida's is one on the list!

More photo's and perhaps a video this year if I can be bothered to carry the kit around. Blogs and photo's etc are fine but you need to be careful you don't live your holiday through a lens or keyboard.

Anyway as our road turns into a river...I live on a hill...my thoughts are looking forward to our return.

A week today we should be sat in Georgio and Maria's!

:)
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby JeanW » 15 Jun 2016, 23:51

Hi Silverfox - The Olympic rep will be able to advise you on good walks also ways of getting to Toli. Another good taverna which was our favourite this year, which hasn't been mentioned is To Spitiko, it is a small family run taverna in Yialos just past the bus stop but before you get to the taxi rank. Food is first class and very reasonably priced, you are right on the harbour front another good sign is that the locals eat there. Enjoy your holiday.
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby Val » 16 Jun 2016, 15:24

Looking forward to reading your reports Silverfox. The bus trip with Symi Tours to Panormitis and stopping for lunch at Maratounda is a lovely way to spend a day. Really laid back tour with lovely stops for photos along the way. Have a great time.
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby silverfox » 16 Jun 2016, 19:02

Jeanw - To Spitiko was one of our favourites last year and no doubt we will frequent a good few times!

Val - I'm hoping to walk all the way there....just the bus back! Or can you get a boat back?
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby Andy W » 16 Jun 2016, 20:48

Can you get a boat back? If you arrange your walk on a day when either the Poseidon or Diagoras is calling at Panormitis, and you arrange things with the respective captain the night before, you get a visit to Sesklia thrown in, lunch, and swimming stops....
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby silverfox » 16 Jun 2016, 21:22

Thanks Andy....sounds like an option worth looking at!

:)
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby D and E » 17 Jun 2016, 07:49

Great to see your blog starting and look forward to next week :D
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby Allan » 17 Jun 2016, 08:52

Thanks for starting your blog Silverfox, I look forward to reading your exploits over the next couple of weeks.

The Lance Chilton book has been out of print for some time but my copy won't be much use to me for the next three months so you are welcome to borrow it. I'll leave it for you with your friendly afternoon barman. ;)

If you want a suggestion for a nice walk try the donkey path out of the village to Ag. Paraskevi and on to Ag Fanourios high above the harbour. Then you can follow the 'waterpipe walk' down to the back of the harbour making it an almost circular walk with plenty of nice views.

For recommendations of more strenuous walks you could chat to a couple of regular long-term visitors who are expert walkers and always happy to explain the various routes. Again, just ask your friendly afternoon barman to introduce you.

Symi Tours are running buses to Tolis and to Panormitis most days this year and you should be able to combine one of those trips with a walk if you want. Or if you just want a day out can recommend the Panormitis/Marathunda trip that Val mentioned.
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby Andy W » 17 Jun 2016, 10:54

If you ask Jenine or Tina at The Olive Tree they can supply some simple walking guide sheets, about 4 routes, in exchange for a small donation.
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby Allan » 17 Jun 2016, 12:41

And... Are you really sure you want to walk all the way to Panorimtis?

This is today's SHADE temperature and there isn't a lot of shade between here and Panormitis! :o

hot.jpg
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby silverfox » 17 Jun 2016, 18:38

Thanks for that Allan you are a gent!

I don't mind the heat but Liz would struggle in those conditions although my "plan" was to set off about 5.30am to get most of the way there before the real heat kicks in.

Andy...I think I may still have a few of the sheets from last year but thanks for posting as it will make others aware too.

I also have the map so may take a pen and let anyone who likes a beer in the afternoon to suggest good routes.

Got wet again walking home but only 2 more days to work!

:)

Ps...as people seem to be reading this thread I'll mention that our flight times have changed again a couple of days back so do check to be safe!
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby Gemma1 » 18 Jun 2016, 08:44

Great start to your blog and I'm really looking forward to following your Symi trip and hearing about the walks you do. Good luck with the walk to Panormitis, I really enjoy walking on Symi but that would be too far for me. I went on an excellent trip with Olympic last year that covered part of the route through the forest and was a great day out. It went as follows:

"We were picked up from the bottom of the steps by The Secret Garden shortly after 10 in the Symi Tours mini bus for the excursion. The first stop was at the Monastery of Roukouniotis where we were shown inside the monastery with its impressive frescoes before being dropped off on the main road for the pleasant walk through the shady pine scented forest, stopping to look at several old Byzantine wine presses constructed out of the limestone rocks. We re-joined the coach on the main road for a stop at Panormitis before continuing on to Marathounda where I had an excellent Greek salad for lunch (6 euros). Several cheeky goats were putting their heads over the fence wanting to be fed. We left Marathounda at 3.30 to return to Chorio. This trip was excellent value at only 15 euros."

When we came out of the forest you could see Panormitis at the bottom of the hill and I did think for a minute we were walking all the way down which I wouldn't have minded as the views were fantastic. There were a group of walkers on the trip who were walking back - that was at the end of September.

I haven't walked to Toli since 2012 when it took me 2 hours. Not sure I'd want to walk there again as there isn't much shade on the last part of the walk is very barren. I enjoyed my 'climb' up the Vigla the following year. It's not difficult as there is a paved path/road all the way up and the views from the top are wonderful. I might go up there again this year.

My Lance Chiltern book is very well used, I think they are like gold dust since Lance passed away in 2014. Very nice of Allan to lend you his copy.

Happy walking - and eating ;) I look forward to reading all about it :D
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby silverfox » 20 Jun 2016, 19:23

Thanks for that info Gemma. All this information helps.

The bad news is that I have a leg injury from playing football on Sunday.

I should know better at 57 years old but i've got a very painful leg just above the Achilles.

I'm hoping it will ease off in the next few days otherwise the walking plans may be a non starter.

Achilles was a Greek Warrior so I'm hoping for the best!

:)
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby Val » 20 Jun 2016, 21:21

You have my sympathy Silverfox. Two years ago on Tilos I damaged my Achilles and continued to walk on it. It was a bad mistake. Took ages to heel so I'd rest it as much as possible and use an ice pack. Good luck but take it easy please. Good news is it won't affect your appetite!
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby Jan » 21 Jun 2016, 11:08

Unless you know the old paths, which are pretty disused in places now, the walk to Panormitis is on the tarmac all the way. And even if you do know the back routes, you still have to trudge on the tarmac from the top of the steep descent all the way pst the Marathounda turn and on to the end. Not difficult, but not much fun at any time and certainly not in the heat.

The 'ordinary' bus is an alternative to the Symi Tours excursion if you want to see what the island interior looks like from the road. You can get off at Panormitis, see the monastery then walk back to the Marathounda turn and down from there to the beach. Lunch at the taverna, a swim and a one-way return by boat with Lukas - maybe the best of all worlds.

Again, you can walk to Toili but the last stretch is on the road - a dirt road this time. Steep down and somehow even steeper on the return trip! Lance Chilton will get you there via a somewhat circuitous rote, or if you do meet up with walkers who know the backways you can avoid the road all the way from the cemetery above the back of Yialos square to close to where the descent to the beach begins.

This may be superflouos advice, but do wear trainers or at least sturdy walking sandals. Symi is stony and spiky, and you don't want to slip or otherwise injure yourself.

Enjoy!

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Re: SOS The Return

Postby silverfox » 21 Jun 2016, 18:59

Thanks Val/Jan

The good news is the painful leg is easing off so I'm sure I'll be doing the full walk to Panormitis.

I do love walking just for the sake of it Jan and you do see so much more than from a car or bus. I'll be taking pictures and video all the way across too.

I'm hoping to walk to Toli too and might be able to follow the Lance route with the kind offer from Allan to lend me his book.

I'm taking some running trainers that have more support so that will help with the ground but we went down the Samaria Gorge on Crete a few years back and although a challenge I loved it....Liz was exhausted at the end though! :)

http://www.west-crete.com/samaria-gorge.htm

Anyway last minute things to do as we leave Sheffield at 4.15 am for the long journey to Symi.

:) :) :)
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby Greentreefrog » 21 Jun 2016, 21:45

Hi,
I've just returned from Symi and done a lot of walking there. It's a long way to Panamortis but possible.
If you look on the main Symi Visitor page there is 'walks on Symi' http://www.symivisitor.com/walks.htm if you look on Barry's walk pages or email him I'm sure he will know a way without going on roads. We had used his walks a few times.
Hope that helps and your foot is better in time!
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby silverfox » 23 Jun 2016, 18:35

Well....Wednesday.

We had an early wake up at 3am in Sheffield to a great sunrise! (may find a photo later but currently under the influence of too much Ouzo!)

Our trusty son Martin took us across to Manchester via the Snake Pass, so green at this time of year, and also taken for granted as we have seen so many times.

We arrived in plenty of time as i'm obsessed with time keeping but by the time we'd checked in and gone through security we didn't have a great deal of time to wait at all.

Security seems tighter, which is not a bad thing, as we were made to take laptops, cameras and kindles out of the cases which they were in.

We were slightly worried by the change of airlines to Small Planet but this was to be unfounded as everything was fine with great time keeping and good legroom etc....we did however opt for a Boots meal deal for the plane but did not stop me have a couple of Jack Daniels and Liz opting for a Prosecco.

This was one of the smoothest flights we have ever had!

We arrived at a windy Rhodes and joined the coach which went the opposite way first to drop a couple off at a hotel close to a massive power station in the middle of nowhere...would not be our choice at all.

Onwards to Rhodes town and then the drop off at the Taverna near the ferry where we were first in.....we were given paperwork at the airport to get the ferry tickets from the booth and were met by a rep at the Taverna to explain things....even more organised than last year!

The Taverna was OK apart from running out of Mythos and getting very busy. We had a Greek salad, chips and Tzatziki all very nice....with Mythos before they run out!

We boarded the ferry with no problems getting tickets and enjoyed the late sun up top with a good breeze as we watched the massive cruise ships depart.

As we headed out it did get quite choppy and we, and most others, took shelter inside and another Mythos called.

We decided to go back up as we approached Symi and the sunset was watched as the sea calmed and the temperature seemed to rise!

The usual (listen to me) excitement from the first time visitors as we turned into the harbour was there as the ferry docked.

It was still a magical sight for us and I was instantly chilling out as IT IS like "coming home" :)

As we were pushed down the gang plank we saw a familiar face straight away and was instantly hugged by the lovely Jo, the Geordie lass, we met last year. She was their trying to get info about her parents arrival on Thursday but I think she was there to greet us anyway. :D

Straight on the Symi Tour bus and whipped up to the Sevasti Studios via Pedi to be greeted by Manilos and Nickos who once again helped Liz with her case.

We had asked Nickos for the same room as last year by email and he said he would do his best but never replied....but as we arrived he dropped the bags at the next room...then turned and said you have room 8...as you requested! This family is awesome and the welcome we have had is so so nice!

The room has been improved and they brought us water within 5 minutes!

Bags dumped and we were off down the maze to Georgios and food ordered within minutes.

Although as we walked passed the Rainbow we were spotted by Toby, Neil and Yiannis who gave us a great welcome back to Symi!

Sevasti, who happens to work at Georgios, instantly recognised us and another hug and kisses!

Shrimp and cheese Bourataki, Mushrooms and Courgette Fritters washed down with a litre of the house white.

It was getting late but we did call into "our" local with an Ouzo ( how many?) and was joined once again by Jo and stayed far too late, or was it early, for such a long day!

As first time returners all I can say is what an incredible welcome back to such a wonderful place!

Liz was falling asleep as she lowered her head!

:)
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby silverfox » 23 Jun 2016, 20:26

Thursday...

After our late/early night we had a lay in....I was up at 7:30am to unpack the cases!

Dry throat....don't know why?

Liz had a bad head (don't know why) and she left the paracetamol at home even though they were out to pack!

I went for a morning stroll...while Liz did the things that women do and seems to take the minutes and hours away.

I went up the road to the church looking over Pedi....need to find the name...and along the path. It did get a bit rocky and scratchy on the legs until I reached fences and what seemed like a dead end so I returned along the same way.

I did get the odd pic that I will try to upload later.

A walk back, shirt off as it's so hot, saw Liz almost ready for the day.

We wanted a slow relaxing day so we set off down the Kali Strata for a wander round to see what as changed.

We decided to call for a custard pastry and coffee at the place across from the International and very nice it was too but filling! A strange but nice choice for breakfast!

A wander round the back lanes and round to Tholos and back past the old boat yard before a coffee stop at Eva's.

It is very hot at the moment and we have had water everywhere we go.

Another wander before we end up at one of favourite tavernas To Spitiko where the lovely Jordana gave us a great welcome back! This place is so friendly!

More hugs and kisses! :)

After another superb lunch at To Spitiko of Sea Bream and Chicken Slouvaci, we wander around before Liz heads for the bus and I wander up the road for the superb views. You really need to walk it to appreciate the views!

Ps...Jordana was saying that the takings are down by 35% from this time last year so all you Symi lovers need to get across here soon! The UK press don't help and I suppose "the vote" won't be helping too! No migrants to be seen by the way.

Liz went for the bus and I did the road walk which was interesting in such heat....so wet with sweat! We met at the windmills and wandered off to the local.

We were soon joined by Jo, Neil and Toby and other regular visitors who needed cool drinks....I went for beer! :)

A quick trip to the shop for Ouzo and a few other things before the walk up the hill.

The last hour on our balcony was bliss with an Ouzo or two....

I have a great new title for a book...

"Cicadas and Chickens" It's all we can hear!

:D

I
Last edited by silverfox on 24 Jun 2016, 06:14, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby D and E » 23 Jun 2016, 21:31

Great to read that you have arrived in paradise safely and have immediately got into the swing of things.

Keep up the good work ;) and the Blog :D
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby Gemma1 » 24 Jun 2016, 07:25

Great read and cheered me up this morning, though the sun is shining here too :)

Has the new rep started on Symi yet silverfox?

Looking forward to reading your next instalment :D
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby JuliaB » 24 Jun 2016, 11:06

Lovely to have our appetites whetted again. We'll be boosting visitor numbers in September - 14th to 28th, first time in a while for a visit later in the year.
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby silverfox » 24 Jun 2016, 20:33

It's too hot to blog! :D
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Re: SOS The Return

Postby silverfox » 25 Jun 2016, 18:24

Friday...

Well just to say the walking is not going too well....don't mind the distances or the hills but the heat is killing!

We started with breakfast at the Olive Tree with poached eggs on toast and coffee before trying to find the path through the Pedi Valley which i'd already tried the other day. Once again it defeated us as it linked up with the one i'd already been on. (although a later chat with Neil seems to confirm it is the right path and so again I will explore another day! We headed back to the road and headed down that way but the heat really took it out of Liz and all she wanted was shade and fluids!

Our backs can't really take lying on sunbeds etc so we sat a little while by the jetty and re-hydrated with water and Fanta. Liz decided she was on the next bus back to the bottom and I decided to walk up the hill and down the Kali Strata. I must be fairly fit as I was sat at the bus station waiting for the bus.

Fitbit stats this week:

Thursday 8.5 miles

Friday 8.1 miles

Saturday 7.7 miles

I wanted to do much more but it is hot!

We had a wander before landing in Alpidas for small tapas and beer for me and water coke for Liz. The tapas was ok but we thought nothing special.

We had another wander before a coffee/beer stop in Algerita before Liz went for the bus and I did my walking up the road. We met as usual at the old windmills and ventured down to the "local" where the usual suspects were to be found. Some talk about happenings at home but this could not spoil the mood! It is quieter than last year for sure!

As we left last year the Sevasti were just starting their "lazy nights" menu of food and drinks so we had ordered a mixed meat plate, chips and tzatziki for 7pm and when we arrived back we had a table cloth on the patio table. Nickos gave us a 10 minute warning before the feast arrived....enough to feed 4 people at least!!! Pictures to follow! A mini salad too and a sweet delight to finish.

As we started our meal in one of the few houses above a local started to practice a Violin and Accordian and started to sing and very good it was too.

What perfect timing and such a surreal moment.

Plenty of leftovers for tomorrows lunch and Liz needed sleep I had a few Metaxas and watched the stars.

We love Greece! We love Symi!

:)
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