Samothraki Nature Observatory: Trek through the wilderness

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Samothraki Nature Observatory: Trek through the wilderness

Samothrace Naturalistic Observatory. field trip

End of July 2015.

HCMR staff and friends finally visit the area we've always wanted to explore (and get water samples, insect samples, vegetation data, etc.). Drive through the mountains from the Fonias Valley to Vatos.

I highly recommend such a trip, so I publish our itinerary. Of course, we have fountains, rivers and panoramic views, etc. We may have to detour a bit to get our samples, so this route should be modified to make the ecotourism trip more difficult. However, the trek requires an expert local guide as it is 90% off-road and in difficult conditions. The track is about 20 km long, starts 750 m from the end of the road and reaches an altitude of about 1350 m. and descends to sea level at Vatos Beach. At least two nights should be spent in the ground and water should come from clean springs and streams.

The stars indicate where we spent the night: Haut Fonius and Lagdistress. The route (in red) is approximate in this Google Earth image.
Here is a summary and some pictures.

First Day : 19:00 to 21:30. The start of the trail (about 750 m) near the summit of Kaufuklio is reached by truck (zigzag road). Then we took the road (well signposted) "Karya", near the top of the Fonias valley. Camped in small temporary campsites on the beach Forest near the river. I slept under the stars, mostly without a tent. spicy

second day Forehead. 05:30-14:00. Take the big left branch of Haut Fonius to Pic Louludy. Bir walked to the goat track in the funnel-shaped cone below the peak on the banks of the river. Very steep, no path, hands against rocks - can be dangerous. Finally, after the source (at about 1350 m) it emerges on a rocky hill just east of Luludi. Climbing a ridge of granite rocks. It descends to the pass between the Fonius and Ghiali valleys. Three large circular blocks of granite ("Kafanedis") mark the descent point towards Giali Valley (turn left). Go down to the left towards the main body of Giali, aiming for a rock formation below the gorge. Eventually it joins the El River with its deep basin and perennial tributaries. Continue along the canyon into a huge deep hollow until the canyon becomes impassable. Rest here.

second day The second part. 22:00 - 23:00 (under full moon). Go to the top of Kotzamanis (top right) with a lunar viewpoint called Lagdistresse (about 800m) through Montpellier's oak and birch forest. sleep here All without screens. spicy

Day 3: 07:00 - 11:30. Leave Lagdistress to descend to the source of Agia Thekla (around, about 30 minutes). Discover a traditional shepherd's hut (one of two or more found in the mountains). Spring with great cold water. After 15:00, met with Kresmastos flow. Continue west with an open view (pretty much like the word Crete...). Phrygana and flora with flora of the North Aegean. Learn about the rare plant community of Peucedanum longifolium . Land in Sydney region. There is a large grove of flat trees on the slopes. Then a view of Vatos beach. El is going down. Relax and swim at the beach. Lead water from the top of the pool to the gravel channel (source of gravel and river gravel). Return to Thermae by tourist boat (if not too windy). We got lucky and took the boat at 5pm.

The members of the Samothrace Nature Observatory research team are Nikos, Yota, Natalia, Anastasia, Vasiliki and myself. We had many friends and supporters of the cause with us. Thanks to Philippos, Yannis, Vaios, Marios and everyone involved. The photos I posted are a small portion of the material collected. A good experience, but not to be taken lightly.

Day 1: Close to the trail at about 800m. Landing at Alta Val Fonias.
Camp at Phonias.

Rock pool under Luludi.
Day 2: Early morning on the west branch of the Phoenis. There are only rafts.
Team leader Nikos at the start of the second day.

Dawn on the west branch of the Phoenis. Only ferry here on shore.

in his arms

Don't wear trainers on these slippery granite slides.
Relax with Nikos in the steep rocky valley below Luludi.
Until Luludi.
A perennial spring at an altitude of about 1300 m. or Luludi.
Campanula.on Louloudi.
Fonias on L and Ghiali on R on granite rocks.
Round stones called "Kafenidis" on the Ghiali crossing.
Ghiali valley with birch and alder. And a big angry stream.
Day 3: Goat shelter at Agia Thekla.
The cremation stream is a large tree.
Collecting insects at Christmas.
Rare plants and rock formations.
They are called Peucedenum longifolium.
Down on the windy slopes, it's a bit like Crete here...
After a brief stop at Sycamore Grove. Refreshing!
Steep descent followed by flat trees. There is no sign. Northern mountain sparrow

Vatos beach from above.
Vatos Beach from the boat that takes you to civilization.

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