Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Edessa to Profitis Ilias, to Arawissa - day nineteen 12/10/15

Edessa to Profitis Ilias then on to Aravissos and taxi to Giannitsa

12th October Monday

day nineteen Via Egnatia 
We walked two sections of the VE from the guidebook today.14.5km  to Profitis Ilias, then another 15 km to Aravissos - 29.5 km today! 
Forecast is for fine weather...  We'll brave it and start walking...

We have our last delicious breakfast at Hotel Hagiati , Edessa
We say goodbye to our helpful host Gregory,

Then, it's on with our packs and down the cobblestone path out of Edessa at 9 am
It's very sunny, and soon heats up, temperature definitively in mid to high twenties! 

A lovely walk down past the ancient Edessa site, 
So much history with every step!

through orchards. Kiwi fruit almost ready to pick, various types of olives, cherry, apples, grapes, stone fruits...

Looking back towards Edessa high up on the cliff top.

A few wet muddy places to negotiate, and streams to ford, but not too bad considering the recent rain.


Then up through some meadows with beautiful flowers! A lovely walk, with a stream burbling below, the sun shining, flowers blooming.... 


Alongside the railway tracks for a little while, 

then up along sheep meadows. We avoid a shepherd with a large flock of sheep and some dogs, 

head down past some solar panels, with more sheep eating the grass around them and keeping the ground tidy.
I wish I could grow olives like these!

Arrived Profitis Ilias at 1 pm
 We have a coffee - frappe and buy some bread, the lady says I have lovely colour eyes :) and gives us a huge pomegranate each!
I was admiring her olive trees while waiting for Patrick to put on his pack, the lovely lady came over to me and took my hand and led me into the cafe ... I wasn't sure what she wanted... Then she took a jar of olives, pointed to the tree ( her home made olives!) and put half a cupful into foil and a plastic bag and gave them to me! Yum, they tasted delicious! I'll look forward to snacking on them later!

We continue on after a 15 minute break 
There seem to be more cafes, tavernas and food options on Kali than Profitis Ilias
There's nowhere to camp that is dry, everything is very wet underfoot from the heavy rain on Friday and Saturday, we can see that there's also been some localised flooding, the stream looks as though it rose a couple of meters...

So, we head on for another 14.5 km to Arawissos...are we crazy, have I bitten off more than I can chew? Will 29.5 km be the end of me?

Through endless orchards, cherry, Apple, stone fruit ( all harvested) kiwi fruit on the vines... Persimmons... Lucky we have GPS. I feel as though we're going around in circles.... Might be fatigue delirium setting in...

Finally arrive in Arawissos at 5:40. Walking past a house, a lovely group of ladies are eating pomegranates, they give us one and cut it open for us, yum! So juicy, tangy and sweet!

We keep going hoping to find the bar / restaurant by the river as described in the guidebook and camp.
Both bar / restaurants are closed! They are perhaps summer only places, although they look as though they haven't been open for quite some time... they're quite big and have a lovely set up on the river... We might camp under a shelter for the night. 

Or maybe not...Mozzies are coming out, the sun is going down...man I'm so sweaty and stinky! 
Can't find anywhere to have a wash though... Unless I dunk myself in the river!

We decide to head into the Main Street and call a taxi to go to Gianitsa, hotel Pella.
We find a little 'men only' bar, Patrick goes in to organise a taxi.
The lady who runs the bar invites us in, peels us some apples and we have a coffee each while we wait for the taxi to hotel Pella in Giannitsa (pronounced Yiannitsa, the G has a Y sound) 

20 euro for the taxi to hotel Pella, yes they have plenty of rooms!
It's quite a big, modern hotel, a bit pricey at 70€ B&B... The owner is very friendly and helpful.
Lovely shower ! So nice to get rid of the sweat and put on clean clothes!

Dinner, 2 chicken souvlaki, beer and sour cherry juice (my favourite) 9€ 

The hotel owner suggests that tomorrow, we should stop at Pella for a while, look at the museum, and the archeological site then continue on to Chalkidona and stay at a small village hotel there... No hotels in Pella.  Sounds like a good plan! 
Good night, I'm exhausted... 30 km is about 8 km too many for this old duck!

Accommodation:

Taxi to Giannitsa from Aravissos 20€ 
Hotel Pella 70€ B&B