Monday, February 29, 2016

Argalasti-Xinovrisi

View to Argalasti

Distance: 5,5 km
Time: 2 hours (walking time 1.40')
Altitude: from 250 m. (Argalasti) to 360 m. (max) to 230 m. (Xinovrisi)
Total ascent: 188 m.  Total descent: 215 m.
Signed with red paint and round yellow signs
Drinking water on walk: no
Download GPS track:  from Everytrail   from Wikiloc


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           In the first section of this walk (from Argalasti to the bridge ''Karidi''), we elected not to follow the old main route, which has now become an earth road. Instead, we prefered to take an alternative path, passing from ''Kamara'' fountain, which is more scenic and pleasant to walk.

           Starting off from the main road junction in Argalasti, we walk on the asphalt to the east, passing by the main drinking water fountain called ''Kouvlos'' (water is good for drinking) and then on the narrow road next to the old stone building of the elementary school, which is on our left. Walking uphill on a straight line, we reach a T-junction and head left. The road becomes a kalderimi, which leads to the drinking water fountain ''Kamara''.
''Kamara'' drinking water fountain

          Just a few meters before the fountain (attention), a path branches off at an angle to the right and we follow it, climbing gently. A little further on we join an earth road  and continue in the same direction to the northeast. At a bend of the road to the left, we find the path going straight ahead in bushy vegetation, enjoying nice views over Argalasti and Pagasitic gulf to our left.
Argalasti

            Reaching the ridge, we begin to descend. In front of us, we see a row of cypress trees. The path comes to a junction (attention) and takes a bend to the right to pass just next to the cypresses on our left side and continues to descend on a straight line, parallel to a stream which is on our right side.

          Coming to a junction, we continue straight ahead and walk next to an old fountain, under high plane trees that grow near the streambed. The path opens to an earth road, on which we walk uphill for a short distance, until it takes a sharp left bend. This road leads back to Argalasti, on the course of the old cobblestone path (kalderimi).
         Here we leave the road to the right, noticing the signpost (the path here is narrow and unclear) and descend on the slope, to cross the stream over an arched stone bridge, called ''Karidi'' (''walnut'') after the name of the stream. This is a beautiful secret spot, invisible from the road. The old bridge remains intact despite the wounds of time, resting under the shade of high trees, water running constantly underneath.
The old stone bridge at Karidi

            After the bridge we join the road again, which soon starts climbing to the east. Reaching a junction we turn left and at the next junction turn right. The earth road comes to an end and we continue climbing on the slope in a northeasterly direction. Higher up, we reach a signed junction.

         The earth track straight ahead leads to the nearby settlement of Kallithea. We turn left northeast, walk on the edge of a field, then between two fences and then begin to descend, keeping to the same northeasterly direction. The track becomes an earth road but further down, as the road takes a right turn, the path emerges again on the left. We walk parallel to the asphalt, which is a little down below. We join an earth road again, pass next to ''Leonidas'' bungalows and come down to cross the asphalt. On the other side we continue on a paved track, entering the village of Xinovrisi (previously called ''Bistinika'', a slavic name) and a little further down turn left to reach the cosy square, under the shade of the two large plane trees.
Square of Xinovrisi

            We can stop for food or refreshment at one of the two restaurants that operate at the square. From here, we have the option to continue on foot to the beach of Potistika (1,5 hour) or to the village of Siki (about 2 hours).