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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:34 pm
Posts: 43
Wednesday morning it was an early breakfast as a 4x4 was going to pick me up at 8:45am,
however, the mountain we were going to climb was in cloud first thing but I mozzied up and put suntan lotion on

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the car arrived on time and we then had two more pickups to do, one of the couples were staying at the Alexander hotel and it turns out they were with Thomson, so meeting the rep down there
was no co incidence lol (One for Delboy to investigate later)

The car was quite a beast for the job a Sang Yong Rexton 2.8 litre

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The last couple we picked up were in Thassos Town, after which we when right round the otherside of the island before going off on this dirt track road to meet up with the second car]

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We were first going to Kastro, a village high in the mountains in the centre of the island

The villagers of Kastro (which means castle) lived their lives 450m up in the mountains, mainly to protect themselves from mauraders, as the village couldn't be seen.

However, in later years the villagers were all tempted to go down to the coast for a better life after a mining company offered employment, I did ask what they were mining for and the guide said, iron and minerals but gold was mentioned by the other guy as well.

Now when the mining finished, the villagers were too committed with other things like growing olives at the coast, they couldn't go back

here the edge of the road in view, probably only 100 feet up lol

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yes, we are still driving up, we haven't stopped, still, one does get better pictures without the standard crash barriers :shock:

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scenery was getting better

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I think if you were a pirate and knew the village existed, you wouldn't bother to walk up here

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and finally, we were there

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what's this a crash barrier at the top :lol:

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Kastro is a strange ghost like village, where relatives of the original dwellers have returned and restored some of their houses using the same materials

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These are the houses they have restored, others still in ruins in the foreground

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The relatives use them as holiday homes and come up for two weeks of the year

some of the views

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an old marble quarry, apparently abandon because the quality is not so good

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peaceful up here, one guy in the party said, he would love to live up here

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Having taken a few photographs we were invited into this little church

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Nickos the guide, told us about some of the saints, this church, if i remember had a saints day in July. The church is mainly used for funerals and I was told you can't cremate anybody in Thassos (and probably Greece) it's against the law. Relatives bury their dead for 5 or 6 years then dig them up, their bones are put in boxes. Unfortunately the insects etc eat into the wood and then the boxes are placed in the bonehouse near the church. When the boxes start to collapse, the bones are placed in a big pile in the bonehouse.

The theory is all the relatives are together for the end of time. We were invited to look, some rejected the offer.I did witness this but felt it was not a thing to photograph.

This is the house from a distance

A humbling experience

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There was a little cafe there and a toliet which was well used lol, not sure if the cafe survives just on these trips

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we were then taken to a second church built 200 years ago on the ruins of previous churches. The guide obtained a key about a foot long and it unbolted a door after about 6 turns. :lol: Inside we were told that the men sit on the right and woman on the left, in earlier times the women sat upstairs and were not allowed downstairs. I was not allowed to take
photographs.

The village has only had electicity put in during the last 10 years

apparently, this church's saint day is in January and a 1000 people attend the service, with speakers set up outside, also weddings take place

we were also shown a walnut tree (one of the crops on Thassos) , i haven't seen one before and the walnut has a soft outside which breaks open, revealing the crinkley shell that we normally see.

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After getting into the cars, we had a short ride to see a waterfall, it involved walking down to the bottom of a valley, but was only a small waterfall and the general opinion was the walk up hill in the heat afterwards, probably wasn't worth it

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there were visible signs of hollow blacken pines that were burnt in the fire of 1985, fire breaks have been put in the hills since and a very large water tank was on top of the hill for use in case of fires. Most of the pines in Golden Beach have recovered but there are still many places where they haven't

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Then we were off and going higher to the picnic area and I was now in the front seat lol

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at these points, you just have to say to yourself, these guys have done this run hundreds of times and they always come back lol

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but finally we get to the picnic area but we still not have reached the top

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but our first views of Golden Bay and Skala Potamia

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The harbour of Skala Potamia in the corner

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so many pictures to take but which bush shall I pop behind, when you got to go, you got to go lol

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anyway it was picnic time and the guides were cooking food for us before we would make our final ascent

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There was a 10 bedroom apartment up here, I assume to hire out to walking parties but it was locked up

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we had salad, jacket potatoes and Greek sauces with as many kebabs as we liked, as you probaly noted earlier I was being careful with how much I ate, so just had two, then another two but some of the slimmer guys had eight, so I was good only having four. :D

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Then it was back into the 4X4 to go to the top of the world, the car was parked and we had a 30 metre climb to the top and we were there :D

no, they are not my legs :lol:

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There is a stone at the top which holds a book of the names of the people that have made it, what's this, Sir Edmund Hillary, Sherpa Tenzing and now Delboy :lol:

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Mainland Greece is in the distance

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no idea what are the best shots, so a few of each

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I'd like to thank the other guys that made this climb with me, without them it would probably have been cancelled :lol:

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Some walkers leave stones in a pile, as a marker that they have been there

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Last couple of shots before we boarded the car to go and see a mountain lake

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Then it was back on the road, and going down

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Here we were at the lake, doesn't look like Greece does it

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The guide Nikos

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who took us up river to see a waterfall

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and a friendly crow, but apparently today he was sulking :roll:

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We were returned to our apartments a 6pm, for me a very enjoyable trip

amazing to think we were able to be taken up there in a car


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