On friday 1/2/08 evening we started our excursion from Salamina.
We took the ferry of 19.30. We arrived at Laka Kalogirou-Megara and next National road with destination to Patra.
I decided to go , not, from Kiato - as the lady fm the village syggested- but fm Derveni, as we never had gone from there and the distance was the same.... No signs on the road , ice on the road, bad condition, took us abt 1,5 hr more to arrive at Goura, hotel Semeli, at 23.00 and very tired.
At the same night we ate paidakia and good wine at the village, at koutouki behind the church and after deep sleep.
The next morning 2/2/08, we had a good breakfast, Amalia- Roula - the wife of the owner of the pension informed us abt the distances and the roads and we started.
1st visit the Virgin Mary of the rocks, - Panagia ton Vrahon.
A very nice and short way with high rocks in one side of the road.
Afterwards , with the road to become bad from the snow and water , we went to St.George's monastry on the top of lake Doxa
After we went to Lake Doxa, and the small church of Agios Fanourios
The time was abt 13.30 and as we had started to starve, we went in the Pension Restaurant of Alexiou in order to have our meal, consisted from pork in the fry, sausages, salad , and a very good bottle of wine.
At abt 15.30 on the way back, as we had time, and the night falls at abt 18.30 we saw a small sign saying to "Zarouhla- 18 khm".
We said it is only 18 khm, the worse in 1 hour we will be there, and we will see also Zarouhla, a very nice village in the wood.
The road was bad, with stones and ground, but , ok, we had our new 4x4 rav4 to test and see...
On the way on the top, the road started to be worse, with some big holes with iced water and ground. We passed them with a bit fear and very carefully. We said ok that was all ,now we will continue on the same normal bad road.. A little after, the road became a melt of ground and water from right to left and for abt 10-15 mtrs long. The car was going right and left making"z", but as we had 4x4, ok, that was the last , now we will continue on the normal bad road... A few meters after the turning of the road was ice - compact ice, it had not melted, and that was for about 15-20 mtr in all the size of the road.. The alarm of the ice in the car was blinking "Possible Ice On Road", the 4x4 light was lighting, the air condition was trying to keep us warm, and our wifes behind started to say "Oh my god!!, -what shall we do now?"... On the top, there was a big hole with water and ice in front of us abt 3-4 meters length, and wide as much is the road .. I said to Panagiotis to go out and check the depth of this hole with one piece of wood, and fallinf maybe some stones in the hole to check the depth, in order to avoid to fell in a hole in which would be bigger than our wheel.. - It was imposible to go back now, we had already done abt 2 hours, we knew we had to go straight all of it, we had to hope that we were in the right road, and that that was the last hole, and we would continue in the normal bad road...
We continued but the road was the same bad as it was just changing the melt ground with ice for 4 upto 6 mtrs long, the iced turnings and big holes with iced water with unknown depth and Panagiotis to measure them with piece of wood.When being at the top of the mountain, surrounded with elatos trees full of snow, I had the idea to check if we had network in our mobiles, and to inform -police, and or George the owner of the pension- about our position, and check if we are in the correct direction..or , in case we were stuck on the road to send someone to pick us... We finally talk with George who confirmed me that we are in the correct road, there is no other way to Zarouhla he told me, he knew it was very bad the road, and he asked me if I had pass the big water hole. I told him that I always was passing water - iced holes, and I had already passed one big, but I did not know whether was that big last one he was telling me.. - Ok, we decided to keep on , feeling now better, at least we were in the correct road , we had only to wait to finish this.. I had the sense playing an electronic game, in which every round became more difficult and more difficult.. without ending..
After a few iced turnings and melted ground we found the big hole... About 7-8 mtr long all the road wide was full of big ice pieces broken inside.Pangiotis could not measure the depth, as could not reach, we checked waht we could check, and through some buses inside -, stones and pieces of wood.. and started to cross.. , and one meter before going out, the car spinned and stacked.. Again, and again but no move , only right left and spin... Panagiotis removed a big piece of ice which was in front of our right wheel, I made back and started again forward and we finally crossed.. We continue but the road now after some bad pieces became better and we finally arrived at Zarouhla. We had need about 3,5 hrs to make 18 khm....
We had a nice hot coffee and chocolate at Zarouhla.
The point now was that in order to go back to Goura, the other way was 100 -120 khm, and 2- 2.5 hrs.. We did it, through Akrata , to National road, Ksilokastro, Mesaia Trikala, Ano Tarsos and at 22.30 abt Goura... At 23.00 I was sleeping.
Next morning we would go. We had to leave Goura which little saw..
Of course we decided to go from Kiato through Kastania village. In order to avoid the many turning which has the road Messino-Kastania- Stymfalia, we stopped before Kastania in the elatos wood and make a small walk, with the weather full of sunshine.
After we went for coffee to Xenia hotel of Kastania, a wondwerfull place to stay, builted fm the famous architect Aris Kostandinidis. At Kastania we stopped to eat - little pork . After we continued the turnings with destination to Stymfalia. Before Stymfalia , Katerina realised that she forgot her camera at the tavern we ate.. Back again the turnings to Kastania...
We had one more little stop - programed , to buy cheese at famous cheese maker shop of Leggos with two g, and at about 18.00 we arrived back to Salamina, having made about 680 khm in one weekend, for an excursion of max 350 khm and having drive abt 12-15 hrs in 2,5 days..