Monday, September 11, 2017

Makrirachi-Anilio

View of Makrirachi

Distance: 2,5 km
Time: 1 hour'
Altitude: from 300 m. (Makrirachi) to 160 m. (minimum) to 370 m. (Anilio)
Total ascent: 201 m.  Total descent: 130 m.
Signed with red paint dots and round yellow signs
Drinking water on walk: no
Download GPS track (gpx): from Wikiloc


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          Many people from both villages remember the wooden bridge down at the stream in normal operation until the 1970`s. When Nikos Haratsis walked this route in 1994, only some stones of the south base remained. Nowadays there is absolutely no trace of the old bridge. Crossing the stream on our own can be difficult in the spring when the snow melts or following heavy rain, so it should be avoided under these circumstances, until a new bridge is built some day. In summer and autumn, when the flow of water is reduced, crossing the stream is relatively easy.
        Starting from the square of Makrirachi, we descend on the kalderimi (cobblestone track) next to the restaurant. This soon becomes a cement track with a central cobblestone lane. As this track opens out to a small parking area, we find the continuity of the original old kalderimi looking down on the right (attention to the red dots!).
Οn the way down from Makrirachi, view to Anilio
          The kalderimi soon is covered with concretre and we reach a junction, where we turn left on the asphalt. In the next junction we turn right downhill on the concrete track. We do the same at the next junction and finally the concrete track ends at an apple orchard.
The apple orchard
We can make out the kalderimi as it continues to descend on the right side of the orchard, its stones covered with soil. In a few meters there is a section blocked by vegetation and we have to follow its course stepping down the low stone wall. After that, the kalderimi ends and continues as an earth path leading down to the streambed.
At the streambed
        We walk another fifteen meters just next to the stream in the direction of the sea and then find a way to cross it to the other side, where the continuity of  the kalderimi is easily seen. Its stones are covered by fallen leaves, ivy and soil. Water emerges from the earth and runs on the surface for a short distance, producing mud and making our life difficult.
         Climbing into chestnut forest, we come to join an earth road and follow it uphill. This passes in front of the old chapel of Panagia (Virgin Mary), nicely renovated. An inscription above the door informs that it was built in 1745. Next to the chapel is the old cemetery, surrounded by cypress trees.
Panagia chapel of Anilio
       Further up, the road becomes concrete paved and we have a junction, where we turn right, heading for the square. If we intend to continue to Plaka beach, it is better to take the other cement road straight ahead, which joins the asphalt near the new cemetery, from where the kalderimi to Plaka starts. From Anilio, one can either walk down to Plaka beach, or up to Hania (see the walk Hania-Anilio-Agios Ioannis). If, on the other hand, we are walking from Anilio to Makrirachi, we can continue uphill to Hania (two routes, the Path of the Waterfalls and the main kalderimi via Profitis Elias) or walk the asphalt down to Agii Saranda and Horefto.
View to the sea above Panagia (notice the cypress trees)