one foot on the mountain
2008 was a great year in Exochori. With progress at the house, some new things (and plenty of old things!) happening in the village, and interesting developments in the area.
We had WWOOF volunteers again and they have done lots to help improve the landscaping around the house. This year there were helpers from Sweden, Canada, and USA. Here you can see Anna and Breda making a pebble path.
We also commissioned a new gate from local metal artist Annetta Hilbrecht. This has caused quite a bit of comment in the village...mostly positive as far as we can tell!
The garden was really productive, and our rainwater storage saw us through the dry months. The soil is getting better and better each year. We had good crops of veg as well as grapes and olives.
Water saving has become a priority as in summer months it is in scarce supply. We have back-up tanks for the house and garden, grey water use on the fruit trees, and increased rainwater storage. The politics of water is becoming a more important issue now for the whole area. With people re-inventing the old systems, using "sterna" to keep water from the winter for summer use.
In the house we have had paying guests stayng, as well as volunteers and friends. The accommodation is now fully operational and looking rather lovely!
In the village big news has been the installation of rudimentary steps in the gorge, so that the path from Exochori to Tseria is much more usable.
The village Kafenion has been an on and off affair this summer, but was being refurbished in the Autumn. Alexi, who previously ran it, is now managing the bar on the top of the hotel and has had the souvlaki grill fired up most nights.
After the fires of summer 2007, each village has now got a well organised volunteer fire team. This has meant that the few small fires that did inevitably break out were dealt with quickly. It was all very reassuring.
On the walks front, one of the highlights of the summer was the Exochori village walk. Organised by the committee it saw an intrepid group of us ferried up into the forest to undertake the 5 hour walk back down to finish at the village. This was a spectacular route from the head of the Viros Gorge amongst the highest peaks. We were gamely led by Rosa who at 75 was the quickest in the group!
In 2008 the seaside bus started a new route connecting the mountain villages. Coming up into Exochori and along through Saidona as far as Milea. This means that there are now more walk options from the house, using the bus to get to some further off starting points. This bus is twice per day, which means there are four connections a day from Kardamili, and therefore more swimming and snacking opportunities too.
Come back soon.