A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Round Profitis Ilias

Karpathos. Part one.

An eight kilometre amble around the 600 meter mountain of Profitis Ilias turned into one of the scariest walks I've ever done and alternately one with breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. It took us four hours to traverse ancient stone paths that occasionaly had been eroded by scree slopes and others where the only view from the edge of the path was the sea 500 metres below us and the view up was a zigzag staircase climbing a rock face. At more than one point I was on my knees, thank God nobody saw me, while Justine just strolled it! The highlights were the views, a pair of nesting ravens, wild peonies, barbary nuts, orchids  and many many others, just some of which I've shown here and others I have yet to identify.

The path starts at the last house from Olympos and was probably the scariest section.

The next two photos show the precariousness of the path; little more than a channel dug out of a scree slope. I found the best way of coping was to look only at the path under my feet.

At other times the track was gentle and forgiving making way for once cultivated terraces and we could enjoy the stunning scenery.

At this place by the last photo the land was more generous and I nearly missed some beautiful and rare peonies endemic to Karpathos, Paeonia carpatha. On the cliff tops a pair of ravens had set up a nest.

Some cretan arums, an old stone plaque of St Stavros and the path continues......

More tomorrow.


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