A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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The Saddle of Konstantinos

We started the day at a Kafeneion in Diafani. Two greek coffees served by a woman in local traditional costume who happily informed us that we were the first tourists to visit this year. In the bay there was a raft of yelkoun shearwaters and a common sandpiper on the beach. An auspicious start. The coastal track led us through olive groves painted with wild flowers of every colour and form. A corn bunting sat on a bush over a patch of wild garlic. A hoopoe showed itself in the bushes. The wind howled around us but in the shallow dry river beds everything was quiet and warm. A short cut across the cliff top that I rated at 2 out 10 for scariness but only just in a couple of places. Swallows flew in off the sea and a lesser kestrel sped across the sky in the wind. We stopped at an old shepherds hut for lunch before setting up the hill to the Saddle of Konstantinos. Through an olive grove, on up through the garrigue on to a ridge, past some pine trees and across a hillside all seemed easy going. But at the last the "Saddle" was a pyramidal pile of loose shale high up exposed to a buffeting force 5 wind (stick your head out of the car window at 40 mph). Being a wimp after yesterday, Justine volunteered to have a look - on all fours I might add - and returned after a few agonising moments with "I'm not doing this". 10 out of 10 on scariness scale. Well we returned post haste and indulged ourselves at the Kafeneion in Diafani thinking how lucky we were and what a splendid day out.





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