Today we are presenting the second part of our excursion to Paiko Mountain. You can find the first part here.
Forestry position Valeorvo, mount Paiko
After a cold night (3 degrees C) we woke up in an equal cold morning. After having our breakfast, we set out for our second destination. We took the way back to “Kastaneri” village and in 1Km distance, there is a small junction with a small earth road to the right (marked with wooden board) .The road leads to the forestry position of Valeorvo, following southwest course.
Dense beech forest is our companion, all the way. On the side, blackberries (with great taste) and mushrooms. After about 3 Km, behind a road turn, appears a little flat space, in a higher ground than the road, surrounded by oak and beech trees, with a small cold water spring , green grass all around and on the edge a wooden Forester’s cabin. Brown and yellow leaves are falling from the branches, swinging gracefully to the ground.
The forest, full of life, generously offers us its graces. After a short rest, we got the way back to the junction with the main road, where we had our cars, leaving behind us, the beautiful quietness of Valeorvo that always offers its hospitality to every true friend of the forest. The promise we gave was to come back to camp and walk on new paths.
Mountain Paiko, slowly revealed to us, with the dense woods, ravines, springs and meadows, peaceful and beautiful.
Blue Lagoon – Skra Waterfalls
We drove back to the city of Goumenissa and took the road for villages “Karpi” and “Skra”, (approximately 32 km and journey time 40 minutes) . We drove enjoying autumn pictures with gorgeous colors. We wanted to visit a Lake, which we had heard that there is in the mountains, deep in the forest, near the borders with FYROM. A place called the Blue Lake. We pass the village of “Karpi”, we reach outside the village of “Skra” and we follow the signs saying “for” waterfalls ”. On the main road, about 1.5 Km from village “Karpi” there is a junction. Following the downhill road to the left we arrived after 600 m. at the starting point of our hiking path.
The main road comes to dead-end, where there is a plateau for parking and a Forest Service sign, which has information about the place. From this point, a stone path starts . The stone path quickly become stone stairs, which in five minutes time, lead us in a grassy forest glade, beside the stream of “Kotza-Dere”. There, someone can rest on the wooden benches and seats that there are sideways on the stream’s banks and were constructed by Goumenissa Forest Service, or, to continue hiking. A wooden bridge passes over the rushing waters immersing you in a stunning forest of plane, hazel, and oak trees, ivies and other climbing plants. Streams with clean water, small bridges, flowers, grass, tall trees and small waterfalls, compose a fairytale setting.
We walked up and down in the ravine and went for a short time deeper in the woods and luxuriant vegetation. Continuing our tour, we saw pictures that someone cannot see in everyday life, always with the gurgle of water beside us, which is coming from everywhere! Successive waterfalls, others small and others larger, falling with fury toward the small wooden bridge, located a few meters below.
We came back and we continued hiking the main stone path with uphill direction. After 4-5 minutes of hiking we followed the small alley on the left and in just 10 m. we entered in. another world. In front of us , appears a small pond in the woods, hidden well by those who don’t know the place. A wonderful image was revealed in front of us. A fairy tale picture and someone just waits to see elves and fairies appearing through the woods and waters.
This is the Blue Lake. It is no coincidence that the Lake was named after the color of the water, which has a lovely emerald green blue color. Around the lake, the wild nature is at its best. The towering trees are hiding the waterfall that is poured into the crystal waters and small streams are flowing everywhere. We continued hiking and soon we met on our left more trails. The left downhill trail leads back into the Lake, in a picnic area. The straight path ahead crosses a wooden bridge-a little bit flooded-and it leads on the opposite shore of the lake. A rope that was hanging from a tree, gave us for a second the idea to rope dive in the icy waters, but we soon abandoned the thought and continue our hike.
We followed the trail in uphill direction. We left behind us the lake, and walked in a landscape that reminds us the jungle. After 5 minutes we arrived at the waterfalls, which fall from a height of 5-6 meters. Right behind them there is a small cave, with delicate stalactites hanging from the ceiling of the rock. We went in and we found ourselves behind waterfalls. We took some photos and after that we tried to follow a small path on the right of the waterfall. We discovered that it leads to other, equally impressive waterfalls and more wild nature environment. Unfortunately, it was started to getting late and so we took the road back. After all that we have seen and felt, we will definitely come back to explore more.