Sunday, December 30, 2018

Makrinitsa-Stagiates-Portaria (circular)

Distance: 8,8 km
Time: 4,5 hours (walking time 3h20')
Altitude: max 888 m., min 394 m.
Total elevation gain uphill/downhill: 635 m.
Signed with various signs and red paint
Start/finish: Makrinitsa (end of bus line) or Portaria (Adamena fountain) or Stagiates (square)
Drinking water on walk: yes (Makrinitsa, Stagiates, Mana spring)
Download GPS track (.gpx): from Wikiloc

Powered by Wikiloc

         After the opening of a new path section in 2018, connecting Mana spring near Portaria to Makrinitsa at a level higher than the asphalt road, we now have the opportunity to create a circular walk Portaria to Makrinitsa, avoiding the asphalt almost completely. Caution is required after heavy rain, or when the snow melts in spring, causing the stream to flow enough water to make crossing difficult (usually it is dry). The walk is best avoided in such circumstances. 
      The walk may start either from Makrinitsa (end of bus line), or Portaria (Adamena fountain), or Stagiates village square. On this occasion, we elected to start from Makrinitsa.
Makrinitsa
      Starting from the bus U-turn at the entrance of Makrinitsa, we walk down on the narrow road going to the underage refugees' Hostel (ex-Preventorium), to find in a few meters the start of a kalderimi (cobblestone path) on our left. Going steadily downhill -the view from certain points is fabulous- we come to cross the Mega rema stream over a wooden bridge, built by local volunteers of the Association of Stagiates, at a beautiful spot with running water under the shadow of plane trees. After a little while, the path opens on a sharp turn of an earth road, which we follow on a straight line. Entering the village of Stagiates, the road becomes asphalt paved and leads to the main church and to the square next to it.  
Stagiates

         Νext to the drinking water fountain at the square, the main  kalderimi goes uphill and we follow it. We cross the asphalt and continue climbing among houses. Higher up, as we exit the village, the kalderimi becomes road paved with cement. Ιn a few meters, we leave it at an angle to the right and keep climbing on earth path. Road sections and path-kalderimi sections alternate on our way up, until we come το join the main asphalt, just under the cemetery of Portaria. Walking on the main asphalt to the right (towards Portaria), after 400 m. we reach Adamena fountain and a cafe which is nearby. Here we leave the asphalt and start climbing on a path following the course of Mana`s stream. Several wooden pedestrian bridges make crossing the streambed easier, as water is running for the most part of the year (not in summer). We can easily imagine Centaurs strolling up and down in this fabulous scenery.
The path at Mana stream

         The path opens to a small plateau, next to a building of the water system collecting the water of Mana spring and a drinking water fountain. We continue uphill, following the plain red marks (attention!) ignoring the red-on-white marks pointing downhill, which belong to a mountain running race (Ultra Trail Pelion, UTP).
Having a short break at Mana spring
          

      The path opens to an area where a few goats are kept and a stationary caravan is on our left, and we continue uphill on an earth road, ignoring signs in Greek to ''ΞΕΝΩΝΕΣ ΠΟΡΤΑΡΙΑΣ''. In seven hundred meters we come to an earth road junction and take the left branch uphill. After another three hundred meters, as the road takes a right turn, we leave it on a straight line, cross a small stream and continue on a narrow path traversing a rocky slope. 
Approaching the stream Mega rema

         We come to cross the stream of Mega rema, an easy task as the stream usually is dry, but can be increasingly difficult in case of recent heavy rain or melting snow.  
Crossing the Mega rema


      On the other bank the (recently cleaned) path is OK. At some point there is a balcony offering truly magnificent view to Portaria, Makrinitsa, Volos and the Pagasitic Gulf. 
View to Portaria


           In a little while the path seemingly disappears, as we come to a small plateau that used to be a vineyard previously, we were told. The path actually continues descending on the left edge of the plateau, but this section is deserted and totally blocked by overgrown vegetation. So, for the time present, we climb down to a second small plateau and turn right, finding at the edge a narrow path into oak forest.
A cleaned section of the path

           Eventually we come down to an earth road,  on which we walk for one hundred meters. At that point we notice a kalderimi joining in at an angle from the left. Here we have the option to walk another hundred meters on the road to visit the small monastery of Agia Paraskevi that lies ahead. Otherwise, we follow the kalderimi downhill. This gets us to the parking at the end of the asphalt road, on which we walk to return back to the end of the bus line, where our walk had started.   
  

No comments:

Post a Comment