Saturday, 10 November 2012

Stegna Safari

Visiting Josie in Arhangelos yesterday, as we left at around 3.15pm we decided that, since we were so close, we may as well nip down to Stegna and take a couple of out-of-season photos.

Big mistake. If you're familiar with the road from Arhangelos down to Stegna you'll know that it probably takes about ten minutes to follow the road from the centre of the village along the river conduit, past the olive press and up the hill, then past the T-junction with the road that leads left, past the Tramonto Bar and back up to the main Lindos Road just above the Health Centre, and on down to the front at Stegna. If you've visted the area during the 2012 season, you can't fail to have noticed that there's been a fairly big earth-moving and re-landscaping thing going on down the steep part of this road for the entire summer. Quite what they had in mind we didn't know until yesterday. We have a better idea now.

Heading along the road out from Arhangelos we were just about to pass the right fork which leads up a few narrow backstreets to the Castro when we noticed a large, new and unmissable sign pointing up that lane and saying: "PROS SEGNA", TO STEGNA. Having no alternative but to take the right fork in obedience to the new sign, we were soon wondering quite where they were sending us. Pretty soon we left the "suburbs" of Arhangelos behind and were driving along a winding dirt road through some olive groves and it was quit evident that whatever direction we were going in, it wasn't the right one for Stegna.

The further we went the more agitated my better half became. "This isn't right. We must have gone wrong somewhere." She asserted. I replied that I'd watched the new signs and that we were definitely going where directed, notwithstanding the fact that Stegna was nowhere in sight, just a winding road of one moment concrete, the next dirt, heading away into the distance and over a ridge a kilometre or so away. At least we could see the sea!

Pretty soon there was precious little sign of civilisation, and none at all of Stegna. There was, however, the small compensation of this scene at one point:

Nice, eh?

After another ridge or two had been crested, and one or two very, very steep inclines negotiated, I was surprised, to say the least, to spot the seaside resort we were seeking ahead and still a couple of kilometres away. Just when I'd expected to come across Paul Hogan, standing in the middle of the road waving his two end fingers gently at a wildebeest or something, there was our destination, promising to be within reach in, ...oooh, about ten more minutes!!

As the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed from the shot above, we were approaching Stegna Bay from entirely the opposite end from that which we'd expected to. The usual winding road drops down the hillside to the North of the village and here were were getting our first sight of the place from far to the South. By now my wife's bladder was adding to the exasperation which she was feeling and even I was getting pretty fed up with how, what was to have been a quick dash down a hill, was turning into a safari.

Finally, after negotiating a couple more narrow sections where there were still puddles of mud from the rains of a few days previous, and driving down a few lanes which were so steep that you could hardly have stood erect on them on foot, not to mention that they were so narrow that it would have been a disaster if we'd met a vehicle coming the other way, we emptied out on to Stegna seafront. Where I took this...

Following a few more grumbles from my wife, now suffering from the excessive amount of fluid stored in her bladder, I resolved to attempt the return trip by driving up the usual lane, which ought to bring us up to the junction just below the Tramonto, where I'd planned to take the right in order to pass the said bar and regain the main Rodo-Lindos road in short order.

No good. We only got a couple of hundred yards up the lane to be confronted by a complete road block, festooned with signs telling us that there was no way we'd be going up that road for the 'foreseeable' and beckoning us follow the diversion signs, which soon had us re-climbing the precipitous hill to the South of the bay where I'd taken the second photo shown above.

By the time we eventually regained the outskirts of Arhangelos my wife was briliiant scarlet of face and groaning a little and we'd lost 45 minutes on a wild goose chase that ought to have taken twenty minutes max.

Quite how those few tavernas and bars in Stegna are going to survive this winter with such a ridiculously long, bumpy and in places quite dangerous detour to be negotiated by their potential clientele is a mystery. I mentioned to Y-Maria that I'd hate to have to make that trip either at night, when you'd be driving across some wholly wild Greek rural terrain totally exposed to the worst that the elements could throw at you, or in the rain, when large tracts of the lane would be a complete nightmare of deep mud.

She didn't reply. For some reason she was somewhat preoccupied with the need for me to put a couple of Km of road between us and Arhangelos and find a place to stop where there was an ample supply of bushes. I got this message through her body language.

I hope you Stegna fans out there appreciate the lengths to which we'll go to snap a shot or two for you!!!

PS: Looks like the normal Stegna access road will re-open at some stage. It's just that the size of the job they're doing has necessitated closing the road for an unspecified period.

Part three of the Kalymnos report will follow soon, honest.


  1. Where's your sense of adventure young man? Ha ha! But at least you've answered our own questions as to what on earth has been going on with all the big machinery for the past months (years?) Are they attempting to make a less spectacular drive down to the bay? I rather liked the old winding, steep road.Tall Y-M my mother always told me to 'go' before I left the house, even someone else's house!!

  2. Or even TELL Y-M..........

  3. Vicki, Y-M is quite tall though (said the vertically challenged man!)

  4. I reckon it would have been quicker to walk it unless they blllocked the footpath too lol. Think I would have walked the route you drove though as looks very scenic