Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Water, Water, Everywhere...

It's fifteen years since we had a three-week holiday in June of 1999. Back then we lived in South Wales and spent the three weeks staying with some very kind people who we'd met through mutual friends in South Wales. Our hosts Rudi and Diana, though, hailed from Snowmass, just a few miles down the road from Aspen in Colorado. It hardly seems possible that it was that long ago.

While there we did a number of "hikes" as our transatlantic friends like to call country walks. On one occasion we were taken in their MPV by Don and Marsha Glen and their family up to Crystal Mill, way up in the rockies a few miles away from Aspen and Snowmass. In June up there it's usually bright and sunny in the daytime, with temperatures in the low seventies F, just over 20ºC, perfect for walking. We walked for five hours and it was probably one of the best experiences of my whole life so far. 

Why am I going on about Colorado? Quite simply because, if you take the Laerma road out of the village of Lardos, about two thirds of the way to Laerma, you'll see this sign for a right hand turn (photo, right):

If you're holidaying on Rhodes this summer and you decide to get out and about with a vehicle, I can't recommend this enough. Following the lane right from the Lardos-Laerma road for a couple of miles, you arrive at this barrier (2nd photo, right)...

Now, yesterday, when we got to this point, we left the car on the road, asked the man in the hut if we were OK to do so and walk down to the dam and the lake and, following his OK, we carried on.

When you've walked the best part of a mile from the barrier, you arrive lakeside and then you'll perhaps see why I thought of Colorado in summer. The temperature yesterday was in the lower twenties C and there was hardly a cloud. It felt exactly like the day we hiked up to Crystal Mill and the scenery, apart from perhaps a few snowcapped peaks here and there, was equally as impressive. 

Be warned, if you want to do this walk in the summer, you'll need a zillion factor sun protection (there's virtually no shade anywhere) and a few gallons of water and perhaps some food, but it's worth the effort, believe me. The lake formed by the new Gadoura Dam is truly beautiful and the wild fowl are already colonizing it in substantial numbers. I think that dams are probably among the few things we as mankind add to our environment that can have a really positive effect on it, if it's done right. So, preamble out of the way. I hope you like the photos. 

They're not exactly in chronological order, owing to a technical problem while uploading them, but it doesn't matter much...

Took lunch here, My wife's delicious hard-boiled egg, mayo and onion baguettes, Yum!

Actually on the dam itself

This is also on the dam

The lake side of the dam

There may be plans to develop water sport on the lake some day. A waterside café would perhaps be nice too, but at present it's a truly natural paradise.

On the way home we came back down the beautiful lane from Laerma to Asklipio (see the posts "Why Not Take a Drive" and "Why Not Take a Drive II") and stopped by at Taverna Agapitos, where I knew they were holding a letter for us. As I bounded up the steps at around 2.15pm, I could hear the sound of a considerable quantity of water flowing, all those tell-tale splashy sounds and stuff. On arriving at the taverna door I couldn't believe my eyes. There was Athanasia, standing atop one of the taverna tables, washing the windows - with a hosepipe!! No nozzle, of course, as per the culture out here. But what was really flabberghasting was the fact that she was not only not using a bucket and cloth, chamois, blade or whatever would have made it easier, but she was cleaning the windows on the INSIDE!!! Gallons of water were covering the floor inside and seeping our from under the still closed doors.

Aaaah, yes. Nice to see the old traditions still going strong, eh? Hence the totally appropriate title for this post.


  1. Do you think one would be permitted to cycle around the new reservoir? I'm thinking it would make a decent bike ride from Pefkos (not too hilly, apart from the initial 'pull' out of Lardos). I have to admit to turning and fleeing when we got to the end of the road to the dam and the warning signs appeared so unwelcoming. Should have been brave and asked to continue on foot!

    1. Cycling around the lake would be possible, but it is a very long way and the track doesn't follow the shore all the way round. For part of the way to the northwest of the lake you have to go quite a distance back to the Laerma-Eleousa road. If you Google Earth it (type in Laerma, Rhodes, Greece) then pan eastwards you'll see the lake and the dam and the roads/tracks in the vicinity. Public access though is not a problem.

  2. Wonderful! Not for me you understand, but both sons and girlfriends are now joining us in May and it would be just the sort of thing they would enjoy. Decent bikes are readily available in Pefkos now.
    Thanks John