Hiking the gorge
Vikos Gorge Travel Blog› entry 34 of 44 › view all entries
The rain came down on us as we began our descent into the gorge. Our pace was slow wherever there were cobblestone paths because the rocks were so slippery to walk on. We were told the hike would take about 6 hours with a lunch break, so we could estimate our arrival time. The hotel owner gave me his business card and said to call him when we got to Vikos - he would come pick us up...for a fee. You can actually hike the gorge further than Vikos, but only about an hour or so and with the weather, we knew we'd be ready to call it a day by the time we reached Vikos.
For the few hours we descended into the gorge and then followed the path along the dry riverbed. I knew to follow the path with the red diamond on it, that would eventually lead us to our destination.
Eventually, the path became the rocky river bed and so we climbed over rocks to continue. At times we were definitely rock climbing, and others we could just walk. It became more challenging, but we could handle it just fine. At one point we had to use an old staircase that was missing some steps. There were also times where the path became very narrow, with a wall to our left and a drop off to our right.
As the rain came down harder, we stopped in a small cave and ate lunch there. We had been hiking for over 4 hours already, and it was a lot of fun, but the rain was trying to ruin the experience.
At this point, we noticed tons (and I mean tons) of droppings on the trail. My thought was that they were donkey droppings, but I am still unsure why they suddenly started on the path. Where would the animals (and people from the town) have gone to down in the gorge? We continued on, with me in the front shouting out where the droppings were so no one stepped on them.
It took us about 6.5 hours from the time we left Monodendri to reach the path going up to Vikos. We decided to skip a monastery that sat down in the gorge and instead head up to town. As we began our ascent, the most grueling part of the hike, the sun finally came out and decided to cook us alive.
When we neared the town, the flies came out to greet us. I guess we were more smelly than even the droppings on the ground, and we got smothered in them. Cathy and I were furious when we finally reached Vikos...but hey, we made it! The whole trip took us about 7 hours, we figure it took us a little longer because of the rain. We never encountered any other humans or large animals, but we felt good about our accomplishment!