Aoos River through woods

Bear River

Skamneli to Metsovo

“Remember Dukakis, who stood for US president? His mother was a Vlach from a village near here.” We were in the La Pounteli taverna in Vovousa, and I’d wondered about the name. It means “The Bridge” in the Vlach language, and this was a Vlach village, founded by descendants of the Romans, with a language closer to Romanian or Latin than Greek. And our next stop was Metsovo, the “Vlach capital”.

We’d left the Zagoria and the national O3 footpath at Skamneli, heading east along a maze of forestry roads to Vovousa, where we joined the E6 European route once more.

From Vovousa the trail led off into the little visited Valia Kalda national park. For two days we saw nobody, as we hiked through the forest along the Bear River, then steeply up into the peaks around the Flegga Lakes. Alas, we didn’t see any bears. Or maybe that was a good thing! We were tired and hungry as we came down to the Politses plateau and the Aoos Lakes reservoir, and glad to relax among the milk churns in the back of a pick-up to Metosovo.

Route: Skamneli, Vovousa, Bear River, Flegga Lakes, Politses, Metsovo.

Peaks and forests looking back towards Zagoria
View back the way we’d come. almost a complete circle from Palioseli
View of peaks and forests looking back to Zagoria from the Vovousa track
Skamneli to Vovousa
Path through pine forest to Vovousa, overgrown by bracken in places
Track down to Vovousa
Path through pine forest to Vovousa, overgrown by bracken in places
Vovousa bridge
Easy walking on the European E6 footpath through meadows from Vovousa
Along the Aoos River from Vovousa
Beach and pool for swimming on the Aoos river: perfect for picnics
Aoos river. Still too cold for swimming.
Looking down through pine trees at the Aoos river
Shady path above the Aoos.
Path through pines on a steep slope above the Aoos river, part of the E6 European trail
No sign of bears!
Bear River stream through steeply sided cliffs, partly dried up
Bear River, a tributary of the Aoos.
And then my camera gave up!

Travelling Slow

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