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.