Mesochora to Mavrovouni: Camp on Black Mountain

View from Mavrovouni

We’d already walked thirty kilometres and at five pm we were still slogging up Black Mountain (Mavrovouni), looking for a flat spot to camp. Pine forest fell steeply away below the dirt track and rose equally steeply on the other side. We’d seen no traffic so maybe we could camp on the track itself. No, better not risk it. At long last, shortly before the pass, we came to a side track leading to a cattle trough and slow trickle of a spring below. That would have to do. We pitched the tent, hauling a few branches across the track so cows wouldn’t blunder into us during the night, then cooked supper. We watched the sun set on the mountains opposite as we ate our supper.Track to Moschofito

We’d been walking through mixed forest, interspersed with pasture and tiny hamlets all day long. Lower down, it had been mainly oak woods, but as we got higher pines took over. There’d been a few kilometres on the tarred road, but at least we’d been able to get lunch at the newly opened cafe in Moschofito. The proprietor, a former teacher, had opened  it six months ago, and was hoping to make money mainly from hunters. In contrast, Spiro, at fifty five the youngest permanent resident in Mesochora, was thinking of closing his cafe there. With rising taxes and falling income, he could no longer make a profit.

In the morning we were woken by loud whistles. A shepherd maybe? As the sound moved off over the forest we realised that it must be a large bird, probably a hawk of some kind.

Water source, BalkanoThe route: Fairly easy walking, despite the steep ascent. Partly dirt shepherd’s tracks, with tarred road at the start and between Platanakia and Balkano. Water from cattle troughs and at Moschofito and Balkano. Kilometres: 31.  Ascent: 1037m  Descent: 695m  Map: Anavasi: South Pindus 4.2.

Facilities: Cafe at Moschofito.

 

 

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