To the South rose the magnificent peaks of Timfi, our next destination. But we had a problem: we were running out of money. It’s a cash economy in the villages and people don’t take credit cards. The last cashpoint had been in Kastoria, and it wasn’t likely we’d find another on our planned route until we reached Metsovo, at least ten days walk away. We’d have to make a detour to the market town of Konitsa, twenty kilometres away along the tarred road through the mountains. There was a weekly bus, but not for a couple of days.
We decided to walk, hitching a lift if we could. Our landlady, Dina of the Roses, served us Greek coffee and a crystallised plum for breakfast, and sent us on our way with a bag of cherries and one of her prize blooms.
It was an empty road, winding through the forest. We passed through the village of
Elevthero, burnt down by the Germans in 1943. Then there were no more villages. We slogged on up the zigzags to the pass. It was midday, there was no shade and the heat rose from the tarred road. Far below we could see the river. At last, as we neared the top, a car stopped and gave us a lift. We spent three days in Konitsa. Alan was suffering from heat exhaustion again, and felt weak and nauseous. What was that about not walking in the midday sun?
The route: To be avoided! Tarred road all the way, with no footpath alternatives. We walked 10 km, about halfway. Maps: Covered on two overlapping Anavasi maps: 3.3 (Gramos Smolikas Voio Vasilitsa) and 3.1 (Zagori).
Facilities: All facilities at Konitsa: hotels, restaurants, cafes, banks, shops, medical centre, buses.