A Grecian Adventure

Inland paddling
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Sophie
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A Grecian Adventure

Post by Sophie » Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:36 am

A group of us have just got back from a 12 day trip to Greece. The plan was to explore a lesser-known area with some reasonably relaxed intermediate level boating. What we found was an incredibly beautiful country with some really quality paddling at the level we were after. The rivers were reasonably varied in style, but were all extremely remote and often through some incredible gorges.

The disadvantage of the remoteness was the driving. We clocked up 3500km in 12 days, and shuttles were between 2-3 hours long, often on somewhat dodgy mountain roads. Navigation was tricky too. We thought we would sneak round this by taking a satnav with us, but sadly although you can buy Greek maps, they've failed to map anything other than the motorway. On the plus side, I am now accomplished at the Greek alphabet!

Here's a preview. More to follow...
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2 ... =606515293

Hmm, thought I could directly link from facebook, I'll work on that later...

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ol
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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by ol » Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:59 am

Wow, looks like some amazing rock formations. That looks a bit Chateau Q...

Image

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Patrick Clissold
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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by Patrick Clissold » Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:38 am

Looks fantastic Soph. Look forward to seeing the rest of the photos. What happened to Terry's boat then?

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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by Simon Westgarth » Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:44 am

Greek paddling, is a 4x4 driving holiday were you paddle down the river to collect your car, great food and wine also.

Sophie
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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by Sophie » Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:52 am

Cheers for correcting my incompetence Ol. That was Puff Pastry Gorge on the Krikellopotamos (cracking river names!) We probably paddled 5 or 6 properly steep-sided gorges like this, up to 2km in length, with awesome geology. Chateau Q would certainly be the closest comparison, but with no road visible for the 15-20 odd km between the putin and take out. There were plenty of photos taken by Rob and Adam, so no doubt they'll appear in the next few days.

All boats etc are safely back in the UK, we just left our misjudgement to the final day on the Erymanthos. What we were expecting to be a slightly harder, gd III-IV, turned out to be IV-IV+ which was a little beyond the scope of the group. The walk-out was probably a V+ though. No adventure is complete without an epic on the final day!

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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by Sophie » Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:54 am

simon d westgarth wrote:Greek paddling, is a 4x4 driving holiday were you paddle down the river to collect your car
I think you're under-rating it Simon. I thought the paddling was excellent for its grade. Not a trip for those who suffer from travel sickness though. It was all part of the adventure.

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ion
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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by ion » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:10 pm

I posted some more pictures of Greek Rivers a while back in this wezzit thread for those interested.
-Ian
http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... 6&start=30

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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by Sophie » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:18 pm

The pictures you posted are of the Kallaritikos Ion. One of the best rivers of the trip, with another awesome gorge. This is a trib of the Arachtos and the classic section includes 17km of the Kallaritikos, followed by 7km of the Arachtos, including another impressive gorge, taking out at the bridge near Plaka. This run was pretty alpine in nature and reminded me at the start of the Upper Claree, before you get to the gorges.

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TerryC
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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by TerryC » Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:48 pm

Patrick Clissold wrote: What happened to Terry's boat then?
Mine and Sophie's boats were temporaly abonded due to lack of time and walking out of a river. Thankfully both have now been recovered by Rob and Co staying on an extra day to pick them up. However slightly concerned my boat is now at Robs and he has no other boat to paddle as his broke in France...I just need to find some way to get it back before he adopts it.

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ion
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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by ion » Tue Apr 28, 2009 2:07 pm

Sophie wrote:The pictures you posted are of the Kallaritikos Ion. One of the best rivers of the trip, with another awesome gorge. This is a trib of the Arachtos and the classic section includes 17km of the Kallaritikos, followed by 7km of the Arachtos, including another impressive gorge, taking out at the bridge near Plaka. This run was pretty alpine in nature and reminded me at the start of the Upper Claree, before you get to the gorges.
Yes, thats the one. From my notes we paddled:
Langafzas - Nothing special
Acheron (Styx) - Amazing white stone river bed at the end and springs spraying horizontally out of gorge walls as volume mysteriously multiplys. Bar at takeout
Kallaritikos/Arachtos - Did it twice, incredibly scenic gorges. Bar at takeout. Good wild camping in meadow at put in near tiny village.
Mileapotamos - Can't remember much about this one.
Koukoumaneris/Aoos(Middle) - Initial creek had garbage tip upstream, and rapids were steep manky technical, after confluence great valley scenery, bigger volume, great rapids. Saw some granite boulders, must be the goods near by!
Voidomatis - Amazing hike in down ancient zig-zag trail. Put on at spring where river suddenly appears, cold and amazingly green water, good rapids but shortish. Restaurant at start of trail.

Pool in Voidamatis:
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TerryC
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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by TerryC » Tue Apr 28, 2009 2:50 pm

The Voidamatis was an amazing river- absolutely no water in the Vikos coming from upstream and virtually all the water coming from the spring out of the side of the mountain and so clear- don't think I have ever paddled in water like that before- could easily see to the bottom. As they say in the guide book- you soon forget about the walk down to the river

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Mark R
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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by Mark R » Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:39 pm

My paddling wishlist just got a bit longer.
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SiRiO (JJ)
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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by SiRiO (JJ) » Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:11 pm

Did you find a guidebook for this or let me re-phrase, where did you get river information from? Also are these rivers glacier-fed or rain as well. Will they be running in Xmas? Basically i'm looking into doing some paddling this xmas (3/4) in Europe but apart from Portugal I don't know what's rain-fed?

Those pictures were brilliant. Thanks for sharing.

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ion
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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by ion » Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:02 pm

SiRiO (JJ) wrote:Did you find a guidebook for this or let me re-phrase, where did you get river information from? Also are these rivers glacier-fed or rain as well. Will they be running in Xmas? Basically I'm looking into doing some paddling this xmas (3/4) in Europe but apart from Portugal I don't know what's rain-fed?

Those pictures were brilliant. Thanks for sharing.

Season is approximately April through Middle of May with some variability and is mostly snow melt driven from unexpectedly large 3000M mountains, though there are also the odd remarkable spring fed runs.

The german guide we used had the following info:
Greco-Verlag,
Franz Bettinger/Ulla Eich,
66386 St Ingbert, Obere Kaiserstrasse 127
ISBN 3-00-004944-4

I was told latter of an English version of which I received the following info:

Franz Bettinger
D-66386 St.Ingbert, Obere Kaiserstr. 127
Tel. (06894) -5037 oder -51526, Fax. -51526 oder -53635
FranzBettinger@web.de or MartinBettinger@web.de

No doubt neither is that common to find.

I also noticed this last week some German language links on kajak.at that indicated some info but I've not looked at them yet. And there is the Greek website referenced above also.

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TerryC
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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by TerryC » Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:13 pm

We used info from this website: http://www.teamadara.com/html/ Has lots of useful river guides. We also used the English version of the Greco guidebook which I have heard there is a more recent version- I think the one we had was from 1999.

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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by jmmoxon » Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:53 pm

http://kayakworldguide.forums-free.com Links to websites with info on white water, touring, sea & surf.

mfflower
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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by mfflower » Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:26 pm

It was a lot of fun to be sure, and according to some Austrian boaters we met part II of the guide book (the second edition?) had some naked ladies in (well, it was written by Germans).

If you're bored at work / want to know more I've put together an overly long trip report (alas I have no photos). I think that Sophie was thinking about doing one for here though?

Sophie
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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by Sophie » Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:46 pm

Some more photos for you, courtesy of Rob Tuley and Adam Holland:

The Krikellopotamos
Image

Greek Navigation (when we actually found a sign post)
Image

Black Gorge of the Mileapotamos
Image

First descent...
Image

Through the Gates to the Underworld - Acheron
Image

Arachtos
Image

Kallaritikos gorge
Image

Upper Kallritikos
Image

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Mark R
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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by Mark R » Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:12 pm

Please, stop it! I want to get on a plane right now ...

How reliable is the water? Is it from snowmelt, or recent rain?
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Sophie
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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by Sophie » Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:43 pm

The water is snowmelt and it is a supposedly short, but reliable season - april and the first half of May. There was certainly a reasonable amount of snow left whilst we were there, high up. Apparently they had quite a bit of snow this year. We didn't have great weather: sunshine for the first couple of days, then rain for the next week. I'm not too sure how this affected the water levels, but I think the rain may have helped the levels further south. Certainly the rivers on the Peloponese were high but a couple of others that we paddled could have done with a bit more water. The vast majority were spot on though.

Really friendly people too - quite unexpected in Europe to be showered with quite so much free food and drink. We stayed in one campsite where the owner let us camp for free and use his kitchen to cook our dinner. Virtually every other night we wild camped, which I never imagined could be so easy, but most put-ins were ideal locations. The distinct lack of campsites and civilisation made this the most viable option in any case

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newkid
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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by newkid » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:17 pm

Mark R wrote:Please, stop it! I want to get on a plane right now ...

How reliable is the water? Is it from snowmelt, or recent rain?
Hi Mark,

All the Germans we met there had been there several times before and didn't seem to think the water levels were unusual so it seems like there would be stuff to do most years. The driving was massive, but the paddling was really good and the scenery was just amazing, some of the best I've seen on the river.

Phil

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Re: A Grecian Adventure

Post by jmmoxon » Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:08 pm

Some Greek creeking footage: http://www.kayaksession.com/video185.php

Mike
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