Conquering the highest peak of Karpathos, mount Kali Limni

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The highest peak of the entire Dodecanese

To hike the Kali Limni has been on my to do-list for the last 2 summers. Kali Limni is the highest peak of the Greek island Karpathos and actually of the entire Dodecanese. I feel like I can not leave this Greek island again without having been on its highest and best view-point. My work on Karpathos for the summer is coming to an end soon. Now I have the time to do the hikes I so desperately wanted to do. Last year Mister Viking an I decided to hike to Vrougounda after the summer. This time we get to see the breathtaking view of Rhodes in the East and Crete in the West from the top of the Kali Limni.

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Getting ready

That we’re not much of early birds when it comes to our free time won’t be a secret to many. I love waking up early for these kind of activities, but having worked the whole summer in tourism makes us want to relax a little bit more in the morning and just take the day as it comes. Or at least, I’m trying to do so. The Dutch way of planning things and making sure that it all goes to plan sneaks up on me as if I didn’t know that I’m Dutch.

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Driving to the start-point

We manage to leave the house at about 11:30 in the morning as we drive up to Volada in about 15 minutes. Just in between Volada and Othos there’s a sign saying ‘Taverna Kali Limni’ and an arrow pointing into the side road to get there. We drive into the narrow road. Fortunately is asphalted and in another 10 minutes we get to the Lastos plateau. A whole different world appears to be there. It’s as if I don’t know the island I’m living on now that I arrive to Lastos seeing the beautiful landscape. Always hidden behind the limestone mountain range stretching from North to South on Karpathos.

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The local family taverna ‘Kali Limni’

Taverna Kali Limni

The parking spot is at the local family Taverna Kali Limni which is famous among the tourists for its locally brewed ‘raki’ – a strong spirit made from grapes. From the taverna’s parking we start our hike and mister Viking and I promise each other something. Once we complete the hike we’ll allow ourselves a drink (or two) at the local taverna! A local farmer asks us if we carry enough water and wishes us a nice day. We carry 2 liters of water with us, 2 sandwiches, 2 bananas and 1 candy-bar, which should be enough.

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Dusty paths to follow

It takes us about an hour to get high enough. We get to see a nice view of both East and West. In about half an hour more we will see the North and South of Karpathos. A couple of goats are standing on the rocks in the distance. While they chew on a leaf they make sure that they are gone before we get to close.

The terrain is dry and the hiking path not really marked. The dust created by previous hikers leaves the trail on the rocks. As a result it gets easier to see where you’re supposed to walk. Only in the first part of the hike there are about 3 signs and one up on the top of the mountain. An occasional red or yellow dot on the stones or trees is also there to serve as a bit of guidance. However sometimes they are marked as red and black stripes looking like a flag. The system in these markings is a bit far-fetched, but it works okay if you’re used to looking for them.

Thank you Greek gods

Upon reaching the mountain’s top we realize how lucky we are. There’s a clear blue sky today. Therefor we get to see the whole island from its highest point. Normally when I drive past the Kali Limni I see clouds surrounding its peak. Today however the Greek gods gave us a lovely clear blue sky. Lucky us! Now we have to get ready for our walk back down, which will go a lot quicker. And remember, finally we’ll go to the taverna for a well deserved beer!

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The South of Karpathos

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The North of Karpathos

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We’ve done it baby!

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Have you ever been hiking to the Kali Limni? What did you think about this place?

 

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Enjoy the video!

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Ever since I left my home country I felt at home at any other place I went to. I enjoy getting to know more cultures by talking to strangers and hearing their philosophy about life. Speaking with gestures when you can not find a shared language, finding places only the locals go to and learn about their customs and values. Hanging out with local people makes me happy. The experience of every new place is a step out of your comfort zone where I like to wander around until it feels like a second home.

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