On the occasion, the monthly appointment of May, it was arranged for Sunday (18/5/2008), a one day campaign, in the wider region of Kalavryta. For the first time, in our company, they participated, Apostolis with Honda Hornet 600 and Nikos T(raveller) with Ducati 999.
The appointment was given in the petrol station, little afterwards the tolls of Elefsina. At 10.00am, our group that was constituted from 11 people, found itself already in the national road Athens – Patras, with destination the node of Diakopto. After 160km of monotonous national road, we followed the plates for Kalavryta and entered in the provincial road (Diakopto - Kalavryta).
The road was narrow, in mediocre situation, with a lot of turns and a green landscape, it offered to us an enjoyable tour! After roughly 45km, we reached at the town of Kalavryta. At the known railway station of Kalavryta, we chose to drink our first coffee of the day, at the shadow of the huge plane trees. The time passed with a pleasant conversation. Afterwards, we decided to leave with the destination, the historical monastery of Saint Lavra that was 5 km away. So, just before the exit of the village, we turned left and we followed the secondary provincial road that leads directly to the monastery.
For our bad luck, the monastery was closed (open until 13.00 on Sunday). So, we only visited the outside area of the monastery and rested at the shadow of the huge central plane tree. At that area exists the statue of “Paleon Patron Germanos”, the monk that raised the flag of assumption of Virgin Mary and put under oath the leaders of the Greek Revolution in 1821 against the Turkish.
In a very near distance, is found the National Monument of Heroes of the revolution in 1821. The huge marble monument was at the top of a hill that took our attention, from far, which was the reason to visit it. It worth it! Beyond the monument, the point provides an amazing panoramic view of the wider region.
After a few minutes stop, we left following initially the signs to Patras, until we found the node to the village of Gumenisa. The way was astonishing! The plane trees and the small grasslands that we found, full of red poppies, amazed us, reminding table of painting!
Little before, the village Gumenisa, we turned right in the small cementitious bridge, following a narrower street that afterwards, violence fitted a vehicle. At the length of the way, we met small villages - the more perhaps abandoned - and enough settlements. The way continued being impressive. In the village Drosato we stopped where Nikos T., decided to return in Kalavrita to refuel. It deserves to mark that the way “Gumenisa - Aegio”, does not allocate petrol station.
The remainder team continued its course, with destination the village Plataniotissa, for which we had heard positive comments. Roughly, 3km afterwards the village Petsakoi, we met the crossroad to “Valta - Plataniotissa” that abstains 2km and 5km, respectively. It is truth that moving in the particular way, but also crossing Valta, you cannot think, what we met below…
Entering in Plataniotissa, we passed the old watermill and continued following the plates for the “Holy adoration Virgin Mary Plataniotissa”. We reached quickly in a space surrounded from very tall plane trees and two taverns. Impressive sight constitutes the temple of Virgin Mary that is found inside one of an enormous plane tree that, as it appears, his age approaches the 1000 years!!! We did not lose the occasion to visit the interior and to admire this unusual and unique “game of” nature. For its history and morphological, we were characteristically informed by a sign that is found inside the tree. It deserves for sure, somebody to visit the temple, independent his religious perceptions…
The village of Plataniotissa, except the other, allocates the unique - perhaps taverns of the way Gumenisa - Aegio. The time was already 4.00pm. It had reached the time for food. We selected the tavern “the old mill” that as it was proved later, allocated appreciable cookery and a very helpful householder. This time Nikos T., appeared lucky and managed to come, before foods were served.
With a heavy heart, at 5.30pm, we decided to leave. We learned that it was not necessary to return in the crossroad “Valta - Plataniotissa”, while it existed paved street (15km) that led directly to Diakopto.
We followed a very beautiful way, at the length of the river Keryniti. In the next 6km, we met plane trees, mountainous rocks that reminded the rocks of Meteora, but also burned extents that were created from the devastating fires of previous year…
Little afterwards the village Vilivina, we met a crossway, to which the plate “Athens-Aegio” led to a dirt-road, while the other course (paved street), did not allocate labelling. The boldest of us – perhaps - followed the dirt-road, leaving behind us the street bikers, with the prospect that we will notify them, for the length and the situation of the dirt-road.
Finally, as it was revealed, the paved street leads to the way Diakopto - Kalavryta (3km before Mega Spileo). The dirt-road (2,5km) is negotiable. What compensated us, was the waterfall that we met… In an abrupt slot of rock, next to the street, existed a waterfall 10-15m. creating a impressive spectacle!
After the dirt-road, 10km. separated us from Diakopto, where we refuel and communicated with the remainder team that were coming. We said to meet in Xylokastro, for the last coffee, before our return in Athens. We decided to follow coastal Old National road (40km.). At 7.30pm., having the “perfect” co-ordination, we met all together in the coastal street of Xylokastro.
At 9.30pm., we began to return to Athens. The total number of kilometres of the tour is 465. Substantially, roughly 100km., it constitutes the secondary road, which is what presents interest and will impress each motorcyclist. It constitutes a appreciable one day excursion… Try it!