The goal of our Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) Europe Section Blog is to share stories and relevant information about activities going on within our section and more broadly in the conservation community. Stories and articles shared on our blog should not be taken as an official position or statement of SCB or SCB Europe Section. Thank you for reading!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

SCB summer school: excursion to Greek mountains in Papingo

It was Sunday morning; all of us were energetic and excited. We were dressed up for hiking and ready to go. After a week of intensive classes, every student was looking forward to a long day hiking. Our instructors John, Gabor, Martin and Thanassios looked at roads on the map while having breakfast.  We were 11 students, two lab assistants and four instructors going for an excursion to Papigo. It started 8.00 in the morning from Ano Pedina. Winding roads surrounded by green forest, the excursion to Papingo started with extra-ordinary landscape from early morning. As we drove higher, views of mountains, roads, valleys and village patches got outstanding. 

After 30 minutes of driving we reached Papingo, a small beautiful village in the slopes of a mountain. Beautiful houses and narrow streets built from stones made the trip worthy from the beginning. Everything gave new impressions to us and there seemed to be much to explore. John took us to the small shop where we bought water, ice cream, chocolates and cookies for the 3-hour climb.  We started to walk towards Mikro Papingo, a village nearby Papingo at around 9 and reached there in 15 minutes.  We found Mikro Papingo as a unique village, sitting smiling on slopes of huge mountains as if mountains stand there proudly and high giving a spectacular natural view. Although we were getting late for the climb, we couldn’t stop taking pictures. 

Climbing till the refuge
We headed for a 3-hour climb towards the refuge. The hiking way and directions were well marked all
On the top
along the way. Few springs and shelters helped us for taking rest on the uphill. A clear day throughout the afternoon allowed us to enjoy the scenic views. Martin was looking at butterflies using his net, and presented us with several colorful and new species during the whole trip. We were fortunate to see some snow patches along the slopes on top of the mountain, not melted, being in the shade. Once we reached the refuge at the pass, the view on the other side of the mountain was magnificent. Although we were tired from the steep climb, the beautiful view from the top refreshed all of us. Our eyes extended far towards the horizon,it was full of mountains and scenic view. The landscape, narrow ridge of the mountain and clouds seen nearby will always be reminiscing to us. We took lots of photographs and had some toast and sandwiches at the refuge.

After half an hour, with our heads full of adventure, we went slowly downhill to Mikro Papingo. Dinner was organized in the village Papingo by the summer school. Gabor had already brought some wine from the village and all of us got the opportunity to taste it. Before returning to Ano Pedina, we had some time to buy souvenirs and “tsipouro”, a unique drink of Greece. All of us really enjoyed the excursion and will always remember the wilderness view from the top of the hill.

Rumakanta Sapkota


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