A summary of 3 months and 1 week on Ikaria

I’ve been home for almost a week now and very busy. So many things to do… not enough time to write a summary.

First things first:

Columbia Beartooth (click to open larger)

My beloved Columbia Beartooth GTX mid did not survive the 3 months of ordeal that is named Ikaria. Unfortunately they do not make the same model anymore, or the previous incarnation called Tigertooth (luckily I still have those around) as this was one of the best shoes I ever had. Extremely comfortable, amazing grip on rocks, very light, waterproof (although not anymore obviously) but sadly all those amazing properties must come with a downside. They are simply not durable enough to wear them on rough trails and off road everyday. The sole was very worn out and the first hole (big one on the photo) appeared after only 3 weeks on the island, followed closely by another one where the toe cap meets the leather. I tried to repair them as best I could by stitching up the leather but given the uncompromising location I only prolonged the ordeal for two more weeks. After that the holes just kept spreading and multiplying. Eventually I was walking around with what felt like a GoreTex sock with amazing breathability. ;)
Poor protection against spiky shrubs that are inevitable on Ikaria… But all that complaining somehow fades in comparison to Johanna’s footwear saga.
I still love my Beartooths though but unfortunately I can’t find a replacement pair anywhere. I guess I can wait while I still have the Tigertooths…

routes on Ikaria (click to open much larger map)

This is a sketch showing what I think are almost all the routes I walked, drove or otherwise visited while on Ikaria. Obviously it is not accurate and obviously a lot of those lines were walked and driven at some point (Suzuki Jimny baby, sorry Dimitris) ;) but I wanted to keep the map simple so only one color per road/trail. And obviously we repeated a lot of them multiple times.
The background is a photograph of Road Editions map of Ikaria.

routes on Samos (click to open larger)

Above is a similar sketch showing the roads driven on Samos while we were coming back from Turkey. It was easter weekend and no ferries went back to Ikaria… so what can you do but rent a car… Again, background by Road Editions.

GPS measurements (click to open larger) copyright Archipelagos/Jernej Burkeljca/Road Editions

This slide from my final presentation for Archipelagos is a collection of all the GPS measurements I managed to either record on my own or dig up from old reports. Most of them are mine but I wish I recorder many more…
Recorded on Garmin e-Trex legend or Qstarz GPS receiver linked via BlueTooth to Garmin Que running under Windows Mobile on Dell Axim X51v.

Which one is better?
Well, the eTrex series are nice little units, much more useful in the field compared to my own setup (which is normally used in a car not while hiking) but the one I used had some serious connection problems at times. It had problems with terrain, with vegetation, with my pockets, clouds…
This could all be excused (since the GPS does need line of sight with the satellite) but not if the Qstarz managed to stay hooked on throughout even if I carried it at the bottom of the backpack.
I can’t comment on accuracy since I don’t have anything to compare it against. Qstarz did report about 50% lower error though (but I don’t really trust those numbers).

On my last weekend I finally managed to slip underwater with a camera to take some photos of underwater photography fieldcourse but since the camera I was using was crap that takes 3 or 4 seconds to take a photo and I didn’t have any lights (a must underwater) the photos aren’t any good. To put it plain and simple – they suck… at least I saw my first Triton’s trumpet (Charonia tritonis).

Scorpaena porcus Scorpaena (porcus?)

Charonia tritonis Charonia (tritonis?)

Below is the other movie I was working on towards the end… we had visits by two groups of children from schools in Perdiki and Agios Kirikos and I just basically followed them around the base and areas around it. The movie is supposed to be a short overview of what these environmental education visits are about so there’s no major editing involved. Just a nice soundtrack and voices of children in the background for a nice summer feel.

copyright Archipelagos/Jernej Burkeljca

So to end this… thank you all that made my stay on Ikaria so enjoyable and memorable! Hopefuly you know who you are. Thanks to everyone who helped out in whatever way, to everyone who picked us up when we were hitchiking (some should have the title of our regular drivers), to all that made hiking on Ikaria what it is, to everyone who cooked such nice food and everyone else that made sure I’ll come back someday. Hopefuly nobody feels left out but there’s too many of you to name and this is not an academy award speech ;)

4 Comments so far

  1. Eleni @ July 17th, 2008

    Time flies fast and there is so much to say. But you said it: First things first. And so I say: THANK YOU!

  2. Angelos @ July 18th, 2008

    Leave us a souvenir of your adventures. Could I have the photo of your incredibly worn out Columbia Beartooth GTX to feature as the group icon on the frontpage of Hiking Ikaria Group for a few months?

  3. Nana @ July 23rd, 2008

    ΚΑΛΗ ΑΝΤΑΜΩΣΗ, intrepid island trotter!

  4. Greg @ June 9th, 2010

    My Columbia Beartooths did not survive two weeks walking the streets of Europe. I’m not talking about rock climbing here. I mean walking streets as in office shoes department. All the threads on the nose cap on both shoes started pulling loose and the cap started pulling away. In a nutshell the most expensive crap I have ever bought.

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