After a nice breakfast at the hotel, we walked to the nearest bus stop (with the guidance of the hotel receptionist) and boarded the main bus that runs between Gavrio and Andros Town, passing through the popular tourist resort of Batsi along the way. We were soon glad to have boarded the bus in Gavrio as it turns out to be a very popular service and by the time it got through Batsi it was full to bursting, the driver had to turn a few people away. However the service runs every 30 minutes in high season so it shouldn’t present too much of an issue.
Arriving in Andros Town we proceeded straight to the famous fortress ruins located right at the end of the peninsula that juts out from the centre of the town. To get to the ruins you have to climb across a very steeply-arched stone bridge which is not for the faint-hearted (or short!) but if you feel brave it’s worth it for the views (photos to come). We were slightly unlucky that the day was quite overcast and still a bit windy, with a few drops of rain too, so obligatory photos taken, we quickly headed back into the town to walk around.
After a reviving coffee and waffle, we began what should have been a roughly 20km hike back across the Island to Batsi, where we intended to catch a late afternoon bus to Gavrio and on to our hotel. Well things didn’t quite go as planned…
At first we made good progress along some well-marked walking paths that start just to the north of Andros town and head first towards Apikia and then in between Vourkoti and Arni.
The entire ascent was pretty good and at times the weather cleared enough to get some excellent views of the capital and surrounding villages. However we came a bit unstuck on the descent, ending up on a very windy road down into Arni which extended our walk significantly. With time getting on (we’d been walking for around 6 hours), we decided to stop at a small taverna in Katakoilos, where the waiter agreed to call us a taxi in exchange for a couple of much-needed cold beers! In total our walk had covered 29km and would have been closer to 35 had we pushed on to Batsi. It doesn’t sound like much further but we were both extremely tired at this point and felt we’d done more than enough in covering 9km more than we had originally planned!
A much-needed shower and brief rest at the hotel and we made tentative steps back into Gavrio for another excellent evening meal, before almost crawling back to our rooms for some well-earned sleep!