After an excellent breakfast at the hotel, we walked to the nearest bus stop (with the guidance of the hotel receptionist). We boarded the main bus 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 at the end of the peninsula that juts out from the centre of the town. To get to the ruins, you have to climb 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 north of Andros town and head towards Apikia and then 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 windy road down into Arni, extending our walk significantly. With time getting on (we’d been walking for around 6 hours), we stopped 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! 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 initially planned!
After a much-needed shower and brief rest at the hotel, we made tentative steps back into Gavrio for another excellent evening meal before almost crawling back to our rooms for some well-earned sleep!