Making the Map Continued...
On the same level of interest, if someone wants a digitised version to insert it on his GPS receiver or his PC, if approached I will try to oblige but it will cost £35 with a strict undertaking that it is for PRIVATE USE only and must not be printed for sale. It will be re-defined as one file for Paxos in one-sheet format and another smaller one for Anti-Paxos. It will come on a CD-ROM.
Mention of the Whistons, Peter and Maggie, who have assisted me recently, brings up the important matter of the many who have helped in the past and/or continue to do so. Some are mentioned in the list of those contributing photographs in the Booklet. John and Sylvia Fox deserve a mention as they are not on that list and, of course John Bird and, more recently, the gallant Kevin who has expended so much energy in exploring those over-dense corners of the Island which had beaten me. Both he and Mary Joy Brown have an unfortunate tendency to lose hiking sticks! Peter & Brenda Greaves are mentioned in the Booklet, having contributed entire pages, along with much other help, as you will see.
It would be un-gallant not to mention my dear wife Elizabeth, who has to put up with my many hours working incommunicado on the PC and/or Laptop and helped with humping many, many heavy boxes of maps around the house and to the Post. I don't think there will be another Edition after this one. I must try to find a proper Publisher. Any offers. Thanks & acknowledgements are also due to GoogleEarth who, in recent years, have helped considerably, not with the overall survey - that is my own work - but in matters of detail.
All paths and other detail on Anti-Paxos has been extensively revised, considerably helped by the work of Peter & Maggie Whiston and the Foxes (who are brave enough to stay there).
Now a bit about the Greek Island of Paxos
(PAXOS the Peaceful Isle, from the Latin PAX = peace).
Situated, with it larger neighbour Corfu, off the West Coast of Greece, some 75km south-east of the heel of Italy, in the Ionian Sea with it's off-shoot, Anti-Paxos 1½ km away to the SE.
They, like most of the more southern Ionian Islands, form exposed summits of a range of coastal-shelf limestone hills, once part of an uplifted ancient sea-floor. Forced up by the interaction of plate-tectonics along the Eastern Mediterranean fault-line.
Because they have a different climate, hot and dry in summer but very wet in winter, they are luxuriously vegetated, unlike the better-known islands on the other side of Greece in the Aegean.
On important trade-routes between Western Europe and the Middle East, in history they have been occupied over time by various powers, all of which have had influences but of which the Venetians are probably the most noticeable.
If you have read Gerald Durrell's book "My Family and Other Animals" you will have an idea what Corfu was like in the late 1930's. Paxos, being that bit more remote, was still in that degree of idyllic-ness until about 30 years ago!
Tourism on the Island
The tourist industry has flourished since then but, because there is no airport and everyone and everything has to come by ferry, because there are no Hotels (in the traditional sense) and because it is relatively expensive to get there (and nowadays to stay there too!) it has retained a degree of laid-back exclusiveness.
What is the special appeal?
Some 10 kilometres long and averaging 2½ wide, it is almost entirely tree-covered, rising in generally gentle hills to a maximum of 233 metres. There are 3 seaside villages, Gaios (the Capitol), Lakka and Loggos plus quite a lot of inland villages and settlements. A main-road system (now all surfaced) runs along the spine of the island with loops off each side to the villages and a network of tracks serving the smaller settlements. These vehicular routes are all relatively recent as I don't think wheeled vehicles reached the island until WWII. Thus there remains a complex network of former donkey-paths criss-crossing the countryside in various stages of decay. These form an excellent recreational walking heritage and it was in order to discover and perhaps somehow preserve this system, that my Walking Map was conceived. That the Island Administration is beginning to appreciate this, is reward in itself.
Hidden in the olive
groves which these paths and tracks traverse, are all manner of unexpected
delights including no less than 65 Greek Orthodox Churches (not all in
My Map of Paxos
The Booklet accompanying the Map details each path, with an intimation of what to look out for together with warnings of any problem stretches. The coastline is indented with a multitude of secluded bays on the east coast, and high cliffs and dramatic outlooks on the west. Many of the bays, ideal for quiet bathing, are only accessible by footpath (or boat).
As said previously, the Booklet contains a mine of information which I won't repeat here; so please buy one!
Copyright © Ian K Bleasdale. Site best viewed in Internet Explorer. Revised 17/11/2012