To save you looking, Kastri is near to Sami on the Greek island of Kefalonia. It’s 909m high and worth a massive 2 points. To date there are no activations listed.

You-have-to-be-kidding-640x300

Kastri SV/IO-022 – 909m, 2 points Association: Greece Region: Ionian Islands Latitude: 38 13 41 N, Longitude: 20 41 3 E Info at sotawatch.org

My YL and I were in Greece on holiday and I’d negotiated a little radio time so long as I wasn’t “on it all the time”. We’d packed our boots and intended to get out into the hills so the decision to visit this summit was quite acceptable.

The weather for our ascent 11th July 2013 was forecast a warm 31°C but as we’d been in Greece for a week already we felt reasonably acclimatised to the heat.

Ruins

Connected to the hotel WIFI I smiled and optimistically posted an alert to the sotawatch website.

Armed with our map, stout walking boots, plenty of water, a wouxun handheld and a desire to be the first to active this summit we set off on foot from our hotel located on the outskirts of Sami

TerracedThe first 5km of the walk was mostly a reasonable uphill climb on clear tracks, starting off as concrete and giving way to un-surfaced dusty and rocky tracks. At this point the map “clearly” showed where we should find a path leading from the track. After a little searching we spotted the first of the spray painted red dots on the exposed rocks.

The terrain got progressively steeper and follow the red dots we duly did. The lack of a single defined path was a little un-nerving but the presence of the dots assured us we were heading in the right direction….

The hills have eyes

Then the dot’s stopped, this happened more than once, we were forced to scan the hill side testing out the goat tracks for a safe path (and a spray painted dot). Rechecking the map we noticed that although we could see the red dot markers the path had veered off what I believed (the map and compass showed) to be the correct course, great another route marked on the ground but not the map.

We retraced our steps and found where the route markers had split into two routes. We resumed up our intended route and pretty soon the markers stopped again. The terrain by this point was at about a 60°-70° angle, it didn’t feel too exposed thanks to the many spiky bushes covering the hillside (and any visibility of a spray painted dot or path).

You have to be kiddingWe stopped to rest and study the map, we had to make a decision; Would it be a good idea to continue any further? The route finding was getting progressively harder, the extra climb in the wrong turn and the additional time finding the route had eaten into our water supplies and we were getting tired. From the map I had our altitude at 600m that gave us another 300m to climb, attempt an activation in the sun and then make our descent.

Hmmmm

HmmmmIt was a no brainer, time to call it a day and head down the hill. I’m glad we did, even the route finding on the descent was difficult, although there were visible tracks MANY of them belonged to goats and not humans. After some time carefully picking out way off the hill and back to the dusty track the decision was made to head directly to the harbour for refreshments. A long walk down defined tracks and five hours after we started we spotted a familiar face in the harbour side restaurant, seated we were promptly delivered chilled water, a large draft Mythos and bite to eat. We stayed here for some time.

Further Up

So for now Kastri remains un-activated. I’m a little disappointed not to have succeeded but we gave it our best shot and lived to walk and activate another day.

I’ll return here one day and have another attempt but for now the summit is there waiting to be activated.

SOTA photos are at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stewartculshaw/sets/72157634043503161/

[flickr_set id=”72157634687454101″]