Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Zagori part 2 – The Deepest Gorge in the world

Absolutely the most famous hiking route in Zagori is the path connecting villages of Monodendri and Vikos, through the Vikos gorge. It's a little tricky to achieve in one day, as it takes about 6-7h one way. The solution can be to arrange transportation back to start, or to walk “almost” all of distance and simply return to the point of start. Whatever You choose, You will not regret. The hike is unforgettable! You can really feel the power of nature when You reach the bottom and look up at 1km high “walls” of the gorge!

The gorge, varying from 400 to 1100m in depth and 400m to only few in width, is stated in Guiness Book of Records, as the deepest gorge in the world. There are some controversies about that, as it’s a delicate matter of definition of a “gorge” itself in comparison to “canyon”, not allowing higher values of width-depth ratio, but regardless of this, it is simply huge. The length is about 20km, starting in area close to villages of Monodendri, Vitsa and Koukouli, and stretching until Vikos, where Voidomatis river starts.

I post You two photos: one taken from the bottom of the gorge; the other from most famous view point in Zagori, called Mpeloi (or Beloi), some 950m above the place from where the first photo was taken. Before visiting Zagori, I read about Mpeloi in a guide, where I found such text: “when You finally reach the view point, be prepared Your jaw to drop” :-P And it really is true! I have done some hiking in my life and seen some amazing views, but this one was really outstanding all the previous! No photo will give You that impression, the size and the power of the gorge. You need to see it live, to experience it Yourself, as it's more of overall feeling than just a view.

Photo1: NIKON D70s, Aperture priority, f 1/7.1, 1/640s, -0.3EV, f=27 mm (for 35mm), GIMP software

Photo2: NIKON D70s, Aperture priority, f 1/8, 1/500s, -0.3EV, f=27 mm (for 35mm), GIMP software

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