As we are staying in lovely Lakka for another day, we decided to go for another challenging and death-defying walk, featured in the rather bizarre guide by Ian Bleasedale.
The instructions and accompanying map are not that easy to follow, but are worth it for the humour – “turn left at the farm machinery” or “watch out for the barking dog, not vicious”. A previous time we have been in Lakka we did the exact same walk, so we were fairly certain we wouldn’t get lost. We took the local bus for a short distance, and explained to the lady conductress who sold the tickets that we wanted the bus to stop at the hamlet of Angyratika. Unfortunately there is another hamlet with the very similar sound of Andiratika, which is where she stopped the bus. As we knew it wasn’t the right stop, we didn’t leave our seats, but she came marching down the aisle to try and get us to get off the bus. When we explained we wanted the stop further on, she got rather exasperated, gave us an evil look, and appeared to swear under her breath in Greek at us.
Eventually we were dropped off in what appeared to be the middle of nowhere. I had memorised the map before we left and felt certain I knew where the path started, but of course the husband (TH) who has been coming to Paxos longer than me and has apparently walked every footpath on the island, immediately set off in the other direction. On the newer edition of the map, which we had glanced at previously when someone else was complaining about getting lost, we read that a new footpath had now opened which made the route we wanted to Loggos a little easier.
At every junction we had to have a discussion as to where we were, and where to go next. I could recognise some landmarks from our previous walk, such as a tiny white shrine, and a gate. I informed TH, who duly ignored me and claimed that the paths had changed since he was last here, and we should go another way.
After a lovely walk through the shady olive groves, and past some new luxury villas, we eventually found the path to the Donkey Steps. These steps are famous in Loggos, and many people walk down them, but on our walk there was not one sign, arrow, or notice saying where they were. They are very steep in parts, in some places they are actual stone steps, each step being about half a metre high. In other places, it is like walking on a path where someone has dumped a load of sharp boulders. I pity the poor donkeys who used to use this path! No donkeys in sight today! They’ve probably all emigrated to Blackpool Beach, if they’ve got any sense…
Eventually we reached Loggos, at the back of the ruined soap factory with its distinctive tall chimney. We walked round the harbour and rehydrated ourselves with a cold lager…..