Haidari, ‘Light at End of Tunnel’ walk, 10 March

Details for the walk on Saturday 10th March

Venue: “Light at the End of the Tunnel” Haidari (near Aspropyrgos) and the church of Saint Christophoros.

Walk Leader: Marc Blake (mobile 6932 602902)
Starting Time: 14.00 hours sharp
The walk is of medium difficulty and includes the following highlights:
• A trek through the Daphne Forest and over the crest of the Egaleo Mountain, which is near the site of Xerxes throne from which he observed the Battle of Salamis.
• We start with a walk along the mountain side through a park to the mouth of a tunnel also very close to a new 50 meter high concrete railway bridge over the roadway. Here we enter the 1km long and straight train tunnel still without train tracks. Although there is light at the end of the tunnel it is advisable to bring along flashlights. I will bring several to lend to any that may need one. The construction road inside is flat and clean.
• Exiting the tunnel we will ascend gradually on dirt and asphalt roads along the western slopes facing Aspropyrgos, all the way up to the crest of the mountain we just passed through.
• On the final part we descend the eastern slope towards Haidari where we began. The most difficult part of the walk is here, where we need to go off road through a break in the fence down a 10m gravel slide.
• The vegetation along the entire route consists of pine, cypress and low shrub. Due to the rains many wildflowers are in bloom. Other then the end where we go off road and down a steep grade for a short distance, the path consists of well-groomed dirt roads with a small stretch of asphalt.
• Ravens, owls, pheasants and caterpillar trains have been observed on this walk.

Estimated numbers for the walk: 2.5 – 3 hours in duration and 8.5km distance.

The walk will go ahead even in light rain, but feel free to call Marc (6932 602902) if in doubt

Directions by CAR:
Here is a map https://tinyurl.com/5w286r4
To arrive at the meeting point you must get on Leoforos Athinon (sometimes called Leoforos Kavalas) which is the original 6-lane road exiting Athens towards Elefsina and Corinth.
From the Northeast – Turn right onto Leoforos Athinon, direction Elefsina/Corinth.
From Piraeus – take the overpass on the right that swoops over the road allowing you to turn left onto Leoforos Athinon, direction Elefsina/Corinth
From Omonia – Exit the square and head towards Karaiskaki square; then go around the square to the other side and up Achilleos, which is the beginning of Leoforos Athinon. Drive east on Athinon towards Elefsina/Corinth.

After the junction with the Athens-Lamia National Road, on Leoforos Athinon/Kavalas, drive 5.8km up until you come to two traffic lights in quick succession where you turn at the second set onto Mystra street. If you pass this traffic light, the last chance to turn right is immediately after the BP station on the right at the crest of the road! N.B. Consider this: There is a Goody’s on your right just 1000 m before the turn for Mystra. There is an EKO petrol station on your right, just 700 m before the turn for Mystra.
Caution: If you miss this final right hand turn you need to drive several km towards Elefsina to make a u-turn!
After turning right at the traffic light you take a quick left turn onto Vasileiou Voulgaroktonou street and go to the end and turn right. Now the forest will be on your left. Drive up to the Church of Saint Christophoros on your left. Park along this street. (If you need help, just ask anyone where the church is).

From Elefsina – Turn left at the first traffic light after coming over the crest into Athens.

Directions by Mass Transit (about 50min from Syntagma square):
Take the Metro to Egaleo, which is the end station of the Airport/Egaleo Blue Line.
From the Egaleo metro station take bus #811 on the side of the road returning to Athens.
(i.e. descending Iera Odos and towards the National road which you can see from there)
Near the end of the line, get off the bus at the stop called “KOMNHNΩN” (Komninon), which is just before the Saint Christophoros church near the end of the line. Walk down the street 30m to the church, with the forest to your right. If you have missed the correct stop and are still on the bus, it will pass the church on the right in the forest. Get down on the next bus stop and walk back up the road with the forest on your left.
Due to high gasoline prices and our group’s elevated environmental awareness, we highly recommend that all use mass transit to come to the walk.
Our bus takes us directly past the restaurant on the way back.

Directions to OASIS taverna:
Coming down from the church you find Vasileiou Voulgaroktonou street, which is one street above, and running parallel with Leoforos Athinon/Kavalas. On this street is also the bus terminal (that can take us to the front door of the taverna). Go to the end of Vasileiou Voulgaroktonou towards Athens and away from the mountain we just walked, and turn right at the short street of Mystra, which is connected with the traffic lights at its junction with Leoforos Athinon/Kavalas. Turn left into Leoforos Athinon/Kavalas (heading towards Athens). About 1.4km from the turn onto the Leoforos we turn right at the traffic lighted intersection onto Kyprou street. Drive 300 meters to a small opening/plateia on the left, where the restaurant OASIS is. This is where the bus turns, so be careful not to park within its radius. Here is a map taking you from the walk finish to the taverna https://tinyurl.com/6hugbdn
Restaurant telephone 210 5811845
Any problems call Marc on 6932 602902 but please BEFORE 2pm. Any callers after this risk being left behind.