Horti, Platsa, Sperioli
This mountain is located just east of the town Lardos, and I got the name from a receptionist at the hotel. He wrote “Giorti” on a piece of paper. Mr. Dimitris at email@example.com emailed me and said the name is Horti. I go with the latter.
I did this as a morning hike, while waiting for the hotel to get the water back. The water disappeared the evening before and it’s very inconvenient for the hotel staff and the guests.
I drove to the Glistra bay on the south side of the mountain and headed straight up. The rocky terrain was just as rough as the neighbor top Marmari – which I hiked on the first day. By now, my feet were so sore that I was actually wondering if I should be hiking at all. Every step was painful. But, this was a golden opportunity to reach my annual goal of 100 new mountains top. The count was 50 when we left Norway. The count was 61 so far, after 4 full days on the island.
I just learned the term HuMP – which is far better than the pf100 expression I’ve been using on this site. HuMP stands for “HUndred meters of prominence”. Which means that I go for the tops that has a 100m (or more) drop on all sides.
I reached the top, marked by a pile of rocks and a summit marker close by, but clearly lower than the pile of rocks.
I took the same route back down and was quite surprised when I met a German couple (I could her them talk), on their way up in this very rocky and rough terrain. We didn’t chat, but nodded. Mutual recognizition of other crazy people in this rocky landscape, early in the morning.
When I got back to the hotel, the water had returned and I also reached breakfast before they closed.
Trip statistics: 2,7km, 300 vertical meters, 1h:13m
Pictures from the hike:
Anne wanted to spend the day at the hotel, so I decided to go for a drive and get myself a mountain top or two before joining her later on.
Platsa is located between Malonas and Masari, which felt like “just up the road” after driving around on the island for 4 days. There was a road to the top, but that was not an option. It was NOT a sightseeing day! I parked at the beginning of the mountain road, which was a dirt road in the beginning, but turned into a narrow, paved road going up the mountain.
I was able to ignore the pain from my feet, only looking forward to get HuMP #13 on Rhodes. On top, I found a chapel – another Profetis Ilias chapel, according to the map. The view was really nice, as I hadn’t been to any tops in this part of the island yet.
But the high point, defined by the regular summit marker, was located 200 meters south of the chapel.
On my way down, I could hear someone honking the horn aggressively, many times. And the sound came from close to where I had parked. Which was in front of a gate, and I was 100% sure that no one had opened it in years. So, I was a bit nervous when I returned to the car. Would I find a super-angry farmer there? Fortunately, I did not.
Trip statistics: 6,7km, 285 vertical meters, 1h:18m
Pictures from the hike:
After the Platsa hike, my feet were screaming for mercy. I was strongly considering listening to them, but discovered that I could possibly get a bonus peak on the ridge between Malonas and Platania. But the problem was that I didn’t know where the high point was, and there was several hills to choose from. After a few quick walks I decided to abandon the idea and call it a day by hiking the 651m mountain east of Profitis Ilias Apollona.
I drove down from the mountain ridge, took a left turn in the fork just west of Platania and shortly after, located a mountain service road (dirt). I was 100% sure this road would lead me to the top and parked the car.
I kept a good pace up the curvy road. The terrain wasn’t very scenic so this was all a transport leg. High up in the forest, my road merged with another road (paved), coming from Apollona.
When I finally reached the summit area, I was met by a gate which was wide open. Once past the gate, the road forked. To the right was military buildings behind a fence, with signposts clearly stating “keep out“. To the left was another gate – also wide open – leading up to the antenna on top. This was also the high point of the mountain, denoted by the usual summit marker.
On the way down I noticed a sticker on the side of the first gate – which was open. The sticker said “no entry“, swaying in the wind. OK – if they really mean that hikers are not allowed to visit the high point, then put up proper gates and clear signposts!
Any effort to run down the mountain failed miserably and when I got back to the car, I didn’t think that I would be able to do much more hiking on the island. I drove to Platania and bought something to drink. I also asked for the name of the top. They wrote “Periolas” on a piece of paper. Then they added “Sperioli”, which also was the name I got from Mr. Dimitris at firstname.lastname@example.org
When people at the cafe heard I had been on top, they were really worried. “Dangerous place“. I explained that the gates were open that I was NOT inside the military area. That did not help. “Dangerous place“, they said. I left without understanding what was dangerous…
I drove back to the hotel and when I stepped out of the car, hell was unleashed from the sky. Deep thunder and the loudest strikes of lightning I’ve ever heard. Then came the rain. All tourists evacuated from the beach, Anne being the last one.
Then came a lightning strike so hard it sounded like dynamite 5 yards away. Everyone jumped. Then we saw fire on the mountain I had hiked in the morning. The hotel staff didn’t seem bothered about the fire. Business as usual, I suppose…
After the rain stopped, Anne and I went snorkeling outside the hotel. We discovered that there was actually fish in the water, and we decided to come back the next day, hoping the water was clearer by then.
Trip statistics: 8,4km, 320 vertical meters, 1h:06m
Pictures from the hike: