Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Lake Plastira

Pro-ee-oh-min-no Sa-vah-to (Last Saturday), we took an afternoon drive around Lake Plastira, a big man-made lake about 30 km SW of Trikala. It was built in the late 1950s to control the Tavropos River from flooding, and for irrigation, hydroelectricity, and water for the town of Karditsa nearby. The lake and dam are named after Nicolas Plastira, a general and eventually prime minister, who was the main advocate for the dam.
History aside, it's one of the highest altitude dams in Europe, which of course resulted in quite the windy and twisty drive typical any time you try to get away from Trikala it seems! Heading south from Mouzaki, it's a pretty crazy-steep 20-25 km on the west side. It's always amazing to drive right through some of these villages, with the houses spilling onto the main road and barely wide enough to fit our tiny Fiat Punto through!
The weather was beautiful and it was a great day for a tour. At one town, there were paddle boats and hydro bikes for rent. These folks got a bit too close to shore and ended up providing us with some free entertainment while we were having our snack. The mountain goats were another form of entertainment, scattered up the mountainsides and wandering along the roads.
Despite the beautiful warm weather the past 10 days, the high altitude means that there's still plenty of snow on the trails, so we only managed a short hike. There were also piles of snow and mudslides, not to mention road collapses, along the drive. On the right I'm contemplating sticking my feet into the freezing snowmelt stream. Even the rock I'm standing on is cold like a block of ice, and it felt like someone was hammering on my ankles with a hammer!
The boys react to their bout with cryotherapy (cryo comes from Greek for cold - "Kree-oh"). As usual, Debbie's the toughest of us all! 
Beautiful mountain and Lake Plastira view on the left, and there's the Plastira Dam on the right. Quite the beautiful day tour overall!