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Saturday 14th January
RAR 255
COVENTRY'S GBG

Meet at Greyhound, Sutton Stop, 12 noon
Sunday 5th February
HW 55
SNOWDROPS AT ALLESLEY

Meet at The Brooklands, Kingsbury Road, 12 noon.
Saturday 18th February
RAR 256
STATFORD TO WELFORD ON AVON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am (X18 takes 1 hour 35 mins!!)

The No.27 bus leaves Welford at 3:16pm and arrives Stratford 3:29pm (opposite Maypole)
5:50pm arrives 6:12pm
6:09pm arrives 6:46pm

The X18 bus leaves B439 (Binton turn) at 3:19pm arrives Stratford at 3:56pm. This stop is supposedly 20 mins walk from Welford.
3:49pm arrives 4:26pm
4:24pm arrives 5:01pm
4:54pm arrives 5:31pm

The 6:30pm No. 460 National Express arrives Coventry 7:00pm
Saturday 18th March
RAR 257
WELFORD ON AVON TO BIDFORD ON AVON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am

The 11:54am X18 bus from Stratford arrives B439 (Binton turn) at 12:07pm
Saturday 15th April
RAR 258
BIDFORD ON AVON TO HARVINGTON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am

The 11:54am X18 bus from Stratford arrives Bidford 12:11pm
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Dionysus Travel in Greece

Nisyros

I retire on 11th October 2014 and ssometime after that I shall be travelling to Nisyros to work on the footpaths there.
Nisyros is a charming little Greek island, one of the Dodecanese and the first island south of Kos. There is a chain of three small islands between Kos and Rhodes. From Kos south they go Nisyros, Tilos and Chalki.

Nisyros is the only active volcanic island in Greece and being volcanic, Nisyros is roughly circular, about 5 miles in diameter. At the volcano there is a lovely shady cafe. You can walk on the crater floor as the volcano is classed as active but dormant. It is active because it has erupted in historic times, yet dormant as the last eruptions were a century ago. The volcano is well worth a visit, with its strange moonscape of white, green and sulphur yellow with blowholes from which jets of steam continuously issue. Nisyros and its outlying islets are a major source of pummice.

As it is volcanic, the sand is black, and the best black sand beach is on the east coast at Lies. Also because it is volcanic the soil is mineral rich, so this is a green island. The garden plants, such as bougainville, are large and colourful, the butterflies likewise, whilst the snakes ( not venemous ) attain quite a size.

Nisyros depends on the daytrippers from Kos for an income. The boats arrive in the morning and are met by coaches which whisk the visitors up to the volcano, then back again for an hour or so in the main town of Mandhraki before they return to Kos where the hotels are. Nisyros itself has very few overnight stays. The only hotel I know of is the charming Hotel Porfyris, where we stay. Book through their website www.porfyrishotel.gr .

There are other settlements around the island. These are Palli, Emborios and Nikia. The bar in Emborios has the best view from a pub toilet in the world !

There are a number of local foodstuffs to try. One that we particularly liked was Kanalada, a cinnamon flavoured cordial that is diluted with iced water. There is also an almond flavoured version, but we found that a little bland.

Why is there a need to work on the footpaths ? Well, all the tourists come for a day, visit the volcano and then go home again to Kos. Yet Nisyros also has an acropolis that the Rough Guide rates as 'one of the more under- rated ancient sites in Greece' and the monastery of Panagia Spiliani which stands on a superb hilltop site overlooking Mandhraki. The town itself has charming little squares and streets just wide enough for a mule to pass. As well as this there are a number of footpaths crossing the countryside around Mandhraki; but because nobody uses them, or even knows of them, they are disused and neglected. Possibly footpaths around the volcano are in better condition, but our aim is to bring them all up to a good standard and map them all so that they can be an asset to the island, which can then market itself as a green island ideal for walking holidays. After all, where else could you walk to a volcano ?

In this way the island should attract more overnight stays and become a more widely known ' jewel of the Aegean '.

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