Do go chasing waterfalls
I have an almost pathological need to explore new places and walk for miles. In our family it's a bit of a running joke that if I ever talk about nipping out for a short walk or some fresh air it inevitably turns into a monumental hike! Every country we've ever visited has seen us walking miles in my search for amazing views or places not many people have visited.
Kefalonia was no different and in our last weeks we did some great walks.
I want to share our trip to find some waterfalls. During the winter months if you head along the road between Skala and Poros, stop your car at a lay-by with the sea on one side and fields on the other and head inland and uphill you can find the Postitis Falls.
Once the summer comes and the rains leave these waterfalls dissapear only to return in the autumn and winter and as this would probably be our only time on the island in winter I decided it was a must see.
With some sketchy directions found on the internet we set off. For full transparency our teen absolutely did not want to join us on this adventure and while I do sometimes give him a free pass to stay home, we'd been indoors hiding from some bad weather for a few days and I felt it would do him good to get out so he was very much a reluctant party member and the journey through the countryside did not help his mood!
We found the spot I'd read about where we could leave the car just as a herd of huge cows and bulls were being sheperded along the road. Shouts of "get back" and "stay still" greeted us as we got out of the car and we enjoyed watching the cattle battle their owners at every step.
With the animals out of the way we headed over a broken fence into a field where we noticed a stream to our right, great I declared, all we have to do is follow this stream up - what could be easier.
We hadn't gone very far, maybe 5/10 minutes of walking, when we found our first, quite small, but very pretty waterfall. Clear, icy cold mountain run off tumbled over a small lip into a clear pool. It was very picturesque but I was in search of something more impressive. With the steam still to our right we continued uphill, to find that our way became blocked by said stream. With mountainous rocks rising high above us to our left and the stream and small waterfall to our right we were faced with a decision - cross the steam to carry on or turn back.
Obviously I declared we had to continue and at this point teenage heels were dug in. He was horrified with my plan, but sadly for him the more he told me it was a bad idea the more I wanted to go on! Eventually, after quite a lot of disagreement and, I'm not ashamed to say even some bribery, we all took our socks and shoes off and made our way, carefully through the rushing water, across the smooth, slippery rocks and then the squelching mud of the river bank.
Kris ventured across first and was worried about Dexter coping with the running water so decided the safest option would be to carry him over, what a trooper to run the gauntlet twice, once with a small child in hand!
Once on the other side the terrain became quite steep very quickly and, with the rain that the island had seen in recent days, the path was very muddy and quite tricky to navigate. For a solid 40 minutes we picked our way higher and higher up the rocky hillside, following a tiny path (single file most of the way) full of "just the right side for tripping you up" rocks and tree roots and increasingly thorny brush. By this point both children began to revolt but we'd come too far to turn back now.
Then, through the trees we started to hear the telltale sounds of masses of running water. This geed us all up and the pace picked up a little as we could tell we were near the end.
The trees got thicker and thicker and the ground more and more uneven, even I was starting to doubt whether my decision had been the right one when, as we rounded a corner, we saw the second, much bigger waterfall.
It was beautiful. The trees thinned out and the path wound down to the bottom of the falls - some very helpful people had tied ropes around trees to be used as handholds for people to get down the slippery, muddy slopes and we were soon standing at the bottom of the fall, near more crystal clear pools.
We had to shout to be heard over the sound of the water, and we all dipped toes or fingers into the ice cold water.
As we stood marvelling at mother nature we heard some calls of hello from overhead and saw two young people were rock climbing up the side of the waterfall more than 20 metres above us! That was a step too far even for me!
With grumpy teen still refusing to be in any photos and all our feet feeling quite cold by this point we turned around and started our way back down the hillside.
It was quite treacherous at points and we really had to work as a team in places to get everyone safely down, but we made it, and even got a "yeah I suppose that was pretty cool" response from the 14 year old when asked if he'd enjoyed the walk.
Safely back at the car we sat by the sea eating some snacks we'd packed and catching our breath a little before the drive home. We realised we could see the spot where the water from the waterfall made contact with the sea water and it was a nice peaceful moment as we sat and watched the waters mixing.
If you are ever in this part of the world over the winter months I highly recommend a trip to these waterfalls - you need good sturdy walking boots plus a change of socks, and if you can go at a time when there have been dry a few days before hand that would probably be a good idea too - although, where's the fun in that eh!