We picked up our rucksacks, said goodbye to the archondariki, and were on our way to Vatopediou. Looking back to Pantocratoros we had a good view on the aqueduct that leads to the monastery. The aqueduct spans an olive orchard. We saw some smoke from behind the bushes; the monks were burning rubbish.
A steady climb awaits when you leave Pantocratoros in the direction of Vatopediou. On these southern hills there are mainly shrubberies. Quite unlike the vegetation on the other side of the peninsula. The broom was blooming in April. In the far distance the silhouette of Stavronikita can be seen. Profitou Eliou is not visible, it is just behind the first hill.
Higher up the hill and further from the shoreline, the vegetation becomes more dense. Shrubberies make place for trees, that embrace the monopati and make it hollow like a hole. Here with pilgrim Jacques.
It was still hazy in the early afternoon. Pilgrims Barry and Herman passing.
Suddenly the monopati opens into a dirt road. There, out of the ancient woods, we see cultivated nature; terraced plantation of neat olive trees and blooming broom.
When we walked on we were suddenly surpassed by a monk from Vatopediou, who was powerwalking at twice our speed. We later learned that he had announced our arrival to the monastic community.
Arriving in Vatopediou we were first welcomed by an enormous blooming Wisteria.
Next time we will wander around the courtyard of Vatopediou.