Further Incidents of Travel (Ligourio)
The Search for the Forgotten Pyramids of Greece
|Having suffered the ravages of the local insects the previous night, we went on the offensive, shooting down the squadron of mosquitoes that infested our room and thankfully achieved a better nights sleep in preparation for the next days exploring.
|About 20 miles or so east from our base at Nafplio is the town of Ligourio and we knew that somewhere there about was another pyramid. With no specific information on its precise whereabouts, other than a couple of black and white photos to guide us, we set off in the expedition vehicle along the snaking road that winds its way out of town and off through the mountains. Passing by another Mycenaean fortress perched high on a hill along the way, we soon reached Ligourio and commenced our days pyramid searching. As one of our photos featured an old church, it seemed the logical thing to find that first and to work backwards from there and almost immediately, we found something that fitted the bill.|
|On first impressions it has all the right criteria and was constructed from various bits broken off all sorts of things, some Roman marble here, chunks of unattributable stonework there and terracotta tiles wedged in all about to fill in the gaps. But after closer scrutiny and comparison with the photo, we were forced to reject it is as the one we were after. Another hour or so spent fruitlessly driving up and down the steep, narrow streets had us no nearer so we resorted to a more strategic approach. Head to some high ground and break out the binoculars.|
|Scanning all horizons, it finally showed itself. Not in the town at all but nestling up against the base of a big mountain, out across the fields of tobacco and the olive groves that fill the valley floor. And just a few hundred metres from there we spied what we were after, almost hidden by all the other rocks that have tumbled downhill around it. Elated, we set off across the farmers tracks towards our pyramid.
|There's not much left and we found bits of it incorporated into the church but enough clues remain to give away its original form.|
|Similar in both size and construction to the Hellenicon pyramid, we documented what we could and concluded that it was almost certainly built by the same people.
|Buoyed by this success we decided to have a shot at another one, only recently discovered near the town of Nea Epidaurus another 30 odd miles to the north east.|
|Although our Greek pyramid book had some close-up photos of the remaining stonework, we didn't have the benefit of any other reference points so after another unsuccessful trawl through the town, exploring all the roads that led out from it, we had to think again. Local knowledge was required so we headed towards some where coincidentally, beer was also available. Our request came as something of a surprise to the waiter who, despite having lived there all his life, was unaware of its existence . He at least could read our book and was then so intrigued, he was straight on the phone.
Again, it wasn't in the town itself but out in the wilds of the mountains, with no road access at all. With only a couple of hours daylight left, it was going to be touch and go but we'd come this far and just had to give it a go. We headed the expedition vehicle towards the approximate location he'd given us and then off the tarmac onto the mountain tracks, trying to get as close as we could. Given it has the ground clearance of a snake, we bounced it along the rocks that scattered our path, heading ever upwards. But after a few miles, the burning clutch and increasingly rocky terrain thwarted further mechanised progress and it was then down to our own foot power.
We scanned all likely positions and high above on one peak was the tantalising suggestion of something of human construction but the failing light and the thorny undergrowth were all against us. We were very close and the location, with its strategic views of both the valley below and the sea in the distance, were spot on for the hypothesis we have about these Greek pyramids. But it was time to retire gracefully, before serious injury to either us or the vehicle so for now, it will have to wait until another time.