Karavomilos Lake near Sami and Katavothres sink holes

A very informative post from Lynn Dack on FB

Just some scientific details about Karavomilos Lake near Poulata and Sami and Katavothres sink holes, Fanari near Argostoli on Kefalonia

Karavomylos Lake, near Poulata and Sami on the east side of Kefalonia is 8km from Agia Efimia and 1km from Sami harbour. According to scientists, Karavomylos is part of strange geological phenomena observed in Kefalonia: researchers have found that the waters from Katavothres (Argostoli) on the western side of the island, end up here after traversing underground Kefalonia and mixed with fresh water of subsoil. You can circumnavigate the lake using a cobbled footpath, it’s a short walk that offers spectacular views.

This is a great place to stop, especially if you have children with you, just after visiting Melissani Lake, Drogarati Cave or the village of Sami.

The Lake is located just next to the sea and has ducks, geese, fish, a beautiful church and lush vegetation on the background, which create a magical atmosphere.

There is a taverna at this beautiful location, having the lake on one side and the sea on the other where you could stop for a drink or a coffee in the shade.

From Karavomylos Lake there is a very nice seaside trail that takes you to the village of Sami (just 1km) through huge eucalyptus trees, passing a small river, the camping and some very interesting houses looking at the sea.

Katavothres. -One of the world’s most rare & astonishing geological phenomena

Unique and strange phenomena are an intriguing part of the island’s mystique.

Leaving Argostoli, on the way to the Lighthouse (Fanari) beautiful coast road, at approx 3 km, I suggest you stop at Katavothres, a unique geological phenomenon for which there has been a lot of discussion. Here the sea water enters the sinkholes and going against the laws of nature, it seems to magically disappear underground.

In 1835, some say, an English resident, Mr Stevens, spotted the potential for water power at the point where the sea water disappeared and he built some big sea mills to grind corn and named the mill Steven’s Mill after himself. There is also a theory that Angelos Trombetas built a mill on the same site, where his company also ground wheat and barley which he used to brew beer.

In the 1953 earthquakes, the mills were destroyed and have been replaced by the one there today.

The scientists were looking for an answer until in 1963, when a group of Austrian geologists added some purple dye to the water and followed its course only to make some surprising discoveries. Two weeks passed before the dye re appeared on the other side of the island, the water travelled in underground rivers then mixed with rainwater and finally reached the Melissani Lake almost fifteen kilometres away in its semi-salted form. From there the water flowed into the sea at the village of Karavomylos. Now the purple dye experiment revealed that the water that disappeared at Katavothres in Argostoli came out at the village of Karavomylos, and went on to form an almost circular fresh water lake, which then empties into the sea at Sami bay.

But still the question was remaining: Karavomylos lies above sea level, then how does the water climbs uphill? The answer to this riddle lies in the theory of equilibrium, a theory explained, only as late as 1989 by the French scientist Drogue. The salty sea water has a higher density than fresh water. During the trip from the Katavothres to the other side of the island the sea water gets mixed or diluted with fresh rain water thereby getting brackish. Brackish water has a lower density than salt water thus requiring more volume to maintain the weight equilibrium with the salty sea water. The larger volume of brackish water is what makes it seems like the water runs uphill while it is just maintaining equilibrium with the salt water on the other side of the island.

If this sounds too scientific to you, you can just admire the spot, take some photos and enjoy the idea that you visited another strange phenomenon on this magical island of Kefalonia!



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