800 sheep, 12 dogs, 2 horses and a man begin the journey. Over the centuries, this time of year, in October, shepherds lead their flock from the cold mountains to the plain, so they can overwinter. Spyros, 45 years old, belongs to a new generation that usually transfer the animals with a track. He doesn’t want to do that. So he dedicates one week at a time to walk with his animals. With the company of his two helpers, after having piled blankets, food and lots, lots of raki –a traditional alcoholic drink- on the back of the horses off he goes.
In dusk he starts leading the way for his animals and when the night falls he stops and camps out in the countryside where he sleeps underneath a piece of nylon and a bed made of branches. This goes on for days. In the morning, his wife and kids meet him at some point of his journey to bring him more food and water by car. He lets them know his whereabouts by calling them from his cell phone. His family doesn’t stay long, they go back home. Sometimes the journey gets rough. Men and animals have to cross rivers and overcome obstacles, such as mud, stones and rough roads. Crossing is the main issue. The transition from one season to another, from one generation to another. But what remains pivotal is to never forget where you come from, never forget your customs and traditions, never forget your cultural identity.