Our walk of Sunday 17 March 2019 takes place at the Mahairas mountain area. We start just before the roundabout in the village of Kapedes, walk up to the church of Agios Onoufrios and back. The walk starts at 10:45 am. Xenophon is leading this walk, which will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call 97613720. The walk will take about 3 ½ hours and is rated of medium difficulty to difficult (2 ½). We follow well marked paths, with many uphill and downhill sections, some very demanding, particularly some downhill ones, which are slippery. All the same, there is little elevation change: we set off at 600 m, climb up to the highest point at 735 m, and reach Agios Onoufrios at 690 m. The total distance (to and fro) is about 10 km.
A large part of the walk is in the pine forest of Mahairas, but much of it is exposed to the sun. The walk offers a feast of lavender flowers, in April. Other plant species we expect to encounter are Mediterranean hawthorn, sumach, rock rose, asphodels, Sinapis, dandelion.
There will be time to visit the church of Agios Onoufrios.
At the end of the walk we shall go for lunch at a nearby taverna. To facilitate arrangements, for your better service, you are required to pre-register, if you are joining us for lunch. To do so, please e-mail the walk leader by end Friday. No need to register if you are not dining.
This gathering will additionally celebrate the International Day of Forests, which is set for 21 March; bring along your thoughts and contributions.
Hiking poles (or sticks) are mandatory on this hike. Also long trousers are recommended, in view of the likelihood of walking through thorny shrubs at places.
You have the choice of meeting the group at the walk start, or meet at the designated meeting point in Nicosia. In either case, you need to carry copy of this set of instructions. Meeting in Nicosia offers two important advantages: we drive in full cars, leaving some cars behind; thus, we save in fuel and enjoy the trip in good company. The meeting point in Nicosia is the Handicrafts Centre (Kentro Heirotechnias) on Leoforos Athalassas (Athalassa Avenue), which offers ample parking space. The car trip starts at 9:45 am. Please ensure you observe start times, for the benefit of the group.
How to get to the walk start:
Get to the round-about next to the Presidential Palace. From downtown Nicosia you reach this along the Kyriakou Matsi avenue or along the D. Severi avenue. Set your odometer to zero on the round-about and drive along the principal road towards Strovolos and then Lakatamia. At the 4.2 km reading you reach the main crossing with the major bypass road (named Spyrou Kyprianou avenue) linking Makedonitissa on your right with the Nicosia-Limassol highway on your left. This is the popular by-pass road which drives past the Jumbo toy store and the American Heart hospital. Traffic coming from the Presidential Palace can follow the tunnel that dives under this main crossing. There is a large Metro super market on your left at this main crossing, as well. Set your odometer to zero at this main crossing as you pass Metro and continue straight, towards Lakatamia. At the 1.5 km reading you drive past the very large church of Agia Paraskevi on your right hand side. At the 1.9 km reading you reach a round-about. Take the 3rd exit, which is at right angles to your right. At the 2.2 km reading you drive past a Lidl supermarket on your left hand side. At the 2.6 km reading you reach traffic lights (the first traffic lights after the round-about). There is a Papa John’s pizza house at the corner on your right. Turn left at the traffic lights, following the sign towards Mahairas. You drive straight along this main road (E902) for many km, going through the villages of Lakatamia, then Deftera, then Psimolophou, then Pera Orinis, where the road begins to ascend. Be mindful of road humps in each village. At the 15.4 km reading you drive through the village of Kampia. At the 20 km reading you drive past a sign indicating the village of Kapedes. Immediately after (20.2 km) you reach a roundabout. Do not drive further. Search for a parking spot and park your car. We meet just before the roundabout. The walk starts on the right hand side of the main road, exactly before the Acropolis taverna. Caution, the parking opposite the Acropolis taverna is a private parking.
How to get to the walk start, coming from Larnaca:
Get on the main Larnaca to Nicosia highway. Take the exit for Agia Varvara (exit number 8) and follow the road to the village. Drive through Agia Varvara heading for Mathiatis. Once in Mathiatis, do not continue to the next village Lythrodontas; look out for a road sign instead and take a right turn for Analiontas. At Analiontas look for the sign and turn left for Kampia. At Kampia turn left and head for Kapedes. About 5 km later you drive past a sign indicating the village of Kapedes. 200 m after you reach a roundabout. Do not drive further. Search for a parking spot and park your car. We meet just before the roundabout. The walk starts on the right hand side of the main road, exactly before the Acropolis taverna. Caution, the parking opposite the Acropolis taverna is a private parking.
How to get to the meeting point for the car trip, coming from the Hilton hotel area:
Get yourself on Makarios Avenue, heading out of town and set your odometer to zero as you drive past the Nicosia Hilton hotel. At the 0.1 km reading you reach traffic lights (with the Apoel club building on your right), go straight. At the 0.5 km reading you reach another set of traffic lights, go straight. Driving along, you pass a few more traffic lights, staying on this main road (named Leoforos Lemesou/ Limassol Avenue). At the 2.1 km reading, you reach a principal set of traffic lights. Set your odometer to zero again and turn right here. You are now in Leoforos Athalassas, a very busy avenue. At the 0.2 km reading you see a large empty space on your right and the Handicrafts Centre (a single-storey building) on your left. Park in the parking area. We meet here. The Handicrafts Centre is next to the church of St. Barnabas.
How to get to the meeting point for the car trip, coming from the Presidential Palace area:
Get to the round-about next to the Presidential Palace. From downtown Nicosia you reach this along the Kyriakou Matsi avenue or along the D. Severi avenue. Set your odometer to zero on the round-about and drive along the principal road towards Strovolos. At the 0.3 km reading you reach traffic lights. Go straight. At the 0.6 km reading you reach a 2nd set of traffic lights. Set your odometer to zero again and turn left. You are now in Leoforos Athalassas, a very busy avenue full of shops. At the 2.6 km reading you see a large empty space on your left and the Handicrafts Centre (a single-storey building) on your right. Park here.
Google Maps: Here is a map for those coming from the Hilton area to the meeting place for the car trip http://tinyurl.com/phjc6s7
Google Maps: Here is a map for those coming from the Presidential Palace area to the meeting place for the car trip http://tinyurl.com/neo9duy
About Agios Onoufrios: Saint Onoufrios is celebrated on 12 June. He was a 4th c. hermit in the desert of Egypt. He had lived in complete isolation in the wilds of the wilderness for sixty years. Near the cave where he lived was a palm tree and a spring of pure water. Twelve different branches of the palm tree bore fruit each month in succession, and so the monk endured neither hunger nor thirst. The shade of the palm tree sheltered him from the noonday heat. An angel brought Holy Communion to the saint each Saturday and Sunday. In icons, he is portrayed with a beard so long as to reach down to his feet.
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