Kourdali – Spilia: 27 Oct.

Our hike of Saturday 27 October 2018 takes place in the beautiful Adelphi forest, north of the village of Spilia, an area off the beaten track and well preserved. We set off from the tiny village of Kourdali, at an altitude of 950 m and follow an all uphill trail, taking us to a mountain saddle at an altitude of 1150 m, after about half an hour; several paths meet at this saddle; from there we continue a more gentle climb to our left, to approach an area damaged by the fire of 19-22 June 2016 and assess the consequences and hopefully the signs of recovery; this part of the hike is along trails used by EOKA fighters during the uprising for independence over 1955 – 1959; within about 15 minutes, this gets us to an area of several caves, used by the fighters as hide-outs, at an elevation of 1225 m. We shall dedicate some time to visit the surrounding caves and some peaks offering panoramic views down to Adelphi forest and far out. We shall then return to the mountain saddle junction on a different path, along a dirt road. From this point, we shall follow a different route back, on dirt roads; this will get us up and then down, to Moutti tis Horas, a location at 1150 m altitude, which forms part of the Grand Circle of Madari. The final 700 m of hiking is all downhill, along a trail, which ends in the village of Spilia.

The walk finish is some 1300 m of paved road away from the walk start. We shall take some of our cars to drive us from the walk finish to the walk start.

This hike is circular, rated 2 ½ (medium difficulty to difficult), near 10 km long, and is expected to take up about 3 ½ hours, incl. visiting the caves. The hike involves uphill and downhill parts. The uphill is continuous and strenuous at places, and so is the downhill; you are advised to wear hiking boots and carry your hiking poles or a stick.

The forest we cross is rich in pine (Calabrian pine, Pinus brutia) and golden oak trees, with fewer plane trees, strawberry trees, mediterranean hawthorn (mosphilia) trees; further, there is an abundance of rockrose and a variety of bushes. There are 2 fountains with drinking water on our route and benches at several places.

The walk starts at 11:00 am. Xenophon is leading this walk, which will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call 97613720. The starting point for this walk is a Y-junction with a road sign indicating going up on the right, inside Kourdali. There is parking for just 1 or 2 cars here. If you drive up for some 100 m, after the second bend, the road widens and there is parking space for 4-5 cars on the left side. Also, if you drive downhill at the starting Y-junction, after a few hundred metres you get to an area that can accommodate a few more cars.

Given that the walk finish is some 1300 m of paved road away from the walk start, a distance we shall not walk, a set of logistics rules need to be implemented. Please study them carefully and make up your mind, based on your acceptance of these demands, as follows:

*all cars shall drive from Nicosia to the walk start (Kourdali); ~half of the cars will park there

*~half of the cars will then drive from Kourdali to Spilia, the walk finish

*enough cars will park at the walk finish, to drive Strollers back to the walk start, at the conclusion of the hike

*enough cars will drive back from Spilia to Kourdali, carrying the drivers of the cars parked at the walk finish

*now the hike is ready to commence

*at the conclusion of the hike, Strollers shall drive back from Spilia to Kourdali, to pick-up the cars parked at the walk start

At that point, all cars shall drive to the taverna.

After the walk we shall visit the church of a convent in Kourdali (provided it is open). It is located just a few hundred metres from the walk start, is dedicated to Virgin Mary, was built in the 16th c. and has some impressive wall paintings from times past.

At the end of the walk we shall drive for lunch at a taverna in the vicinity. 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 Thursday. No need to register if you are not dining.

If you live in or near Nicosia, you need to meet at the designated meeting point in Nicosia. If you are joining us from a distant place, such as Limassol, kindly alert the walk leader as early as possible, to work out a plan for you and others traveling like you. The meeting point in Nicosia is the very large church named tis Theou Sophias (also referred to as Agia Sophia) in Strovolos, which offers ample parking space on its side street. The car trip starts at 9:45 am. Please ensure you observe start times, for the benefit of the group.

How to get from Nicosia to the walk start:

From Nicosia take the A9 motorway towards Troodos. The A9 smoothly becomes the B9 highway towards Troodos, when the motorway ends, near Kokkinotrimithia. On the B9 you drive past the villages of Akaki, then Peristerona and then you reach the village of Astromeritis. At the Astromeritis traffic lights, where most cars turn left towards Troodos, zero your odometer and turn left. Drive along the main road. After 25 km you pass the village of Kakopetria (principal access to the village comes at the 24.8 km reading, where there is a left turn going downhill). Continue to drive along the main road, in the direction of Troodos. At the 29.2 km reading take the left turn taking you to the village of Spilia. You pass through Spilia. At the 33.5 km reading you get to a Y-junction; do not go right, uphill, towards Kannavia; go left towards Kourdali. 200 m after the Y-junction observe the point to your right, in Spilia, where we shall be ending our hiking journey; there is a sign to your right indicating a nature trail, and a cement road climbs sharply up; this is the point where we shall be parking some of the cars, to meet us upon concluding the hike. Drive on. You then enter the tiny village of Kourdali. Drive slowly. At the 34.8 km reading you get to a Y-junction. The main village road continues downhill; on the right the road goes uphill, with a sign indicating the start of the trail. Search for a parking spot. We meet here. Warning: make sure you count km to the desired walk start; count 5.6 km from the left turn on the Troodos highway taking you to the village of Spilia.

How to get from Limassol to the walk start:

Take the main road towards Trimiklini, then Saittas (exit number 28 on the Limassol-Nicosia motorway). Get to the principal junction at Saittas, where you have the options of going straight to Platres or left to Pera Pedi, or right to Amiantos. Zero your odometer and turn right. At the 10.9 km reading you reach the principal junction of Karvounas (note, no traffic lights). Do not turn left, which drives uphill towards Troodos square. Do not turn right (this takes you to Kyperounda). Zero your odometer and go straight, downhill towards Kakopetria. At approx. the 2 km reading look out for a green sign ‘Agios Nicolaos 9 km’ pointing to a dirt road on your left. After a further 1.8 km you reach the right turn to Spilia. Zero your odometer and turn right here. You pass through Spilia. At the 4.3 km reading you get to a Y-junction; do not go right, uphill, towards Kannavia; go left towards Kourdali. 200 m after the Y-junction observe the point to your right, in Spilia, where we shall be ending our hiking journey; there is a sign to your right indicating a nature trail, and a cement road climbs sharply up; this is the point where we shall be parking some of the cars, to meet us upon concluding the hike. Drive on. You then enter the tiny village of Kourdali. Drive slowly. At the 5.6 km reading you get to a Y-junction. The main village road continues downhill; on the right the road goes uphill, with a sign indicating the start of the trail. Search for a parking spot. We meet here. Warning: make sure you count km to the desired walk start.

How to get to the meeting point for the car trip:

From Nicosia get to the junction between Cineplex and Apolloneion Hospital. At the traffic lights where you have the Cineplex on your left hand side and Apolloneion Hospital on your right hand side, zero your odometer and turn left. At the 0.3 km reading you see Lidl supermarket on your right. At the 0.8 km reading you reach traffic lights. Turn left into Elaionon street. Immediately after you observe the very large church of tis Theou Sophias, with its green dome, on your right. Just past the church (1.0 km reading) take the first turning to the right into Kastellas street. This side street offers ample parking space. Park here.

Google Maps: Here is a map taking you from the junction between Cineplex and Apolloneion Hospital to the church of tis Theou Sophias http://tinyurl.com/ll9fefj

Google Maps: Here is a map taking you from the Presidential Palace to the church of tis Theou Sophias: https://tinyurl.com/ybnc84q7

Google Maps: Here is a map taking you from the principal road at Kakopetria to the tiny village of Kourdali http://tinyurl.com/penzbuo

Disclaimer: If you attend a Cyprus Strollers walk you do so entirely at your own risk. The Cyprus Strollers is a social club and neither the organizers nor the leader of the walk are responsible for the health and safety of those taking part. If you do not wish to receive further e-mails, reply to this message, stating so.

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