Mahairas walk: Mandra Kampiou picnic site – Kakokefalos Sunday 21 Feb.

Our walk of Sunday 21 February 2016 takes place at the Mahairas mountain area. We start at the picnic site named Mandra Kampiou. The walk starts at 10:45 am. Laurent is leading this walk, which will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call 96414853. The walk will take close to 3 ½ hours and is rated of medium difficulty to difficult (2 ½). We follow well marked paths, climbing up to the summit named Kakokefalos. The climb involves several demanding sections. We take the same paths back down. The total distance (to and fro) is 11 km. The walk is entirely in the pine forest of Mahairas, but much of it is exposed to the sun. The walk offers spectacular views at several places.

The weather forecast at time of writing (end day 18 Feb) calls for periods of rain on Sunday. Consequently there will be no picnic at the end of the hike. Instead, we shall go for lunch at a nearby taverna.

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 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 2.1 km reading you drive past a Lidl supermarket on your left hand side. At the 2.5 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 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 20.1 km reading you drive past a sign indicating the village of Kapedes. Immediately after (20.2 km) you reach a round-about. Take the 4th exit to the right, following the sign to Mahairas (the Monastery is a further 13 km away). The road ascends. At the 24.1 km reading you reach a large picnic site, with tables and benches on either side. It is named Mandra Kampiou. There are enough spaces for parking towards the end of the picnic site, on the left hand side. We meet here.

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.

Perfect outing for family members who do not like to walk

This is a perfect opportunity for your spouse/partner, other family and close friends, who want to enjoy their day out of Nicosia with you, without the exercise. Anybody who does not wish to walk may stay behind at the picnic site. There, you may spend the time sitting, playing, strolling around for as long as you choose or reading your book.

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

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.

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