Troodos – Almyrolivado 23 May

ALERT, IN RESPONSE TO THE covid-19 THREAT: We plan to deliver this activity, following the relaxation of home restrictions by the Government. The hike will take place with ONLY 10 members; this means the walk leader + 9 others. The hike will be followed by a picnic at one of the picnic sites provided at the location. For the picnic you are urged to bring along bite-sized food; in this way, you will be offering some of what you carry to others, and at the same time picking bites carried by fellow Strollers; doesn’t this sound more exciting than if you were to bring along just one sandwich?

The activity requires pre-registration, in the deadline indicated: Thursday 12 noon; and participation will be authorized and approved with a return e-mail. The 9 members selected for participation will receive a return e-mail from Xenophon. In case you have not received a return e-mail, this means a rejection from this activity; we apologise and urge you to apply again next time. The principles I shall be applying in approving participations will, naturally, take into consideration the value of regular and loyal members; if I was ignoring loyalty I would not dare look anyone in the eye tomorrow.

To register, the only vehicle is via e-mail to Xenophon.hasapis@gmail.com. In replying, you must respond to all the following points a) state if you have tested positive to covid-19; if yes, we ask you to have with you the results of the test where you subsequently tested clear, b) state if you will have the time and appetite to take part at the picnic or not, c) state if you are prepared to drive to the hike start or you must have a lift, d) state your firm decision and availability to participate; if uncertain, if you face some dependency, kindly do not take the place of someone who is more eager. If you are new to the club or have not applied for membership so far, you must provide your name, surname, e-mail and mobile telephone number, as well. Thank you.

Our outing of Saturday 23 May 2020 takes place at the Troodos forest area. Troodos is the highest mountain of the island, with its highest peak (Hionistra) at 1950 metres altitude. Troodos is covered by a variety of pine trees, junipers, cedars and fir trees, and also presents the majestic golden oak, an endemic species to Cyprus, as well as a rich variety of bushes and wild flowers. Troodos is also a rare geological phenomenon.

This outing involves two hikes, with a common start, at Almyrolivado, and a rare reward. Total hiking distance is ~10 km. Altitude is around 1600 m.

The 1st trail is linear, approx. 2 km long each way and follows a part of the old, now abandoned, paved road leading from Karvounas to Troodos square. The asphalt paving is extensively damaged, which means you can expect to be walking on soil. The way out is essentially uphill, the way back downhill. Duration is 1 hour and degree of difficulty is 1 (easy). The entire trail lies in a well forested area, with the typical Troodos vegetation. However, expect little shade from the sun.

The 2nd trail is circular, all on dirt road, which starts downhill, and crosses the picnic site after 400 m; from 700 m up to 1400 m we walk a quite demanding downhill; the following 600 m are uphill, to take us to an endemic Juniper tree, 500 years old, 16 m tall, with a diameter 1.42 m! The path is in an area of rich vegetation, with trees and ferns. From the giant Juniper we follow the same path back for the initial 1400 m. From then on we walk a different path ~2 ½ km long, to return to the cars. This final stretch offers a distant view down to the artificial lake of the closed Amiantos mine. Duration of the 2nd hike is close to 2 hours and degree of difficulty is 1 ½ to 2 (medium difficulty).

The 1st hike starts at 11:00 am. Xenophon is leading the walks, which will go ahead even in light rain; if you need to, call 97613720.

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 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 9:30 am. Please ensure you observe start times, for the benefit of the group.

How to get 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. Continue to drive along the main road, in the direction of Troodos. At the 33 km reading, you reach a crossroads (no traffic lights), named Karvounas. Do not turn left (this takes you to Kyperounda village and Madari mountain). Do not go straight. Turn right towards Troodos square. At the 38.4 km reading (before reaching Troodos square) leave the main road, turn left into a dirt road; there is a sign for Almyrolivado picnic site. Just metres after, there is plenty of space to park your car, and a large wooden sign, with a map of the area. We meet here.

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 go straight, downhill (this takes you to Kakopetria). Do not turn right (this takes you to Kyperounda). Zero your odometer, turn left and drive uphill towards Troodos square. At the 5.4 km reading (before reaching Troodos square) leave the main road, turn left into a dirt road; there is a sign for Almyrolivado picnic site. Just metres after, there is plenty of space to park your car, and a large wooden sign, with a map of the area. We meet here.

How to get from Limassol to the walk start, via Troodos square:

If you prefer to reach the walk start via Troodos square, zero your odometer as you exit the square, at the T-junction, where you turn right towards Karvounas. At the 3.2 km reading leave the main road, turn right into a dirt road; there is a sign for Almyrolivado picnic site. Just metres after, there is plenty of space to park your car, and a large wooden sign, with a map of the area. We meet here.

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: http://tinyurl.com/ndnr6uo

About the geology of Cyprus: The more widely accepted theory describing the geological formation of Cyprus refers to the subduction and plate collision of two separate tectonic domains, the northern Alpine orogenic belt, and the southern Eastern Mediterranean basin. The process is believed to have taken place in the Mesozoic Tethyan Ocean period (roughly, 90 million years ago). Key evidence in favour of this theory is the juxtaposed series of fragments of oceanic and continental crust, with oceanic crustal fragments preserved as ophiolite sequences, seen in various localities.

About the geology of Troodos: Cyprus was created at a convergent ocean-continent boundary. Troodos was created when the African plate subducted under the Eurasian plate, partial melt took place and magma rose from deep inside the Earth (a volcanic eruption). Troodos is an ophiolite formed above a subduction zone. The crustal sequence of Troodos consists of plutonic complex, sheeted dyke complex and pillow lavas. Troodos is rich in several minerals, including copper, umbers, ochres, chromite and the lethal asbestos deposits. Copper is the predominant mineral and has been mined and exported since ancient times. Its chemical name in Latin (Cuprum) is said to be related to the name of the island (Cuprus).

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.