Just as we prepare for the new Oct.-Dec. season of hiking with The Cyprus Strollers, the real life story of a remarkable woman makes one appreciate the multi-faceted goodness of this sport. Read this fight-for-life piece here https://www.yesmagazine.org/opinion/2021/07/23/hiking-as-medicine
Readers know that the founder of this Club had founded the Athens Strollers, in his years in Greece. It is with great grief that I draw the words that follow. The wildfires in the outskirts of Athens are burning down a significant ‘lung’ of the Greek capital. Tatoi is a large forest, corresponding to what Athalassa is for Nicosia, but multiple times larger. Tatoi lies just below Parnitha, the main mountain overlooking Greater Athens.
You can imagine that there exist(ed) a good number of trails, which the Athens Strollers have walked time and again. With the present fires, it feels as if one part of myself and my memories is burning down. May this catastrophe end immediately and may it be the last one. (Photo credit Yiannis Kolesidis)
The news has been widely circulated and commented. Day trippers to Troodos over the past two weekends had the almost sole purpose of taking photos of themselves on snow, as is a customary ‘sport’ among many city dwellers in Cyprus, when snow falls on Troodos. Caught by the police, they reported ‘hiking’ as the cause of their outing. This distortion forced the Minister of Health to ban hikes on the island’s nature trails on 27 Jan.
This Club can only abide by the rules, even when these are unjust. We hope the ban will be lifted soon. Until then, Club Members are urged to make use of city parks and seaside walks.
In these times of an almost manic pursuit of photos, to show one’s accomplishments (or agony), often shared on social media, here is a message to all Club members and friends, without a photo. It is prompted by an outing of Christos and Xenophon in the forest between Kakopetria and Prodromos, on 20 Dec., whose highlight was the very rare sighting of young mouflons! First, we saw a pair on the very dirt road we were using, some 25 m in front; minutes after we saw one on a slope to our left; and much later we saw another mouflon high up by a pine tree. It is impossible to have time to take a good photo, given that this rare species of wild sheep, endemic to Cyprus, does not like human presence. Nevertheless, the magic of the moments has been captured via the lenses of our eyes. This is just a tiny example of the splendid experiences The Cyprus Strollers offer their members.
We remain adherent to Government restrictions vis-à-vis the epidemic, yet optimistic we will be able to resume activities on 16 January. Visit https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-schedule/ in a few days to read the full Schedule of events for January-May 2021. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happier New Year.
The hike of Sunday 6 Dec. took us down to the source of Pedieos river, which we crossed twice, up through the village of Lazanias and down to the heritage village of Fikardou, on a splendid day, which was superbly rounded up by a rich meal at the club’s favourite Marinos taverna in Lythrodontas. Compliments to Antonis for leading the outing. Join us on 13 Dec. round the Larnaca lake https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/larnaca-salt-lake-13-dec/
The hike on Mahairas mountain moves from Saturday 5 Dec. to Sunday 6 Dec. All other pertinent conditions remain. The weather forecast shows a distinct difference between the two days: thunderstorms at 60% probability for Saturday, partly sunny with 5% probability for rain for Sunday. Interested to participate? Send your e-mail now.
A variety of thoughts and feelings were generated to participants of the hike at Kourdali on 29 November; we visited several hideouts used by guerilla fighters in the liberation struggle of 1955-59, and inevitably reflected on the comparisons with present times’ confinement and lockdown from covid-19. Compliments to Andy for initiating this thoughts exchange and to Anna for the photos. For the next activity participants must be wearing face masks at all times, except during hiking per se; equally we shall be maintaining social distancing rules as prescribed https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/mahairas-lazanias-fikardou-5-dec/
…oh what a beautiful day, we had a marvelous feeling, everything was going our way”. These verses, from the popular song in the ‘Oklahoma’ musical written by the duo of Rodgers and Hammerstein inspired and summarise the hike of 21 November along the Kionia-Prophitis Elias trail. We passed 3 landscapes, one rocky in fog, the second in a forest, the third with bushes under the sun rays. We spotted the endemic Cyprus cyclamen flower and admired all the colours of autumn, in the leaves turning from green to yellow to reddish to brown, before their fall. The meal which followed was a deserved reward, in a restaurant with an attractive décor, after a 5+ hours of effort. Compliments to Antonis for leading this activity and to Yannis and Anna for the photos. Join us on 29 Nov. at Spilia https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/kourdali-spilia-29-nov/
A very lively group of Strollers, from a multitude of nationalities, including several newcomers, left Nicosia and Larnaca under very heavy rainfall, to be compensated on Madari in multiple ways. We hiked in light rain for the first 20 min. Up on the watch tower a most unusual phenomenon appeared before our eyes, a splendid rainbow extended from the valley up to the clouds, lasted for a long time, and it all seemed to lie below us! From the next mountain top we took in good views of Kyperounda and other forbidden lands in Limassol district, and felt the absence of Gunnar, our original walk leader, who lives in the locked down lands, along several other members. The circle around Teisia was conducted entirely in bright light, while lunch was the cheerful climax of the day. Compliments to Sevag and Antonis for the photos. Join us on 21 Nov. at Kionia https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/kionia-prophitis-elias-21-nov/
Due to the government measures which shut down the districts of Limassol and Paphos, we regret to announce that our walk leader, Gunnar, cannot be with us on the day. Xenophon will take charge, in his place. We further announce new driving instructions to get to the walk start, from Nicosia; please ignore the originally published route, which passes the villages of Palekhori and then Agros; there will be road blocks, given Agros lies in Limassol district. Visit the updated page https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/madari-teisia-15-nov/ and print the new instructions. If you prefer, meet Xenophon at the Nicosia meeting point, but be on time, and have the printout with you, we cannot drive in a convoy. If you are driving from the Larnaca area, the safest option is to leave home earlier, and get to the Nicosia meeting point.