New Season Ante Portas

Dear Strollers,

Hello and welcome back, after your summer break. The Cyprus Strollers are ready to kick-off their 7th season of operation. Please visit the Activities Schedule section on http://cyprus-strollers.org, to view, download and study the program of weekly hiking activities for October, November and December 2017. For any activity that catches your attention, please visit the Activities Description section on http://cyprus-strollers.org to view, download and read a complete set of instructions.

Lots of new and exciting things are happening, and here are a few highlights:

  • There are 12 excursions scheduled
  • of these, 5 are either entirely new or hikes containing new aspects
  • There are 7 different Walk Leaders, who are responsible for leading the Cyprus Strollers on these 12 activities; this represents a great accomplishment, and is a clear sign of the true hiking spirit, a spirit of togetherness, sharing and giving
  • please join me in applauding Ian, Laurent, Yiannis, Christos, Stella with Teddy, and Patrick, the Walk Leaders for October – December 2017, alongside Xenophon
  • We are offering two linear trails where we shall not walk back to the starting point, because it would make hiking too long and arduous; inadvertently, this calls for special driving arrangements and registering in advance; please study the instructions very carefully and abide by them, respecting the organizers’ efforts and other participants
  • We start at high altitudes in October, in anticipation of warmer weather, and move to lower altitudes in December, when cold and rain are more likely
  • We set off driving from Nicosia at 9:45, but the first four excursions in October have an earlier start.

Furthermore, some things remain unchanged, and characterize the Cyprus Strollers as a unique hiking club; among them:

  • Commitment to first-class planning and organization
  • Excursions alternate between Saturdays and Sundays, thus appealing to more people
  • Dedicated website, fully informed, well in advance, in English
  • Our caring, multinational character; we are open to Strollers of any nationality, both permanent residents, as well as visitors to the island
  • Shared passion for hiking and enjoying the Cyprus countryside, in pleasant company
  • Well-chosen tavernas, serving us very good value meals at reasonable prices, because we honour them with our loyalty.

The Cyprus Strollers are committed to “Hiking made Pleasant”, our slogan. Please help us to carry on delivering on this promise, with your valuable contribution.

Thank you and enjoy the many walks in store. Xenophon

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Wisdom of the Mountains – a Poem

The following poem is contributed by Christos, a regular Stroller. It is titled “Wisdom of the Mountains”. The photo was taken by Christos, one morning on Madari, as the moon was setting, earlier this month. Have you got a contribution to make?

There are no words when reaching the top.
There are no words while climbing towards your goal.
There are no words when you stop, turn your body, focusing, looking and experiencing a glorious sunset.
There are no words when you are hungry and eat a simple bread.
There are no words when you are thirsty and drinking the humble water.
There are no words when hugging your fellow traveller.
There are no words when changing clothes after sweating.
There are no words when you are lost and you have to decide, you then have to trust your instinct. It is the only thing you’ve got.
Even the steepest side becomes easy when we create a zigzag path.

Believe that the top is the only purpose and you then miss the journey. The real purpose of climbing is just to climb.
Believe that the journey is the only purpose and you then miss the top. The real purpose of climbing is to reach the top.

There are endless routes to the Top. Our route is only one of them, not “The One”.
Mountain is not good or bad, tall or short, green or brown. Like life they are what they are. New, every second.
There are no words, when feeling the mountain.
There are no words, when walking in the mountain.
There are no words……

Encore! Chanted the Strollers at the Finale – 28 May

The excursion of Sunday 28 May at Almyrolivado, on Troodos mountain, marked the finale of the Jan-May 2017 season. The mood was joyful throughout the two hikes and the picnic that followed. The highlight of the day came at the end, when Christina presented a cake made for the occasion, to sweeten our teeth and seal the fond memories. All participants exchanged wishes for the summer period, and expressed the desire to meet up over the summer. The club also welcomed new members, and said goodbye to Kate, who returns to her teaching job in the USA. Compliments to Christina for the cake and to Koula for the photos.

Juniper 500 years 16 m 1.42m diameter

tree burnt by thunder

admiring a long view

Unrepeatable Platres – 21 May

‘The nightingales won’t let you sleep in Platres’, wrote famous Greek poet George Seferis (1900-1971). The singing of the birds along our hike of Sunday 21 May is just one of the reasons that made this excursion unrepeatable. There was also the music of the water flowing in Kryos Potamos river; the waterfall at Caledonian; the richness of vegetation, tall and low; the orchids; the fragrances, including that of curry from Helichrysum italica/Everlasting; the cool air; the impressive views of the village of Platres from the slopes of Pouziaris; the quality of the group of Strollers, including 3 elementary school kids and 4 dogs. But more than everything else, this specific outing will last in our memories as the trail discovered by Lowell, and led by him for the last time; we thank Lowell and wish him best of luck as he leaves Cyprus for his next assignment, at the end of this summer. Compliments to Nana and Marios for the photos. Join us on 28 May at Troodos for an end of season hike https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/troodos-almyrolivado-2-hikes-sunday-28-may/

Majestic Waterfall and Views – 2 Hikes 13 May

A spectacular sight greeted the Strollers below the picturesque village of Platres on Saturday, 13 May. The Myllomeris waterfall is apparently the tallest in Cyprus with a 15 metre drop, and its effect on us was mesmerizing and awe-inspiring. Some Strollers stood on the bridge, others perched on rocks and tree trunks, but everyone’s eyes were riveted on the tumbling, sparkling iridescence falling into a clear pool below. There was such joy and energy in that body of water cascading down the rocks!
We eventually dragged ourselves away for our second stroll at Kampos Livadiou near Troodos. Here tall dark pines gave us welcome shade with occasional open views towards Morphou. It was a circular even path but tricky to find at times, however Xenophon, expert leader that he is, led us back to our cars and to yet another feast at a nearby taverna, where we enjoyed vegetarian, fish and meat dishes and, as ever, wonderful fellowship.

Compliments to Mary for the summary above, and to Kate, Nicos, Nicos and Marios for the photos. Join us on 21 May at Caledonian https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/troodos-kryos-potamos-caledonian-waterfall-pouziaris-trail-sunday-21-may/

Flowers Allover – Fikardou 7 May

A feast of flowers adorned the path of the Cyprus Strollers on the hike from Fikardou to Lazanias and then Mahairas, on Sunday 7 May. With the sun shining throughout, and temperatures higher than desired, participants displayed their best spirit and stamina and were rewarded with views of a beautiful landscape, the well preserved roofs of the houses in the two villages and a superb meal at the end. Compliments to Laurent for leading this outing and to Nana and Kate for the photos. Join us on 13 May on Troodos https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/troodos-platres-myllomeris-waterfall-and-kampos-livadiou-two-trails-sat-13-may/

cow’s parsley

rock rose purple flowers

rock rose white flowers

wild garlic

Mahairas monastery

A Grand Hike – Madari, 29 April

The excursion of Saturday 29 April, involving the Grand Circle of Madari hike was grand in every respect (scenery, vegetation, exercise, length, companionship), and truly rewarding for the Strollers who took on the challenge. Join us on 7 May at Fikardou https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/mahairas-lazanias-and-fikardou-trail-sunday-7-may/.

Orchids

Two Beauties, Resting at a stop