We hiked for the love of hiking on Prodromos on Saturday 13 October; but it was the love of the dense forest of black pine at Stavroulia, perhaps the most beautiful of its kind in Cyprus, that made us push to the very end of the trail, despite the rather sharp slope and oncoming thunderstorm. The feeling of completion was fulfilling, as was the meal that followed, by the fire, in joyful company. Compliments to Christos for leading this outing and to Maria for the photos. Join us on 21 October, again on Prodromos https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/troodos-prodromos-dam-21-oct/
The Club kicked off its 9th season of activities on Troodos; a very large gathering of Strollers, including many newcomers, walked Artemis, the highest trail in Cyprus on 7 October, under ambient weather conditions, away from the heat of the cities, and under the shade of friendly clouds for most of the time. A superb buffet lunch followed, which elevated the spirits even higher. All diners sang their birthday wishes to Eleni, and enjoyed her cake. Compliments to George for leading this event and Taline for the photos. Join us on 13 Oct. on Prodromos https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/prodromos-zoumi-stavroulia-13-oct/.
With the start of the new season a few days away, we extend a welcome to every Stroller, old and new.
The Schedule for October – December 2018 is here https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-schedule/. The detailed instructions per activity are here https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/.
Also, a new section has been created, which provides Answers to your Questions most frequently asked https://cyprus-strollers.org/answers-to-faq/. We recommend that you take the time needed to study this, because it is good to know. If you continue to have a question unanswered, please drop us a line.
As we approach the start of this club’s 9th season of activities, the identity of The Cyprus Strollers is well documented, by our record of accomplishments.
Regular Strollers have come to recognize us as the only hiking club in Cyprus with a dedicated website, in English, organizing a hike in the countryside, every weekend, from October through May. Over the past 4 years the club has conducted
- 129 activities,
- covering 1225 km,
- hiking for 404 hours.
Interestingly, hiking as a sport is experiencing growth, in consequence, and hikers now have more choice.
Then, there are further aspects to the personality of The Cyprus Strollers, exemplified by:
The club’s intervention in the public dialogue that followed the devastating forest fire of 19-22 June 2016, via this article https://cyprus-strollers.org/2016/07/08/politics-vs-forests-thoughts-from-the-fires/
The club’s intervention in the public dialogue that followed news about our overweight kids, via this article https://cyprus-strollers.org/2018/07/02/call-to-action-for-parents-of-overweight-kids-sample-the-delights-of-hiking/
Our organization of the first ever poetic hike, of which you can read here https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/lythrodontas-2-hikes-sunday-15-jan/
Brief intervals of cultural reading, happening during hiking, e.g. here https://cyprus-strollers.org/2018/03/26/unique-cyprus-strollers-prophitis-elias-25-march/
The club’s intervention in the public dialogue on the occasion of the International Mountain Day, see here https://cyprus-strollers.org/2017/12/10/mountains-under-pressure-climate-hunger-and-migration/
The organization of extraordinary activities, e.g. https://cyprus-strollers.org/2017/04/14/good-friday-stroll-72-epitaphios-in-old-nicosia/
If you identify with these initiatives, if you see yourself here, and would like to contribute to “Hiking made Pleasant”, join us on 7 October on our first event of the 9th season.
The 23 May 2018 European Congress on Obesity in Vienna, organized by the European Association for the Study of Obesity revealed embarrassing facts concerning kids in Cyprus: 43% of boys and girls aged 6-9 years have a problem with excess weight; further, about half of these overweight children are obese! Stated simply, 1 in 2 of our kids experience serious health risks from a tender age.
This news calls for alarm. If you are a parent, you need to take corrective action now! Please don’t look right or left: the onus is on you. Children aged 6-9 years are still under your influence and you cannot hide behind the excuse that your child would not follow your guidance. And guidance is the secret of success. Kids respond well to parents who can lead by example, but will resist orders, because you cannot fool them. ‘If it is good for me, then why are you not following, mum?’ would leave you searching for words.
This applies equally to food, to time spent in front of a screen, to exercising. A parent who eats unhealthy because this is ‘customary’ while watching football on TV, a parent who spends hours every night browsing the internet, a parent who feels too tired or busy to get up from her couch, will have little success with instructions to their children to shape up. Kids have a good understanding of what is good and what is bad, and they don’t need your regular preaching about it.
Looked at positively, here lies a wonderful opportunity for you to (re)start on a new course, which will ensure a healthier life for you as well as your kids, and also will bring the family much closer together, doing the same things and communicating more. You may begin with a change back into the Mediterranean diet which we have abandoned, as was revealed at the European Congress by Dr. Joao Breda, from the World Health Organisation “The Mediterranean diet for the children in Mediterranean countries is gone, and we need to recover it”.
Dr. Breda came with further sad news “Physical inactivity is one of the issues that is more significant in the southern European countries”. Inevitably our sedentary life is closely related with trending activities, such as inordinate use of electronic games and the social media. A young client recently had immersed himself so deeply in it that he had given up gym exercising completely. For you as a parent, guiding your child to an active life may prove much more of a challenge than controlling what you eat and drink. Not only because what you do in front of a screen is ‘fun’, but also because you may feel that sports that suit your kid are beyond your own reach. Rightly so, only few and athletic parents can take up track sports or martial arts or play basketball any more. To this there are merely two exceptions, swimming and hiking. These are safe sports for persons of practically all ages, in general good health.
Hiking involves walking (neither jogging, nor running) in nature and contrary to swimming is not a widespread practice. Hiking through a forest or up and down a mountain can cleanse your mind, body, and soul and is an excellent way to burn between 400 – 700 calories per hour, depending on your size and the hike difficulty. Luckily, hiking is one of the easiest and least expensive sports to get involved in, and it can have great benefits for the whole family. It is non-competitive, thereby offering your kids a relaxing break from their daily results oriented school routine. And because all the family, even grandmas can participate, you will be amazed at the breadth and depth of conversations you will hold while you hike, leaving you at the end perhaps tired, yet feeling spiritually satiated and so close together.
Research has shown hiking to reduce levels of stress and anxiety in adults. Further research on children with hyperactivity has shown that when they are in a natural, outdoors environment their attention levels improve greatly. Finally the most astounding research results came from Professor David Strayer of the University of Kansas, whose experiments with people hiking revealed a 50% boost in their creativity.
To sample the delights of hiking, start with a google search. There are several responsible hiking clubs in the island, which will welcome you and your kids, on your journey to a better life.
To wrap up the season that started January, in which we realised 20 excursions and covered a total of 206 km in 75 hours of hiking, a well-deserved celebration was held during lunch on 27 May. This was a time for reflection, for thanking and for giving. George contributed a delicious chocolate gateau, with a lit candle on top. Then Ian H (who turned out to be camera shy) followed with surprise gifts to the club’s Founder and Director. There was a greetings card, signed by dozens of members, bearing the central message “Thank you for your organisation and your inspiration” and other touching messages from all. A second gift was a large 94X64 cm frame bearing a selection of past photographs from our hikes; this now adorns a wall in Xenophon’s apartment. Yet a third gift was an album bearing many colour 30X21 cm printouts of photographs from past activities.
Xenophon was for once lost for words, immersed in a sea of warm sentiments. The feeling now is that this club has grown enough, to be an important part of the leisure and creative life of so many wonderful persons, past, present and new members, from all Continents! Have a nice summer and join us again in October for the next season. Compliments to Ian H and George. Compliments also to Koula, Christos and Clara for the photos.
A large, cheerful group of Strollers, including newcomers, walked the 2 trails at Almyrolivado on Sunday 27 May, under a sky which offered us only the shade of clouds, but no rain. The outing offered many memorable experiences. Among them a stream which we liked to claim was a mini waterfall; a lizard/ kourkoutas, some 30 cm long, which rapidly crossed our path, making us grateful that dinosaurs are extinct; barber’s brush, Cypriot slang for the flower of the day; a 500-years-old Juniper tree; the artificial lake in Amiantos; and a seesaw which younger members enjoyed in action. There has been also a remarkable initiative in play, Sheri’s efforts to pick up litter found along our path. Such are the delights of hiking with your favourite club! Compliments to Christos and Clara for the photos.