How Odd, No photos to boast

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.

To the source of Pedieos river – 6 Dec.

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/ 

Next event moves from Saturday 5 to Sunday 6 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. 

Hideouts – yesterday and today – Kourdali 29 Nov.

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 morning… – Kionia 21 Nov.

…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/ 

Over the Rainbow – Madari 15 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/ 

Important message to participants of the 15 Nov. hike

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.

Clouds at last – Mahairas South 7 Nov.

We had to wait until 7 Nov. to enjoy an excursion in moderate temperatures and under the protection of clouds. The weather lifted the spirits of the group at Mahairas, so much so that some of us dared sneak inside the cave. Compliments to the picnickers, and to Yannis, Anna, Maria and Antonis for the photos. Join us on 15 Nov. at Madari https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/madari-teisia-15-nov/

The Club that brings out the Best in People – Artemis 4 Oct.

A very large turnout, made up of long-standing members and newcomers, people of all age groups, from 8 years up, and from a multitude of nationalities, hiked Artemis on Sunday 4 October, at the resumption of regular activities post-covid lockdown. Participation was in flesh as well as in spirit, with tenderness as well as elation.

There were members who arrived quite late at hike start, yet respected their lunch booking and were compensated by all the joy at the table. There was a member who put the call of duty and solidarity above some bodily ache. There was the very touching joining of hands along the path by mother and son. There were many spirited exchanges over lunch. And there was an impromptu somersault by a most lovable young member, to cap it all! A collection of moments no camera can capture.

Compliments to Nicos for leading the event and to Antonis, Anna and Yannis for the photos. Join us on 11 Oct at Prodromos and remember to send in your registration (there will be no mid-week e-mail reminder) https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/prodromos-zoumi-stavroulia-10-oct/

Hiking Made Pleasant is Back

Dear Strollers,

Hello. If a few have been considering the 4 months’ hiatus of the Club rather long, this summer’s excessive and prolonged heatwaves have provided a strong explanation; as well as one further tangible evidence of Responsible Hiking.

Join us on 4 October for the start of season 13. Over the first 12 productive seasons we have achieved

  • 185 hiking events
  • Covering 1800 km
  • Over 575 hours.

Please visit the Activities Schedule section on https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-schedule/, to view, download and study the program of weekly hiking activities for October, November and December 2020. For any activity that catches your attention, please visit the Activities Description section on https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/ 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, 4 are NEW
  • There are 5 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 welcoming for the first time Antonis, while welcoming back Gunnar, Nicos and Angelos, the Walk Leaders, alongside Xenophon
  • 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.

The thrust of covid-19 upon our lives is, inevitably, affecting our Club, as well. The following are a few of the changes brought about, together with a few clarifications:

  • To provide you with maximum safety vis-à-vis covid-19, and in order to have maximum traceability, we require every participant to register, irrespective of your participation at lunch or not
  • why are we enforcing registration for each participant? Imagine, God forbid, if one participant tests covid-positive, and the authorities descend on me, asking the names of every other participant, as the protocol for traceability demands, for your protection, and I were to reply vaguely
  • New members are especially welcome, as this Club has built a tradition for hospitality; yet 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 in corresponding
  • To register for any specific event, the safest method is for a member to send the Organizer an e-mail, based on the instructions published in the corresponding Activities Description page. Please do not expect a mid-week e-mail, as has been the tradition for years. E-mails only serve as a reminder and they may or may not get to you, as an effort is made to prune them
  • In short, do not wait to receive an e-mail, please visit the website once a week, get the info and send in your e-mail to register
  • in the unlikely situation that an event is canceled, the only means of secure communication is to visit the website, before leaving home

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 walks in store. Xenophon