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.
The club was delighted on Saturday 30 May to have welcomed 3 new members, who took the decision over the lockdown to experience The Cyprus Strollers! The combination of 2 hikes on Selladi Karamanli took place under optimal weather conditions, and participants quickly blended into one team, with existing members extending warm hospitality to the newcomers. The meal which followed was a very rewarding treat, served with strict observance of the hygiene code at Fountoukia taverna.
There was a feast of colours entertaining the group of Strollers who achieved the toughest trail on the island, the Grand Circle of Madari, on Saturday 11 May. This is the only trail in the entire year where we see the pink flowers of paeonies, and this time there were many more, thanks to the productive rainy season. A delightful meal at our taverna of choice capped a wonderful day out. Compliments to Christos for leading this excursion and to George and Stathis for the photos. Join us on 19 May on Troodos https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/troodos-atalanti-sunday-19-may/
Teisia, the destination of the outing of Sunday 27 January, has such a mystique, that no cold, no chilly wind, could keep a very large group of Strollers away from this hike. The party was cheerful and included kids and dogs and a few dozens of newcomers. The scenery provided ample compensation, with the densest population of golden oaks on the island, albeit infested with lichens; and the erect constructions of frozen magma. Compliments to Gunnar for leading this excursion and to Nicoletta, Maria, Nana and Stathis for their photos. Especial compliments also to every participant in the lunch that followed for your patience in getting seated in the crowded Fountoukia taverna; the quality of the meal was a deserved reward! Join us on 3 Feb. at Pedieos gorge https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/pedieos-gorge-mahairas-monastery-3-feb/
The Cyprus Strollers delivered the year’s toughest hike on Sunday 29 April. An especial pack of members, especial as evidenced by their dietary preferences and aided by a cloudy sky, delighted in the many rewards the Grand Circle offers; among them the rare paeony flowers, and a corner with a stone table and stools, as if it came from a set for the Flintstones. The lunch that followed at Fountoukia taverna in Saranti was an unforgettably rich experience. Compliments to Christos for leading this outing and to Evi for the photos. Join us on 5 May at Kykkos https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/kykkos-xistarouda-hike-5-may/
The five kilometres of this walk turned out to be most uplifting and enjoyable for the large group of Strollers who met on Sunday 26 Nov. under dark, threatening clouds. It felt cool at the meeting point above Handria, and a number of people pulled on gloves and woolly hats. A short uphill climb took us to a panoramic viewpoint with 360 degrees of overlapping peaks and the ragged Teisia (volcanic erect formations). It was breezy but well-worth the climb. After the obligatory photos, we started to climb around the Madari mountain top. We could not believe our luck when the sun came out, warming us and making the golden oaks glisten and the unusual rock formations to appear even more dramatic. Soft, delicate lichens hugged the trees, moss was plentiful on rocks and the peacefulness of the place was tangible. Compliments to Laurent who led us very ably, with ample time to sit briefly in the sun, share spontaneous humorous moments, and a bonus visit to the church of Panagia tou Araka. The meal that followed at Fountoukia, Saranti village, was another feast of vegetarian and meat dishes and cheerful fellowship. Compliments also to Mary for creating this summary, and to Koula, Maria, Patrick and Sheri for the photos. Join us on 2 Dec. in Limassol https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/limassol-molos-promenade-sat-2-dec/
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……
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/.
A small group of Strollers displayed exemplary sense and sensibility on Saturday 2 April concerning the picturesque hike from Stavros Agiasmati to Panagia Araka. Defying the forecast of rain, and comfortable with the driving instructions, we were all appropriately prepared and copiously rewarded, since rain fell in Nicosia and Limassol, but there was not a drop on our path; proof of the general rule that luck is on the side of those who dare. Among the delights of the outing we had several instances of flowering orchids, Arabis purpurea, asphodels, milk vetch and almond trees; carpets of vivid green mosses and masses of tiny yellow-blue wild peas. There were also amazing vistas; at every turn the views changed; sometimes we were looking at sheer rocks, sometimes thick forest, then the distant bay of Morphou, the majestic Madari mountains and the villages of Platanistasa, Alona on the left, Lagoudera and Saranti on the right, nestling below the peaks. The meal at Fountoukia taverna was a well-deserved treat, with delicious and seemingly endless meze dishes, their potato chips which rank among the best on the island, and creamy sweets to finish off an unforgettable day. Compliments to Mary for contributing to this write-up and to Marios for the photos. Join us on 8 April at Mahairas https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/mahairas-south-slopes-two-hikes-sat-8-april/