If you are spending this summer in Cyprus, you are probably developing thoughts about your weather preferences, along such lines: Do I prefer the hot summers or the cold winters? The humidity of the summers or the dry winters? How sustainable can summer life be when confined to air-conditioned spaces? What kind of summer weather do we experience, when the temperature difference between the coast and the high mountains is a mere two degrees?
Such is the changing summer weather on this island, and you are rightly concerned.
Next, you cast a wider eye, and reach out to the Amazon. This gigantic forest has experienced a reported number of about 45,000 forest fires this year, so far! You wonder why, and consider possible explanations, such as: not all of these fires can be the result of natural causes; why are the authorities not doing their utmost to mobilize international aid to put out these fires? What benefits could some evil minds be contemplating, for the day after this massive deforestation? Would it be plantations for human consumption? And construction works, in the name of development?
The Cyprus Strollers share a deep appreciation for the Cyprus forests. We understand that the health of our forests in Cyprus is very closely linked to the prosperity of the Amazon rain forests.
The issue is obviously extending beyond the personal; it affects each life on earth, and therefore becomes political. It is time to demand new actions. For in the words of poet John Donne (1624): “never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee”.
It was a sentimental finale on Troodos and at Chrysanthis taverna on Sunday 2 June, befitting a Club which has just completed 10 continuous hiking seasons. Xenophon is thankful to the thousands of people, of all ages, from near 50 nationalities and all continents, who have walked with The Cyprus Strollers, discovering the pleasures of hiking and the island’s countryside; while extending special thanks to Stathis, Koula and Gunnar for their gifts and speeches on the day.
The Cyprus Strollers is distinguished for the pleasure it offers its members, a consequence of the hikes in attractive surroundings, the well-organised lunches, the intelligent and witty conversations, and other characteristics. This piece is dedicated to those with a sharper sensitivity. Notice how two events ago we spoke of white butterflies; how one activity ago we spoke of indigo blue butterflies; yet we could not feature an appropriate photo on either occasion. It was third time lucky then on 25 May, when Nicoletta’s expertise, persistence and luck captured the accompanying photo of a beautiful butterfly on a rock rose flower!
Despite the absence of clouds, which made the sun shine on our faces throughout, the hikes at Kampos Livadiou and Myllomeris on Saturday 25 May, combined with the excellent lunch that followed, offered Strollers much entertainment: rich forests, a refreshing river bank, a spectacular waterfall, a quick swim by a few daring Strollers, long views, the pleasure of welcoming new members, the intellectual conversations at the table. We also wished Jessica goodbye, certain that she takes back to the USA many beautiful memories from her time with the Club. Compliments to Stathis, Nicoletta and Maria for the photos. Join us on 2 June for the finale of this season https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/troodos-almyrolivado-2-june/
The excursion of Sunday 19 May to Troodos, for the Atalanti hike, offered Strollers many of the usual rewards; and a rare one: sighting of the indigo blue butterfly. No camera could capture the ethereal beauty of this tiny masterpiece of creation; indigo blue when it is flying; grey when its wings are folded. Compliments to Christos for leading the outing and to Stathis for the photos. Join us on 25 May for a double hike https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/myllomeris-and-kampos-livadiou-25-may/
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/
The outing of Sunday 5 May took us along the Persephone nature trail in the Troodos mountains, starting just a few minutes’ walk from Troodos square. This particular trail ranks among the most popular routes for several good reasons: It’s short and sweet – only 4 km each way and not demanding; It winds its way through beautiful forest patches that offer welcome shade; It ends at a point that grants you quintessential Cyprus views across green forests, a large dam, the salt lake and Limassol Bay.
Apart from the perfect weather, the real bonus of the walk was the group’s configuration. Persephone attracted hikers of all ages, from elementary school to grandparents. And as is often the case, at least 10 nationalities were represented. Special guests included a number of four-legged furry friends, one of whom could not resist a full-body mud bath in a rainwater puddle, offering us surprise entertainment to add to the day’s memories.
The buffet lunch that followed began with a warm welcome from Irene, who was celebrating her name day on the day and gave us the opportunity to share the story of Persephone in Greek mythology, to catch up with friends, get to know new group members better, and make plans to meet again at the next Cyprus Strollers hikes.