To Hike and Hike – a Wonderful New Year’s Resolution – Selladi 7 Jan.

A large group of Strollers, many newcomers among us, gathered at Selladi Karamanli on Sunday 7 January, determined to hike and hike and hike with their favourite club in 2018; can you think of a healthier new year’s resolution? Compliments to Clara for the photos. Join us on 14 Jan. in Lythrodontas https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/lythrodontas-2-hikes-14-jan/.

Terraces formation on slope

 

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International Mountain Day Celebration – Kapedes 10 Dec.

A truly international group, including new friends from Japan, Egypt and Syria, gathered for the hike to Agios Onoufrios on the Mahairas mountains. And what a fitting celebration of International Mountain Day this was!

As Xenophon reminded us mountains are under threat. He informed us of a global meeting in Rome taking place this week to consider the problem, and of our response and responsibilities to the sustainability of mountains.

There are no easy solutions. Yet our being on this hike and similar walks, enjoying the fresh air and the centuries-old trees, marvelling at the fecundity of nature, its abundance of plant and animal life, is in itself a way of ensuring sustainability. The more we love the mountains and the more time we spend in them, the more we are likely to protect them.

We delighted in the views of mountain peaks, autumnal colours, in finding wild mushrooms and mosfila. We were also saddened to see discarded plastic rubbish and hunters’ cartridges.

Our small international group at least is fully aware of the benefits and challenges. Mountains live long after us. Let’s continue to treasure them and do our part to preserve them. A small first step is to get out there, rejoice and be uplifted by their unrivalled beauty and majesty. Compliments to Mary for this write-up, and to Patrick and Clara for the photos. Join us on 16 Dec. at Pedieos https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/pedieos-river-banks-walk-16-dec/.

pine tree bowing

 

Hike with a Bonus – 12 Nov. Artemis

The largest gathering of Strollers since 29 January, participated in the excursion to Troodos on Sunday 12 November. Artemis is the highest trail in Cyprus, the day was bright and the walk leader delivered on his promise to add a bonus to the hike when, with about one kilometre left from finish, he led a large group up a quite steep slope, thus reaching the big ball at the radar on Hionistra, which is the point with the highest altitude on the island. Compliments to Christos for leading this outing and to Christine and Clara for the photos. Join us on 18 Nov. at Kyparissia https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/kyparissia-nature-trail-18-nov/.

view from highest point

 

steps away from highest point

twisted dead tree trunk

Variety is the spice of hikes

Atalanti North, a section of the 14km circular Atalanti trail, was the Cyprus Strollers’ choice for October 15. Over 40 Strollers (and two dogs) gathered at Troodos square and walked anti-clockwise just under 5km and back, for 9.5km worth of Troodos mountain rambling.

The route was a formula for stroller satisfaction – not too long, but not too short, not too steep and not too flat. But make no mistake: while it could be labeled as a one-size-fits-all trail, Atalanti North is far from monotonous. Gentle ups and downs took us through shady forest patches, as well as under the open skies or along sun-dappled paths, some smooth and wide, others bumpy and narrow.

This is a terrain that tells many silent stories. Moss covered tree trunks give evidence of the clean air. Hanging branches report the snowfall of many winters. Rock formations that burst out of nowhere are the stuff of geologists’ dreams. But you need absolutely no science to delight in the carpets of pine cones, the colours of wild apple trees and the therapeutic views to the summit of Olympus or the valleys below. And if it were possible to look into the Strollers’ minds, chances are, many were flirting with plans to complete the longer, but equally smooth and satisfying full Atalanti circle.

The variety then shifted from the trail to the table with a buffet lunch to end the hike and announce the next one. Compliments to Dina for creating this summary and to Koula, Nana and Clara for the photos. Join us on 21 Oct. at Kakopetria https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/kakopetria-agios-nicolaos-platania-hike-21-oct/

bed of fallen pine cones

autumn colours

12 km Made Easy – Prodromos 7 Oct.

The 2nd walk of the 7th season followed a favourite route through the timeless pine forest of Troodos, with views of mountain villages waiting to be identified.

Over 40 Strollers across generations, from elementary school children to the age-is-just-a-number category, started off in Prodromos, in front of the summer camp area.

Going uphill, downhill, repeat, and back, this was the kind of trail that engages all the senses and stimulates an appetite for more. In fact, looking back, it is surprising how easily we covered a distance of just under 12km along a route rated difficulty level 2+ (on a scale of 1 to 3), based on its length and the slope, which at two points was not negligible. The secret? Good company, good mood, perfect weather and effortless interaction (plus regular mini-breaks) among Strollers from different parts of the world, from China to India to Iceland and many countries in between.

The elaborate taverna meal that followed was a great opportunity to get to know new members better. Compliments to Dina for this summary, and to Stella for the photos. Join us on 15 October at Atalanti https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/troodos-atalanti-north-walk-15-oct/

smiles all over

 

Pedoulas

A High Adrenaline Season Opener – 1 Oct.

The new Oct – Dec 2017 season set off on Sunday 1 October, with lots of excitement, emotion and variety. The excursion to Troodos was the most demanding ever undertaken by the club, and required attention and discipline to the published organizational rules; and that proved a challenge. The group of participants was large and goodwilling, it included several newcomers, and we quickly succeeded to overcome the obstacles and execute the outing to a high degree of satisfaction. A witty joke, shared with all at the hike start, helped. Compliments to Koula, Teresa, Christine and Nicos for the photos. Join us on 7 Oct. at Prodromos https://cyprus-strollers.org/activities-description/prodromos-zoumi-stavroulia-walk-7-oct/.

instructions time

 

crocus

Prodromos dam

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