By Maria Gregoriou
Put the word ‘stroll’ into Google and you are informed that as a verb it means to ‘walk in a leisurely way,’ or to ‘achieve a sporting victory without effort’. This is probably what the founder of the social group aimed at walking and having fun called The Cyprus Strollers, Xenophon Hasapis had in mind when he formed the group back in the summer of 2014?
In his own words “hiking is made pleasant. We have many people who join us, many young people who are fed up with just sitting around on the couch.” That kind of says it all.
The hiking group is setting out for a second time after a well deserved rest over the Christmas break this Saturday to the Madari Mountain located in the Pitsilia area. The area itself includes about 30 villages and the Madari Mountain, which is one of the tallest peaks in the area, overlooks the villages at 1,612 metres. The other tallest peak is the Papoutsa Mountain, which stands at 1,554 metres tall.
The walks, or strolls rather, normally take place on Sunday but this time Hasapis is getting the blood pumping on a Saturday maybe because there is so much to see in Pitsilia and you might want to return on Sunday to take a look at all you missed the day before.
The hike, which will start at 11.30am, will cover 11.2 kilometres and is rated to be a medium to difficult hike. The whole walk is expected to take up to three and a half hours and it involves elevation changes. Hasapis explains that “we start at 1,335 metres, at Doxa si o Theos, walk down to 1,150 metres, at Moutti tis Horas, and then we climb to 1,260 metres, at Selladi Karamanli, and we will follow the same path back.”
Because the hike leader knows that the strollers will be putting a lot of effort into their exercise this Saturday, he ensures they will be compensated with a pallet of nature’s delights, including a dense forest of golden oaks, pine trees, a rich variety of bushes and wild flowers, and also, as always, a view that will make you want to get off your couch again next weekend and set off with the group again.
If you don’t know how to get to the Doxa si o Theos meeting point in Pitsilia (which is located a few kilometers up from the Kyperounda village, on the road to the village of Spilia), or if you would just rather make the ride to the area a bit of a road trip with company, then the members of the group who wish to can meet at the Ayia Sophia church in Strovolos, Nicosia at 10.15am and ride to the area together.
After the three and a half hour hike, the group will have lunch at a local tavern where you can rest, continue socialising and satisfy your hunger.
Remember to wear some comfortable trainers or hiking boots, some thick socks and a rain coat because even if there is light rain, the hike will still go on. Go to http://cyprus-strollers.org/ for more information.
Cyprus Strollers Hike
Take an 11km hike together with the Cyprus Strollers. January 17. Madari Mountain, Pitsilia, Nicosia district. Meeting at 10.15 at Agia Sophia church in Strovolos, hike starts at 11.30am. Tel: 97-613720