Walking the E4 trail, we did it our way…..
Day 1 we caught a bus to Coral Bay and walked from there up the coast, visiting an old tree & a ship wreck. After a stop for refreshments at Lara bay cafe we wild camped off the track with a stunning view of the sunset 😍
Day 2 was a hot slog from just outside Lara bay, up and over the peninsula to negotiate a camping pitch at Aphrodite bay campsite. We ended up with a bamboo wigwam style shelter which you apparently pitch your tent in 🙄
Day 3 started with a steep pull uphill from Aphrodite bay followed by trekking on dirt road tracks to a lunch stop at Drousha, we decided to keep pressing on that day and a steep descent took us to the town of Skoulli where we had refreshments of real lemonade & some odd orange & lemon peel concoction 🤢 No accommodation was available here so we had a steep 3km slog up a very steep hill to find a camp at the top of the dam. Here we were joined by two other people who were looking for somewhere to camp on a weekend wander.
Day 4 saw us break camp early and head for the forestry campsite of Stavros tis Psokas. The first part of the day was a pleasant wander alongside the lake & on to some more dirt tracks before we stumbled upon an excellent gorge walk which was gorgeous 🙄 we then started the ascent to the campsite in the forest. The path was initially easy to follow until on several occasions it seemed to send you up a river, after a bit of backtracking & head scratching we headed up the river and lo and behold the path continued after the river, it did this on several occasions. During one of the many river paths Doc found a tent that had been left behind (all packed up) and despite it being a weighty tent decided to carry it out to the forestry station. Once at the forestry campsite we managed to get toasted cheese sandwiches and drinks from the shop.
Day 5 was a steep pull up hill visiting the chapel of the holy cross en route before continuing on a nature trail, which took us to a height of 1250 metres before continuing on dirt tracks looking for a place to camp beside a river, however due to the fact that the contour lines are twenty metres apart what looks like level ground was in fact a gorge, so a scramble down to collect water was followed by a wander along dirt tracks looking for a place to camp, after a while we camped at the side of a dirt track 😬
Day 6 was a steady wander meandering around the mountains on dirt track roads, we eventually made it to the Kykkos monastery and firmly ensconced ourselves in the restaurant for a few hours recharging ourselves and our batteries. After taking it in turns to explore the monastery we made our way down to the Komititzi Picnic Area, where a couple picnicking there gifted us some fresh fruit. A sneaky bivi was required at the picnic site 🤫
Day 7 was an early start to avoid any keen picnickers, dirt track walking brought us to the chapel of Basil of Caesarea and a giant teddy bear, after exploring the chapel & having a rest we carried on through the town of Kaminaria without seeing a soul and went exploring to find the ancient Venetian bridge. After a short water break in Agios Dimitrios we continued on dirt tracks up to the large forest camping ground of Kambi tou Kaligirou where we had a much needed rest. After a discussion it was decided to crack on & head towards the Kaledonian waterfalls where we hoped to camp. Once again it was upwards that we headed on dirt track roads before descending down to the waterfalls. Unfortunately this was a very popular area & any camping was going to be very tricky, so after much cajoling we headed the 5km uphill into Troodos & the Troodos hotel for cocktails and a much needed rest day.
Day 8 was a much needed rest & admin day, washing of clothes was a high priority, also due to potential lack of eateries along the next few days we had to get creative with food purchases. Whilst looking around the stalls we may have had samples of several different types of liqueur 😁
Day 9 saw us leave Troodos, initially on the road but soon veering off on to dirt tracks & then paths through the forest. Fantastic views were had & some really enjoyable scree walking saw us drop down to platania picnic site for a coffee/tea break. It was then uphill again past a Mouflon enclosure. We followed dirt tracks and paths until just outside Spilia where the heavens opened and we took shelter under a leaky roofed bench. Once the storm had passed we made our way to Lagoudera where we held slim hopes that a café would be open (none were open 😭). After a rest we left Lagoudera on a footpath running alongside old terraces, all the time looking for a suitable place to camp, one of the options was to make for the Stavros tou Agiasmati church, however as we crested a ridge we found a bench (we almost always made use of a bench when available) with enough flattish ground to set up camp.
Day 10 saw us break camp & head towards Stavros tou Agiasmati church where we had a quick explore before heading to Ayios Epiphanios where we found a café that was open 😁 After ordering an hot sandwich by just saying yes to everything that the café owner suggested, we were chilling out when it started raining, so what was a short stop turned into a much longer one. Once the rain had stopped we made our way to a proposed camp spot, however nothing was really viable, so we continued on our way to the Merika picnic site where someone was having a birthday party & kindly invited us to join them, as we were a bit ripe by then we kindly declined their offer, however they did give us coke,beer,cake & a selection of meat cooked on a rotisserie 😋
Day 11 we left the picnic area and as seems to be the theme to our trip the only way was up 😬 it was a really hot day & about 5km into the days trek we discovered a café open in Fikardou, so as it would be rude not to we ordered a “yes” breakfast (just say yes to whatever they say do you want on your breakfast) After eating way too much, we once again set off & yep it was uphill. We eventually arrived at Machairas monastery where we stopped for a look around & I bagged a free coffee 😁 Once again it was up,up,up on superb single-track with cracking views, the golf ball listening station never seeming to get closer. After summiting we dropped down the other side & passed Kiona picnic site which was very busy. So onwards we went to our camp spot at Profitis Elias monastery. During the night a barn owl was flying about making a screaming noise, so that was nice 😬
Day 12 we had decided to end the walk at Lythrodontas & explore Nicosia rather than walking into Larnaca, this was because we had really enjoyed the mountain section of the walk and didn’t want to ruin it. So today’s walk was a steady one on dirt tracks into the village of Lythrodontas. After three nights wild camping we were both ready for a shower and to give our clothes a rinse, unfortunately upon reaching the Airbnb we found that the water seemed to have been cut off 😬
Day 13,14,15 & 16 After telling the Airbnb host that we were not going to stay somewhere without running water we booked an excellent apartment in Nicosia, we caught the bus to Alampra bus station & then on to Nicosia. The buses were superb and really cheap. After finally getting a much needed shower we had several days exploring Nicosia including crossing over to the Turkish controlled side, lots of excellent food was consumed along with the right amount of alcohol. Following Doc around as she went in search of street art was an excellent experience & took us to some less touristy parts of Nicosia. (Doc got told of for pointing her camera towards the border 🤣). We also had a day trip to Larnaca which had way too many tourists for our liking 🤣
Day 17 and it was time to head home. We caught the intercity bus to Larnaca at 8 am and the airport bus at Larnaca at about 9:30 am. Doc’s flight was about 10 hours earlier than mine, so once we had said our goodbyes I went for a wander around Larnaca salt lake including a visit to Hala Sultan Tekkesi, an historic mosque. After seeing out a big thunderstorm sheltering under a roofed picnic table I made my way back to the airport to await my flight.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading, it’s not my normal micro blog so I hope you liked it. Thanks to Dr J for suggesting Cyprus & being excellent company 👍 many laughs were had 😁
Fantastic mate, I’d love to do some overseas stuff, just need to renew my passport 😁
Fantastic makes a good and informative read xxxx