Edit : I see from my blog stats that someone is wondering where the Kayalar Foothills are, the name was given by myself to the hill tops and area above Kayalar.
Our family holiday this summer was spent in the area of Kayalar in the TRNC (Turkish Republic of North Cyprus), the northern part of Cyprus which is persona non grata. Sadly there is no amateur radio recognition so even getting a reciprocal licence would have been impossible. There is a 1AB station regularly seen on the amateur bands but he is an excellent operator, I have worked him on 20m, I did look out for his antenna set up but I guess he was much further east.
There is a range of mountains which rise dramatically from its long sandy coastline. These mountains contain some fantastic ruined castles built from the 10th century onwards. St Hilarion being the most famous of these.
The midday temperatures were too hot even to contemplating walking in the mountainous area, a few guidebooks warn of intermittent military activity in the best walking areas so local knowledge would have to have been sought.
Euan did however go on two walks into the local Kayalar foothills next to where we staying.
We had two days left and Euan asked if I wanted to attempt to ascend the nearest hill.
We set off at roughly 4pm local time and slowly made our way through the parched landscape, most bushes had very razor like thorns and in parts we had to literally use a stick to push them aside. They were mostly low ground cover, I was glad I had my walking boots.
We reached a rough track and followed it until we reached a fork, we headed right, the main track then wound down to the fertile fields in the valley above Gecitkoy reservoir.
The rough track wound slowly up the hillside and soon we had to take a path south through what looked like an old farm area but with no buildings only ruined dykes visible.
We then headed south rising to a false summit but then our destination was now in clear sight, the last 200 metres was through the same rough thorny shrubbery we had encountered lower down. The hill had two distinct rocky tops, the usual photo shoot took place and to the far south, rising in the heat haze, we could see the Troodos mountains of south Cyprus, eastwards and below us was the fertile valley above the Gecitkoy reservoir, Gecitkoy village with its distinctive white-painted mosque.
To the north across the Mediterranean sea lay the mainland of Turkey but a distinct heat haze spoiled any sight we may have got. The temperature was still very hot.
We descended in good time, trying to retrace our upward steps. Small lizards scurried everywhere in front of us, the largest being roughly 6-7 inches long.
We soon reached the tarmac road and the short walk back to the villa.
Once we arrived, it was boots and socks off, empty our pockets then a jump into the pool (as I pondered on my Beinn Laomainn blog post)
A short but satisfying walk to a height of 328m from roughly app 30m ASL in very hot conditions .One of the local army base had a temperature gauge showing 45c at midday.
This post is not radio related but it shows how even in an area not well-known for its walking potential, you can still find something doable.
The picture of me at the summit, there is a straight drop to almost the valley floor below behind me and is very exposed.
Flickr set..Kayalar Foothills 2010