Nature Trail from Treis Elies

Don’t forget you can order your copy of ‘Androula’s Kitchen- Cyprus on a Plate’ on this site at a very special price just click on the Home Page and follow the links. Why not buy it for a friend for Christmas? Read the reviews by clicking on the menu bar.

As readers of this blog will know my inspiration for the book Androula’s Kitchen, came after a visit to my cousin who lives in Treis Elies at To Spitiko tou Archonta http://www.spitiko3elies.com/ which she runs as a guest Lodge. Just on the edge of the village is the start of a lovely nature trail  which I have explored on a few occasions but only for a couple of miles. This is where you can access  the E4 nature trail which is a mammoth path that ends in Cyprus stretching across Europe and starting in Spain. Starting from Treis Elies it is possible to walk a large part of this trail passing through some of the most beautiful mountains and valleys that Cyprus has to offer. Outside of the village the Venetian Bridges trail can also be accessed.

I have not had the time to explore any of these walks fully but touched on a few parts here and there. The scenery is magical and if you enjoy walking in amongst shady wooded areas with frequent encounters with tinkling water running over rocks this is for you. The geology of Cyprus is unique and which many geologist come to study. A large part of Troodos is made of opheolite http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geology_of_Cyprus and dates back to a mind boggling 90 million years where it was formed in the ocean bed and literally was pushed up out of the ocean fully formed, by the colliding of the various tectonic plates,exactly like Aphrodite is said to have risen from the foam.

There are many nature trails that can be walked in Cyprus varying in length and difficulty a leaflet is available at the Tourist Information offices with all the  details.If you prefer you can also go on guided walks. Try Cyprus Walking Friends on Facebook. In October onwards  towards Spring this is a fabulous way of seeing the extremely varied flora and fauna which is prolific ,some of it unique to Cyprus.

On my last visit to Cyprus in April I attempted to video a short part of this walk to give an idea of its beauty. Please excuse the shakiness of it as it’s my first attempt at walking and filming at the same time.

Don’t forget you can order your copy of ‘Androula’s Kitchen- Cyprus on a Plate’ on this site at a very special price just click on the Home Page and follow the links. Why not buy it for a friend for Christmas? Read the reviews by clicking on the menu bar.

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Stuck and Stalemate

English: Simple op-amp circuit with positive f...

English: Simple op-amp circuit with positive feedback (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is now past the middle of May and it’s nearly six months since my book was published I can’t quite believe it. As it came out only a few weeks before Christmas it was all a bit of a scramble to get my press releases out and I don’t think I had much success in getting them published although one or two did appear in print. Sadly my local paper doesn’t seem to be interested even though I have tried a couple of times,  which I am disappointed about, I’m not sure what the criteria is to get a bit of coverage.

Much of the start of the year was spent in deciding and then planning my trip to Cyprus at the beginning of April to promote the book there. I did have a very busy and what felt like a productive time while I was there. I met a good many people and made some good contacts, some of it is a bit of a blur as I didn’t want to waste my time and tried to do as much as I could. I was very fortunate in meeting Elena Savvides in particular, who was a great promoter on my behalf.

rusty tractor

Obviously as the book is about Cyprus it is a good deal easier to market it in Cyprus and people can understand what the book is about. This sounds probably a strange thing to say as the title and cover explain what the book is about. What I mean to say is that I don’t have to sell it there as it speaks for itself. I was overwhelmed by the positive feedback I received from people and they really seemed to enjoy reading it; almost as if my affection and enthusiasm for my subject had somehow enabled them to recognise their own for the island and its culture. It also appeals visually to many people and again I have been bowled over by the compliments for which I am very grateful. So backed up by all this positive feedback and the heartwarming reception I’ve had in Cyprus I should feel more confident in getting my marketing off the ground in the UK?

In the UK however I have yet to find the right places to market it. Cyprus is a very small island, it’s  popular as a  destination for a bit of a sunshine holiday but how do I  access these holidaymakers? Also there is a large Cypriot community in the UK many British born Cypriots are dotted about and these too I am aware I need to connect with. I have a few ideas but I feel very stuck at the moment as how best to proceed and not a little daunted by the task. I have been thinking laterally as well as I am aware that I could do with making an alliance with someone to aid me in my task, someone possibly with a bit more experience in the field of promotion and possibly connected with Cyprus in someway. These days with social networking and the internet everything is possible but these also need to be used with skill and I’m on a steep learning curve as ever. I’m not seeking massive fame or fortune here you understand, I just want to repay the backing and faith my sister had in me by selling all those copies I had printed. She has a different philosophy, as she thinks the resulting book and its reception is reward enough; god bless her.

The Day of the Donkey

I love donkeys. They are a less daunting size than horses and can have beautiful faces. An uncomplaining worker, in Cyprus they were essential to farming the land especially in mountain villages as they are able to navigate the narrow tracks and  uncompromising fields.

The  long- eared Cypriot donkey is a handsome breed and is similar to the donkeys found in France and Spain and is thought to have been introduced to Cyprus originally by the Crusaders.

Today they are not such a common sight as they have been usurped by the 4 x 4 truck, not as pretty – well in my eyes anyway – and certainly noisier . There donkey population at its height was in the region of 50,000 now the number is fewer than 2,000 and a completely  new career now awaits them when their owners finally retire them from farming. There are a few donkey sanctuaries  and farms dotted about the island and a farm in Kalokedara has imaginatively come up with the idea of using them to ferry tourists to a nearby out of the way monastery Panayia Tou Sindhi. This unusual remote monastery has recently been beautifully restored,but is quite difficult to access by car as the roads leading to it are mostly unmade tracks. This I discovered for myself one very hot day when on the spur of the moment I decided to follow the signpost pointing to it. Let’s just say by the time I reached within trekking distance I was very dusty and tired and would have had to abandon the car on an overgrown track to get near it. I think the idea of doing this trip on a donkey a delightful prospect and I look forward to giving it a try next time I go. One place I would particularly like to see trekking excursions would be on the Akamas as this I feel would be far less damaging to the environment than the four wheeled safaris that now take place. And what about the Arvagas gorge another perfect excursion trip. I see a very useful future for donkeys.