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...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

8 November 2022

Gorging ourselves again

Monday 31 October

We reset our body clocks with an early night and got out at a decent hour today (well, 8:45ish) so we could start our hike by 9am. We were doing one of the two nature trails above the Baths of Aphrodite and by 9:30 in the sun it already felt roastingly hot.

The Baths themselves, where legend has it the goddess Aphrodite used to come for a cooling dip, are a shady little grotto with a trickling waterfall overhung by an ancient fig tree. It’s fairly atmospheric if you are there by yourselves. But I could already picture the steady stream of tourists that would be trooping past in a couple of hours though.

The geometry thorn (not its real name!)

The Aphrodite Trail turned out to be lovely, winding up through wonderful distinctive Akemas Peninsula vegetation. We saw tiny daffodils little bigger than daisies, Phoenecian junipers with big burgundy berries, and wild tulips that were shooting out leaves but wouldn’t be flowering until spring. Oh, not to mention the wonderful geometry thorn (sorry, don’t know it’s right name!). We also only saw a half-dozen other hikers the whole way. Few people come to Cyprus to go hiking.

By contrast we could look down from the top of our hike towards the Blue Lagoon beach further along the Akamas Peninsula and watch as seven big white motorboats hauled a score of tourists each to the renowned “secluded” beach. The idea of being squished into a jeep with a dozen other folks and bounced along a sandy track for 30 minutes to join the throng at Blue Lagoon, before trekking back 6km along the same shadeless sandy track didn’t really appeal to us, so we abandoned that plan and headed south instead.

Akemas Peninsula… can you spot the Blue Lagoon?

We explored a few little villages in the hill country of Akemas and stopped for a lunch of snacks in a proper old taverna in Kathikas, then drove down to the coast and along to the Avakas Gorge. Once you’ve walked 20 minutes into the gorge it becomes impressively narrow and sheer, a real slot canyon with the occasional fig or oleander trees bringing greenery down to the bottom. It’s not the easiest walk, as you basically pick your way up the stream bed along a slippery trail of mud and rocks. Still, we would probably have been in awe if we hadn’t always had at least two other groups of tourists in sight at all times.

In the Avakas Gorge

Every time we discuss this we reach the same conclusion: we would much rather visit a B-list attraction and have it to ourselves than visit an A-list attraction and share it with a crowd.

Back in Latchi we picked a different place for dinner, Yialos Beach Restaurant. In spite of being on the beach they specialise in grilled meat and we had a chicken souvlaki and a rustic sausage thing. This was better than it sounds. And also huge. How can you order only some dips, one main course and a side dish between two, and leave some of it, and still be stuffed? Cyprus restaurants are ridiculous. We’ve gorged ourselves again.

Old village taverna, Kathikas

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