SOTA 5B/CY-024: Karramoudi

This a four-point peak about an hour and forty-five minute drive from Nicosia. There are a few other peaks “in the neighborhood”, so if one wanted to string together some activations, it looks like CY-030 is about 25 minutes away, then a 40 minute rite to CY-031, and then another 25 minutes to CY-029, all of which look like they have road or trail access near their peaks. However, it was a hot day, and I decided to put my time in at one peak and try a few bands rather than rush around.

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SOTA 5B/CY-021: Zalakas

I expected the sun to make the day difficult in terms of mid-Summer Cyprus heat, but I had not planned on having such poor propagation conditions, which I blame on a coronal hole stirring up the magnetosphere. In almost two hours on this summit I barely managed to get the bare minimum four contacts required for a valid activation (merci à F8DGF et F5LKW qui m’en ont sauvé la peau).

The final antenna configuration late in the day on 17 meters. The bush at left was the “operating position”.
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SOTA 5B/CY-014: Sella

This six-point peak is near the town of Omodos, known for its wine production, right along the Limassol-Paphos border. It is about an hour and a half drive from Nicosia whether you choose to go through the mountains or along the coast. However, although my GPS was able to plot a route right next to the peak, it took me two visits to reach the peak. Why? It looks like you can just pull over and then cut across a field, right? No. The dark line running along the edge of that field is the shadow cast by sheer stone cliffs a couple hundred meters high.

Google wasn’t wrong… it just wasn’t helpful.
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SOTA 5B/CY-041: Moutti tou Lorovounou

I set out for this two-point peak from 5B/CY-027. Although they look close on the map, it took more than an hour to get from one to the other. Most of that driving was towards the coast, and I began to doubt my GPS since it said I was about ten minutes away from the peak, but I was just about at sea level along the coastal highway. However, it is true: the road turns back up into the mountains and ten minutes later you find yourself at a park with a military monument of some sort and a few dirt roads heading off at various angles. The steepest road one is the one to take.

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SOTA 5B/CY-027, Moutti tou Khondrou

I had initially planned to activate this mountain on the same day as 5B/CY-005, but following my GPS instructions, I ended up way off course along some tenuous mountain roads and scrubbed the activation. Instead, I headed for the Kykkos Monastery and took in the museum, which had recently reopened to visitors. Today, however, I managed to make it to the top.

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SOTA 5B/CY-018, Moutti tous Fitillous

The summit.

This one was a bit more off the beaten track than I had expected. Looking at the site from aerial photos, it appears that a road wraps around the summit, however, a look at a topological map makes it clear that between the road and the summit the climb is almost vertical.

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SOTA: 5B/CY-009, Moutti tis Zacharou

Since I will not be heading out to any mountains for a bit thanks for pandemic-related movement restrictions, it’s a good time to catch up on posting my last couple expeditions: 5B/CY-009 and 5B/CY-018, which I managed to activate earlier this month. Both are near the northwest corner of the island, so a significant drive from where I am based in Nicosia.

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SOTA: G/SE Part 3

This past weekend, I made the rounds of three more peaks in southeastern England: Ditchling Beacon (G/SE-006), Chanctonbury Ring (G/SE-009), and Black Down (G/SE-003). Butser Hill should have been part of this itinerary, but the advice on Sotawatch is to request advanced permission to operate radio at that site, and this was a somewhat last minute outing, so I hadn’t done so. Nonetheless, the three peaks made for a good day of portable operating.

Today’s itinerary. At left is unvisited Butser Hill and above is Leith Hill, which I am saving for a day trip some afternoon when it warms up a bit. Greyed out markers to the right are previously visited peaks in G/SE.
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SOTA: G/SE Part 2

I flew out of the UK back to Cyprus on Saturday evening, which gave me the day to see how many G/SE peaks I could activate between sunrise and sunset on that Saturday. On my last trip to the UK, I swung out to the East and worked a series of summits, so this time I aimed more to the south with the intent of stringing together as many activations as I could to include, working east to west G/SE-010, G/SE-011, G/SE-014, G/SE-006, and G/SE-009. However, due to weather, propagation and equipment issues, I only managed to activate the first three, leaving the remainder for the next trip.

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SOTA 5B/CY-048: Korfi

The summit, with Limassol to the south in the background.

This is as high as you can go with SOTA peaks in Cyprus, not due to altitude, but just because there are forty-eight peaks here and this is number forty-eight. It is only 382 meters in height and worth a single point, but it is a short ride from Limassol, and once you know how to approach it, getting there is not very complicated.

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