SOTA: 5B/CY-012 (Moutti tou Afami)

I made life unnecessarily hard for myself on this one. When I looked at the map, I saw the summit was not too far from a named geographical feature, the Church of Prophet Ilias (warning: one many of churches of Prophet Ilias on the island) so I figured that it would make sense to navigate there first and then follow back roads to the summit (the pink route on the map below). That ended up working, but is not the most efficient way to the summit.

Prophet Ilias Church

Most of the drive is on highway, but the last bit is on dirt roads. Google tried to send me up a steep private driveway (marked with signs for private property and dog in Greek), but stay on the road just a bit further and turn onto Kerynias street.

Keryneias street, just off the highway.

From there, I followed the signs towards the church, looked at it briefly, and continued onward. After the church, the road pitches downward again and wraps around some fields. Eventually, the road divides with a fork rising towards the summit. From the fork you can see some commercial antennas up there.

The hill-top antenna farm

The commercial antennas are all in fenced in area just short of the summit. In addition to the usual sorts of mountain top antennas, I noticed two familiar looking ones: vertical ground planes. I didn’t get close enough to measure them, but the smaller would have been about right for 2m and the larger for 6m. I don’t know if they are amateur antennas or commercial and did not see any identifying information on them.

Quarter-wave vertical antennas

I continued past these antennas to the highest point and set up telescoping fiberglass pole as a support for my end-fed half-wave antenna. I jammed the bottom of the mast into a loose stone wall and bungee-corded the mast to a small tree (note – for scale, that tree is about a meter and a half tall. None of the trees near the summit are tall enough to effectively support an antenna directly). I tossed the feedline over a bush across the road from the mast and brought the end to my operating position next to a bush. Since it was midday in the summer, there was no good shaded spot to operate, so I just tried to be quick about it.

The antenna crosses the road and the feedline is suspended from the bush at right.

Unfortunately, my end-fed antenna broke just short of the coil. That’s no criticism of the antenna: it has been used and abused for at least a decade and I’ve soldered it together at least once. Since the wire up to the trap is resonant on 20m, I just tied a small loop at that end and hoisted up the shortened antenna — it worked fine on 20m for 16 QSOs.

The telescoping fiberglass pole is lashed to small tree at its base.

Since I would have had to set up a different antenna and I was already well cooked by that point, I called it a day. On the way back I looked at the roads and realized there was a more direct way back to Kerynias road by just continuing around the mountain (yellow route).

My route to the summit is in pink and shorter route in yellow shows my departure.

Since there wasn’t much to see at the church, which was locked up with no one around, I would recommend just taking this shorter route which is in a little better condition than the long way around.

A panorama from the summit.

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