SOTA 5B/CY-047: Neon Appidaki

The operating position, looking southwest.

This peak is about a half hour south of Nicosia, mostly along the same roads that I took recently to get to 5B/CY-043, Kreatos, recently. I had thought that I might just eek out two activations today, but it took me longer than I had anticipated to get to this summit and the sun was already too low when I wrapped up this peak to try another.

I knew from geotagged photos that the activation site is right next to a small chapel on top of the mountain, Saint Antonios (Agios Antonios — sorry, this installation of WordPress only seems to support the Latin character set; will try to fix that eventually). Using GoogleMaps, it seemed like the best approach might be from the south. A paved road runs parallel to mountains and at a couple points intersects what appears to be a paved service road that leads up to several wind turbines. The upper end of that road seems to go right to the summit.

Google navigation along the blue route and then up either branch of the pink highlighted route. The summit is at upper left.

That may be the case, but all of the roads leading to the wind turbine farm are also marked with big red signs “Restricted: Firing Range Area.” That did not sound inviting, so I got out maps and looked for another approach.

This time, I decided to approach from the north-east. There’s another paved road on the north sides of the same range of peaks. From that side, there is a dirt road that runs south to the ridge line and then runs right along the ridges all the way up to the summit. I have the sense that this road was also put in place mainly to service the wind turbines up there.

Turning off the paved road towards that service road, there was no indication that this side of the mountain range was part of the restricted area — in fact, just the opposite: there was a sign that this area is a wildlife conservatory and that no hunting is permitted. No one firing guns around me seemed preferable, so I continued up the ridge trail.

The chalky trail is rough and at some points very steep. Four wheel drive and first gear all the way. It was a longish and bumpy drive, but eventually, I saw the chapel in the distance.

The chapel is at the highest point, and there is a small, level clearing near it for parking. Approaching from the northeast, a flag pole stands to one side of the building. Unfortunately, it is not fitted out with a rope, or it might be a consideration for raising an end-fed antenna.

Next to the flag pole is a trig point, but unlike most of the other ones I have seen, there is no writing on it.

A rope hangs down from a small bell at one end of the chapel. I refrained from pulling it. I’m not sure what the etiquette is.

As usual, I set up the BuddiPole and guyed it down. I have moved on from the flimsy aluminium wire stakes provided with the antenna kit and am using slightly more robust tent stakes that I can hammer in with a rock. Two went into turf without a problem, but the chalky soil is so compacted up there that I settled to tying down the third side to a heavy rock.

I started on 30 meters and worked my way up in frequency, reaching 25 contacts in total on 30, 20, 17, and even one to the UK on 15 meters. In addition, I had two S2S contacts, one each with Greece and Germany.

Looking south, I could see the Stavrovouni Monastery on top of a neighboring mountain. It is also a SOTA peak (5B/CY-037), but I’m not quite sure how to go about getting permission to operate up there — I’ll probably need to team up with someone more familiar with local culture to try that one.

I could also look off to the east towards Mount Olympus, a ten point SOTA peak (5B/CY-001) topped with a radar dish right above a commercial ski slope. Maybe I’ll make it over there later this winter and scoop up the additional three seasonal points as well.

Olympos is just left of center in the distance.

Finally, on the way back down, I think I found the best way to approach this peak. A dirt road runs down from the summit towards some houses, and I just kept following whichever way went down. The dirt road is much better than the one that ran along the ridge line and improves once you get past the houses. Eventually, it becomes paved and takes a turn past another religious monument, this one to Prophet Ilias. A bit further and that road leads to a town and becomes Appadakiou Road in the town of Psevdas at point “4”, below. That road leads out to a larger regional road, E104 at ( 34.944174N, 33.457057E ).

So, if you intend to activate this peak, I would follow GPS directions to those coordinates and turn up the local road just across the street from the periptero. That road will lead towards the Prophet Ilias monument. Continue past that until the road becomes dirt. My phone data service on Cytamobile was good all the way to the top, so you should be able to follow the road based on aerial photography as it passes houses towards the top of the hill. The road continues with a fence along one side until just about the top, where you should be able to see the chapel just a bit more to the south.

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