SOTA: 5B/CY-035 (Mazi)

Mazi was a short drive from Vouni (5B/CY-033). As my GPS showed only a few minutes left to the peak along the highway, I turned a corner and saw a perfectly round, verdant hill in the distance (the sort of hill where the Teletubbies live).

The summit is likely on the flatter peak in the background.

However, it turned out that no romping creatures with television bellies lived there. I continued past and turned off the highway onto a dirt road leading through fields of vineyards and rising gently towards a gentle peak.

There is a small parking area just across the road from an iron gate.

The summit is exactly as shown on the aerial photo, about midway along a road that lies between two fields. The hilltop is almost flat, so there is a very wide activation zone. The roads themselves are fine from the highway to the top, so no problem driving up here in pretty much any car.

The trig point is about 15 meters to one side of the road. It stands just next to side of a stone wall that is too low and irregular to really provide much support for an antenna. Similarly, there are no tall trees near the summit, just bushes.

It began raining just after I got to the summit and then along came a strong wind. As I was thinking about the best place to put in stakes to support a telescoping mast, I noticed an old gate just to the other side of the road. The two rusted metal gate doors swung back and forth in the wind, but each was attached to a very sturdy looking metal post about two meters tall — a perfect support for my telescoping pole. I bungeed the pole in place after tying the far end of my end-fed antenna to the tip. I pulled the thin top end of the pole towards some bushes on the other side of the road and weighted down the feed-end of the antenna with a rock. The feedline attached about a meter above the ground, but that worked out fine.

Sorry the photo is not sharper, but between wind, rain, and dark clouds, this is more or less what it looked like.

All the wind and rain were coming from the south, so I sat with my back to the wind and found that did a reasonable job in shielding the radio from the worst of the weather. I worked twenty-two stations on 20m CW plus three S2S contacts on the same band (thanks DL6GCA/P, HB9CEV/P, and DL3TU/P, all of whom were coincidentally 2390 +/-20 km from me). In addition, I had a contact with SV2OXS on 40 meters. I have worked Christos before on 30m, but I think this is the first SOTA contact I have had from Cyprus on 40m.

A panorama of the peak before the weather turned.

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