SOTA: 5B/CY-039 (Mersinia)

Three sites north of Limmasol would make a good day trip: each is about 20 to 30 minutes from the other: CY-039, CY-029, and CY-031. I got a late start and dallied on the second site, so I only manage to get two in, but an efficient activator could easily manage all three in one outing.

I always guy the BuddiPole when is extended, but on this day with a light breeze I just hung a backpack on it for a little extra stability. In the vertical configuration (base, coil, one arm, whip), it is very stable. Beyond those bushes is a cliff. The sea is in the background.

The drive to Mersinia is mostly highway, with the final approach a dirt road to the side of E601. Across the highway from the turn off, there is a sign mentioning the availability of stones for construction projects, and it appears that these stones are being excavated at the top of the hill near the activation site. These stones seem to be more than nice rocks found in the ground: some of them are blocks a few meters on a side, many have flat surfaces, and I have to wonder if these is actually the remains of some ancient structures.

The road is relatively rough, so a high clearance vehicle is recommended. If hiking up, there is a flat area just to the side of the highway, which should be fine for parking. The road up bifurcates not far from the highway with the right fork leading to a private house, so make the bend to the left and continue up. The road gains some height and makes a hairpin to the east and then continues up to a flat plain, which is crisscrossed with paths. There are piles of rocks here and there, a number of bulldozers, backhoes, and other caterpillar-tread heavy machines up on top. I also saw one person up there zipping about on an ATV.

You can approach the summit spot fairly closely by vehicle or just park anywhere around it and walk in. Due to all the excavation, I am not sure that the summit is still the highest point — there are some at least comparably high piles of rubble. There is also a large dugout pit just to the side of the activation site.

Whether this is archeological plunder or not is a bit beyond the scope of the SOTA activation and I found it convenient to sit on a pile of the perhaps ancient blocks as my operating position. I set up the buddiPole in a vertical configuration using the VersaTee. Some nearby bushes served as a convenient support for the counterpoise wire.

I was only up there for a half hour and focused on two bands, 17m and 20m with a total of 21 contacts. I did have cell phone reception up there on the Cyta network.

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