SOTA: 5B/CY-045 (Kokkinovouppos)

This one point peak is just above the town of Steni and overlooks Chrysochous Bay. For me, it was a trek across the island, but it would be a short drive for someone starting out from Paphos. On the way, I passed a number of familiar roads from previous activations, so there is probably some reasonably efficient way to visit a few of the peaks in the area on a single day or weekend, but I have been doing them one at a time.

Getting there is easy: tell your GPS to head to the The Monastery of Virgin Mary Chrysolakournas in Steni. The road to the church winds a bit, but it is in excellent shape, and there is a gravel parking lot next to the church.

The parking lot is to the right. Due to pandemic restrictions, the church itself was closed.

From there, the road continues up, transitioning from asphalt to cement, to dirt. The road is passable with a 4-WD vehicle, although it is deeply rutted some places and in other places is a rough ride over rock face. The road winds around the back of the hill and keeps going beyond the summit. The top of this hill is relatively flat and anywhere along the back road is in the activation zone.

Follow the yellow road upwards from the church and around the back of the hill. Then, walk across the fields following the red track. This photo must have been taken in much drier weather because the whole hill top was lush and green in early March.

I turned off the road and followed what might have been either old tire tracks or a foot path towards a series of fields that gently slope upwards. This is not a high peak, so there are actual trees on the top of this hill. I would say the biggest reach about ten meters, which is good enough if you want to sling a rope over them to haul something up.

I am not used to seeing large, open grass fields in Cyprus, much less one that is not irrigated. This really feels like somewhere further north in continental Europe. This is a great site if you have an antenna with ground radials.

I pitched a buddipole in the middle of a field and given that I had limited time, I decided not to bother with the dipole arms, but to just haul up my end-fed antenna and use a tree to raise the other end. Within about fifteen minutes of arriving, I was on the air.

I started on 20 meters and remained there for the next hour, CW only. Every time I thought I had worked everyone who might be listening, another station would come back. In all, I worked 23 stations from Russia on the East to Ireland on the West. Finally, I tuned around a bit and was rewarded with a booming signal from E70AA/P who provided an S2S QSO from E7/BO-016.

I tried 10 meters and then 40 meters, but was not picked up on the reverse beacon network on either band, so propagation probably was not favorable.

Some shrubs and flowers off to the side of the activation site. It’s early March, but flowers are already pushing up. The air is still cool, but when the sun comes out from behind clouds, it gets toasty.

I’m not sure who owns this land, or whether it public. I saw no signage at all up there. The only person that I saw from a distance was a man leading a cow across the field by a lead. It seems like excellent grazing land, a large open field, but there wasn’t much evidence of cows spending much time there. This large field would make an excellent field-day site if camping were permitted up there, or alternatively seems like a nice picnic spot.

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