Monday, 1 July 2013

Cooling off in Avakas Gorge, Akamas Peninsular... with your dog

Spectacular Avakas Gorge, Akamas Peninsular

As the days are getting hotter and hotter, I thought I'd try to post as many cool and shady walks as possible...

We went to the Avakas Gorge just when it started to get hot, in May. This was a perfect walk. It started with a short section that was a bit more exposed, as you start to climb downwards to the gorge (about 10 minutes from where we left the car). Then fairly quickly, as you join the river, you enter into a greener woodland.
Sage on the Avakas Gorge walk
Then, follow the banks of the river for another 5-10 minutes (or plough on through the middle of the river if you are Sage), and then you enter the gorge.

We weren't expecting it to be quite so spectacular! The rocks were really beautiful, all different colours, red from the iron in the rock, and green from moss and plant-life. The sides of the gorge are extremely steep at its narrowest point, meeting in the middle.

I'm not sure how much water there would be in the gorge in high summer, but in May it was quite a steady stream of lovely fresh, cool water.

It is a bit of a difficult walk for anyone with mobility issues, as you have to do a bit of clambering over boulders, and jumping from rock to rock to cross the river (or you could take your shoes off and follow Sage's example). Having levered Sage up over one pile of rocks, we decided it was too hard to continue, but you can walk right through the gorge to the village of Ano Arodes (according to my Lonely Planet guide).

We stayed in the gorge, enjoying the cool,
for some time. I suppose the whole trip took
us an hour and a half, but a lot of that was
spent taking photos.

While in the gorge, look out for the Centaurea akamantis - an endangered plant found only in the Akamas area of Cyprus. Plants and some geological features and labelled for identification.

We loved this walk because of the beautiful scenery, and the fresh water for Sage to cool down in. I suspect there will not be much water left in the gorge at this time of year, although there should still be plenty of shade from the trees and from the gorge itself.

There may also be more people around than when we were there, so you might have to keep your dog close or on a lead (as we found last week at one of the Troodos waterfalls, more later).

It's a good idea to carry drinking water with you.

On the walk down to the gorge, look out for wild goats, and have the lead ready if your dog has a tendency to pursue them.........
For information on the flora and fauna of the Akamas Peninsular:

After the hike we had a quick swim at Lara Beach. Dogs are not allowed on this beach. Lara Beach is a nesting place for both green and loggerhead turtles, so this really is a beach where you should stick to the no dog rules. Sun chairs and umbrellas are not permitted here either.

We found a shady place in sight of the sea where we tied Sage, and had our proto banio 2013 - first swim of the year.  

A friend we made on the way to the gorge

Centaurea akamantis

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