Saturday, March 07, 2015

All the way round the Salt Lake....

While I walk 4km along part of the Salt Lake trail a few times each week, I have only once made the 12km walk all the way around, over two years ago. I just looked through that post again and was startled to note that on the day we did that walk, a new entrance to the trail had just been created.

The excavations I referred to finished some time ago but there have remained two side by side entrances to the trail... until today. And today was my second venture around the lake.

The place where the 'new' entrance was created was still there....

But when we walked up the little slope we saw this:

Looking from a different angle, it's like this: a large ditch filled with water.

We hope it's for the overflow of rain water rather than anything more suspicious, assuming that this concrete pipe will feed the new channel:

Apparently the entrance was blocked and the new ditch dug yesterday.

We set out as usual towards the aqueduct:

Alison had her iPad with her, so that she could take photos to send to her family back in the UK. However the sun was so bright that she struggled to see anything on the screen:

The trail is not clearly defined after the first couple of kilometres; we had to walk across fields (where we had a good view of the wind farm):

We had to jump over some rather boggy patches too, where the puddles and the Salt Lake were almost merged into one. It's been a very wet winter.

I had no idea which way to go, but Sheila has a good sense of direction and led us well. She even reminded us to look over to the right as we were about to walk past the Sultan Tekke mosque:

I am struck by the amount of foliage, in contrast to the similar photo I took on my first long walk back in December 2012!

Thankfully we eventually reached another nicely made part of the trail:

As always at this time of year, there were flamingoes in profusion.  There must have been thousands of them, in various places around the lake. They mostly seem to group together and have lengthy conversations that sound quite heated at times:

There's really a lot of water in the Salt Lake this year, but it was still a surprise to see this bench and litter bin with their bases actually in the water:

Naturally, Sheila wanted to sit on the bench:

And Alison then decided she would, too:

Not being remotely adventurous, I just took photos.

With the lake being so deep at present, the flamingoes were swimming rather than walking. I managed to zoom this photograph fairly well, but it means that they look like pink swans more than anything else.

Seeing them sparked an interesting discussion about the difference between the UK and US understanding of the word 'paddling'. To Alison and me, it means walking in shallow water. To Sheila, it means swimming with legs going to and fro underneath.  So whereas the flamingoes usually paddle in the British sense, they are currently paddling (not that we could see their legs....) in the American sense.

For a while we had to walk on the pavement (which, of course, is not the pavement in American English but the sidewalk....) alongside the road (which is the pavement in US English) and were pleased to discover that we were back in Larnaka. Alison had not realised we had left it; I suppose we were technically in Kamares, part of the Larnaka district but not actually in the town.

I was even more pleased that, unlike last time, my legs did not ache at all. I was getting a little tired, and quite warm, and perhaps a little stiff, but I certainly wasn't limping like I was last time I did this walk. Perhaps, despite being a couple of years older, I'm now somewhat fitter.

At last we reached the spot where the 'normal' trail ends, 4km from the aqueduct. So we were back on familiar territory.

Since I had my camera I tried to capture these rather pretty pale purple flowers that only appear for a short time each spring:

And we saw that the old tree, knocked down in the storm a couple of months ago, was still lying on its side:

We didn't walk particularly fast, and stopped several times to take photos, so the entire walk - including the kilometre or so between our house and the start of the trail - took nearly three hours. We set out at 6.30am; I was home by 9.30, feeling warm, tired, thirsty, and very much looking forward to my breakfast.

1 comment:

Richard Boxall said...

Interesting. We did this walk with some friends just before you in February but couldn't find our way all the way round.
Could the flowers be storksbill?