Roots Ramblers Castle to Castle Challenge

Kantara –  Buffavento – St Hilarion

By Roots Ramblers

Roots Ramblers is a social walking group set up by Roots Bar in Kucuk Erenkoy, Tatlisu.

Roots Ramblers rambling throughout the winter monthsFrom late October or as soon as the intense heat of summer becomes safe, they walk the wonderful trails high in the mountains or down along the coast, every Thursday afternoon, through to late June.

This year, during those hot summer months and in order to keep the group all together, two Ramblers, Carmel Woodall and Bob Graham have been keeping everyone fit with Roots Robics lessons twice a week, water aerobics in the sea in a nearby bay.

In order to kick this Rambling season off to a great start, 20 Ramblers are set to walk from Kantara Castle to Buffavento to St Hilarion Castle, a three day, three Castles Challenge.

Starting on Thursday 2nd October from the high Fantastic rock formations along the waypeak of Kantara, several Ramblers will walk over 95 Kilomtres, approximately 30 Kilometers a day, (15 Kms early morning and 15 Kms late afternoon) spending two nights camping up on the ridge. Others will join the party each day and some will walk either one section or just a morning or afternoon.

“We’ve tried to adapt the Challenge to suit everyone who would like to take part. Whether folk want to attempt the full 95 Kilometres, some sections being pretty tough, or simply wish to walk a fairly flat, short section on the ridge, it’s about being there”, explained Tina Luckhurst who started the Roots Ramblers in 2012.

John Yourston, The Challenge Team Leader & Ian Luckhurst, Support, out on the trails“It’s taken most of the summer to organise but we have a great team who have worked hard to reconnoitre the route, organise equipment and transportation and plan the whole expedition.

John Yourston, (Team Leader) together with wife Caroline and Rambler Nickee Wright, have trekked throughout the hot summer months to ensure the safety of the tracks. John says he has been really impressed by the work that some one or some organisation, has put in to the route markers along the entire trail. The trails are remarkably well signed and the charts are accurate and easy to follow. A lot of effort has been put into the P (Pyramid) Points, marker stones and trees The trails are well signed and mapped (2)along the entire route.

A 95 Kilometre walk is no simple ramble. All the participants are over 40 yrs and many over 60 and retired here in North Cyprus. “We believe we are well prepared”, added Tina. The team has medical kits, four wheel drive support vehicles, communication systems, camping equipment and food and water organised for each stage.  Sandra Thomas, Ultrasound Consultant and medical adviser for the Challenge said, “We are also delighted to have The Kolan British Hospital supporting us. Medical Kolan British HospitalDirector Harun Gülmez has offered pre Challenge medical checks, half way checks, especially for sore feet, and should we need it, an ambulance on standby.  Everyone taking part is a regular Rambler so we’re all pretty fit but accidents do happen that may need more than a plaster so it’s good to know that we have the best medics keeping an eye on us.  The Kolan British have been wonderfully supportive”.

The Challenge hopes to raise money to support several worthy causes. Ian Jefferson, Treasurer told us, “We’d like to help our local village children who may be in need. We also want to help maintain the trails and we are supporting Studio 21, a group of dancers who recently Wonderul views from high on the ridgeappeared at Roots Bar at their Anniversary Celebrations.”

Hannah Luckhurst, owner of Roots together with Ashley Webb said, “I came across Dervish and the wonderful work he is doing for children, just a few weeks ago and was so taken with his selfless and humble attitude and his ambitions to help young people in need here in the TRNC, I suggested that maybe the Challenge could help”. Ashley added, “We’re so aware that there many local Turkish Cypriot people who need a little help from time to time. They see apparently wealthy people coming here to settle in their villages, buying large villas with pools and we want to build a relationship and show that we care”.

Anyone who would like to sponsor the Challenge or an individual should call Tina Luckhurst on Mobile No. 0533 877 6823