March 29th, 2017
You start by wanting to introduce a name with a playful twist of two seemingly unrelated words…. and end up finding out that “a Hitler Youth manual from the 1930s promoted soy beans, which it called “Nazi beans” as an alternative to meat” (!) [if in doubt, blame Wikipedia and their source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-two/9859294/Hitlers-food-taster-speaks-of-Fuhrers-vegetarian-diet.html%5D. And as if that wasn’t enough… scientific research [http://waterfootprint.org/media/downloads/Ercin-et-al-2012-WaterFootprintSoy.pdf] says that the water footprint of one litre of soy milk is 297 litres of water (of which 99.9% refers to the supply chain), whereas the water footprint of one litre of cow’s milk is 1050 litres of water (!!!!!). In other words, to produce 1 litre of soy milk and one litre of cow milk you need 297 and 1050 litres of water, respectively. [Jaw-dropping, no!?]
But this post really has nothing to do with German Soya! Nothing to do with German Soya…per se. However, this story does have a connection to water.
You see, the village of Yermasóya (Γερμασόγεια), that lies north of the city of Limassol, borders with one of Cyprus´ 100+ water dams – the Yermasóya water dam to be exact. Created in 1968, this dam has a depth of 49 meters and a capacity of 13.5 million cubic meters. Currently it is – unfortunately – only full at 23% of its capacity, due to the lack of sufficient rainfall. If I´m not mistaken, the last time the dam overflowed was in the winter of 2011-2012. Since that season, the rainfall we have had in Cyprus has ranged from low to extremely low; one can imagine the effect such a situation can have on the environment and the level of water in surface and ground reservoirs.
Because of its proximity to Limassol (a 15 minute drive from the city), the dam has been used by various national and private teams as their training/games “arena” in the sports of Canoe-Kayaking, Rowing and Dragon Boating. There’s also an 11km-long circular hiking path (with the name of Kiparissía) that begins from the village of Finikária and leads up to an altitude of 692 meters with an excellent view to the dam, the city of Limassol and the Akrotíri Salt Lake (the “foot” of Cyprus).
There are at least 5 different village-exploring road trips that start from Yermasóya, pass through the quaint village of Arakapás [the location of the Kalamarás tavern, whose second best feature, apart from the very tasty food, is the lush garden right next to one of the streams that feed the Yermasóya dam; the tavern’s owner, Kostas, a Greek man, describes himself as an Erotic Immigrant: he fell in love with his Cypriot wife, Despina, some 30+ years ago and decided to stay on the island] and from there split into different directions. I can´t indicate a favorite route, as I still have to explore all of them! What I can say is that I have to revisit Arakapás, as I´ve agreed to the challenge of a seemingly demanding task: hiking as fast as possible up the mountain that rises above the village!