How Did The Idiot End His 796-Kilometer MedTrek Around Cyprus?

The Idiot completed the final stage of his MedTrek around Cyprus with a three-day hike from Dipkarpaz to Famagusta. Each day, due to the heat, kicked off before 6 am and three other MedTrekkers occasionally joined him for portions of daily seaside hikes that each exceeded 30 kilometers.

Awakening at 5 am under a full moon in a seaside bungalow near Dipkarpaz in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
76-year-old MedTrekker Michael Knipe, a former foreign correspondent for The Times of London, walked with The Idiot for the first time.

Beach sights included tracks made by sea turtles, the remains of a collapsed staircase from a bygone era and the remarkable ruins at Salamis.

Sea turtles bury their eggs in the sand on numerous beaches in Cyprus each June.
A collapsed staircase carved in the rocks provided a few easy steps for MedTrekkers.
Playfully exploring the ruins at Salamis north of Famagusta.(Photo: Liz Chapin)

The circumnavigation of the third largest island in the Mediterranean covered 796-kilometers and took 29 walking days. But MedTrekkers were in especially good humor as they approached Famagusta.

Three MedTrekkers — Michael de Glanville, Michael Knipe and The Idiot — swap stories at the end of the first day’s outing. (Photo: Liz Chapin)
MedTrekker Liz Chapin smiles as she makes her way around a rock promontory on the second day.
The urban stroll on the road and seaside into Famagusta on the last day was a piece of cake.

The Idiot concluded the MedTrek around Cyprus at the end of the Famagusta beach that has been cordoned off by Turkish troops since 1974. The forbidden stretch of seaside, which separates the Greek and Turkish sides of the divided island, is not open to the public and the one-time hub of tourism has become a haunting ghost town.

The Turkish military prevented The Idiot from reaching and crossing the UN-patrolled Green Line to return to the precise point where he launched his MedTrek around Cyprus.
A sign of the times in Famagusta for over forty years.
The Idiot celebrates the conclusion of his MedTrek around Cyprus. (Photo: Liz Chapin)

What’s next?

The Idiot, following the advice of Marco Polo, MedTreks along the Mediterranean Sea through Lebanon, Israel and Egypt.

Joel Stratte-McClure, an American journalist/adventurer who lived in France for over three decades, is the author of “The Idiot and the Odyssey: Walking the Mediterranean” (2008) and “The Idiot and the Odyssey II: Myth, Madness and Magic on the Mediterranean” (2013).

He is currently based in Northern California but travels regularly to the Mediterranean to gather anecdotes and add kilometers for his third book in this series: “The Idiot and the Odyssey III: Walking the Mediterranean With Alexander the Great” (2018).

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