Cyprus Rally 2010: Special Stage 5 (Kalavassos 2) at the deserted village of Parsata. Car no. 17, a Ford Fiesta crewed by H. Hunt and S. Marshall, 5 November 2010

Cyprus Rally 2010: Special Stage 5 (Kalavassos 2) at the deserted village of Parsata. Car no. 17, a Ford Fiesta crewed by H. Hunt and S. Marshall, 5 November 2010

For the afternoon’s three special stages of the first day of the Cyprus Rally 2010 I tried to find different positions to get variety into my pictures.

The first afternoon stage – SS5 Kalavassos 2 – yielded a brilliant position. And it fell right into my lap.

I was driving the main road parallel to the stage when I spotted three 4x4s driven by locals heading off down a non-descript looking track. On a hunch, I followed them…

I was glad to be in my 4×4 – this was a rough ride. Steeply down over loose boulders, even my Nissan struggled a bit. But it was so worth it.

I came out at the deserted village of Parsata. The special stage ran right through the middle of the remains of the village, the highpoint being a 90 degree right hand bend swiftly followed by a hump.

The deserted villages are a feature of the Republic of Cyprus. When the Turks invaded in 1974, the Turkish population in the south of the island fled north. The villages they left are protected until a solution is found to the ‘Cyprus problem’. In the meantime, most of the buildings are ruins.

The action was brilliant. It was fascinating to watch the different lines taken by the drivers. Some took the hump head on – their cars bouncing up into the air. Others took a wider track to avoid the hump.

When the main action was over I headed on out, back up the steep, rocky track. Ahead of me was a Nissan Note hatchback with four big blokes in it. It stormed off up the hill – so much so my big 4×4 struggled to keep up. I caught it at the top and realised how it had got up the hill so well. It had a Europcar sticker in the back window.

Check out all my pictures of FxPro Cyprus Rally 2010.

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