For the afternoonâ€™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 â€“ SS5 Kalavassos 2 â€“ 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 themâ€¦
I was glad to be in my 4×4 â€“ 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 â€˜Cyprus problemâ€™. 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 â€“ 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 â€“ 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.