Return to the Abandoned Rancho Appaloosa

Published 21st of November, 2018

The other day we saw an article about a mysterious church that had appeared in the Kouris Reservoir because of the low water level. When we got there it turned out to be a case of bad journalism. However, as we were in the area, we decided to revisit the abandoned Rancho Appaloosa, to see how much it had changed since we first found the place, in 2016.

Kouris Dam

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If you take the motorway from Paphos to Limassol, and turn left when you see the sign for Kouris Dam, you will soon arrive here.

Nice View, Shame About the Water Level

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As I said at the start, we were originally on the lookout for a church that had re-emerged from the reservoir waters due to the low water levels. We couldn't see it at this end.

View From The Dam

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It is hard to imagine what this must look like when full. It is less than 10% of capacity at the moment. No sign of any church though.

Church on Roller Skates?

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In fact, we think that the church we read about is actually this one. Yes, it is a ruin. Yes, if the reservoir is full then it might just be underwater. But the reservoir hasn't been that full for years! If you were expecting a Brigadoon-like appearance you would be sadly disappointed. In fact, we had already visited the church on the day we originally found the ranch. We were coming back from Troodos and turned off the main road to inspect a signposted archaeological site. The site itself didn't amount to much, but we noticed there was a geocache at this church, so we did that. We drove back to the motorway along the right hand side of the reservoir, and consequently got nosey when we reached the main entrance.

The Main Entrance

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Thinking about it, had the archaeological site not been shut, we may have just passed this place by without a second thought. But instead, we stopped then to inspect the place. You can see what we found by reading this blog.

Anyway, as the church had turned out to be a bust, I thought it would be fun to revisit the ranch and see how much it had changed in the two years since we were first here.

Abandoned buildings and villages have always fascinated me. There's something about nature taking back its territory that I find strangely appealing. In Cyprus though, I have always been surprised as to how quickly this process can occur. For instance, the buildings in Kato Archimandrita had only been abandoned for 50 odd years, yet the place looked nearly as ancient as the Paphos Archaeological Park, albeit without the mosaics.

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The Abandoned Rancho Appaloosa

I feel like apologising for the size of this blog, as it contains over 70 photos. However, this is a lovely place if you like urban exploring, and I felt that if I cut down the picture count I couldn't do it justice. I appreciate that it might not be for everybody though, so the first page contains spoiler photos of what to expect. If you find them interesting, then continue to the main blog!

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