B7 Roadworks Get Serious
A few years ago part of the B7 above Giolou collapsed. It was repaired, then promptly collapsed again after the next rainy season. It was due to be repaired again, but thanks to Civil protests at the prospects of total road closure, the road instead sprouted a dent which avoided the collapsed area. Now, finally, the repair team are back with a vengance, and this time they mean business.
Once Upon A Time...
This was the B7 in April 2019, just above Giolou. The abandoned village of Theletra is nestled in the hill to the right of this shot. To the left lies an unnamed valley. At the time I remarked how the layers you could see beneath the tarmac reminded me of cake. They still do.
Anyway, the road was repaired, and life went on.
Twice Upon A Time
Approximately 9 months later, in January 2020, the unthinkable happened. The B7 collapsed again, in the same place. You can tell that they did something in the interim, because beneath the tarmac it now looks more like a butterscotch instant whip. However, whatever they did clearly didn't work.
So, the powers that be decided that they should do a more substantial repair, that would involved closing the B7 for a few weeks. There was a diversion proposed, that took you through some nice countryside roads before depositing you in Miliou. There's nothing wrong with Miliou. In fact, it is a lovely area. But if you wanted to drive from Gioulou to Paphos it added at least half an hour to your journey time, which was unacceptable to the locals. So instead, a farm track was upgraded and people drove on that, but that was a non-starter, as it wasn't up to the task. Finally, a Cypriot solution was found, and a dent was added to the B7, so it avoided the collapsed area. It also became a handy speed-dampening measure. People certainly preferred Arthur (Dent) to a road closure, so it remained. And then COVID struck.
COVID shifted people's priorities about, and as Arthur was doing its job, nobody seemed to mind that the repairs had stalled. Indeed, when new drains were added at the side of the B7, Arthur was included.
But now, finally, repair work has began again. And they are taking it seriously this time.
Arthur From Above
The big question is, I guess, why does it keep collapsing? I don't know the official answer, but I do know that there is a lot of gypsum in the soil around here. And gyspum is water-soluable. Indeed, Theletra was abandoned not because of the troubles of 1974, but because of the threat of landslide.