Friday, 27 November 2009
Thursday, 19 November 2009
The evening was fantastic, catching up with everyone’s news and recounting stories from the trip so far. It really did remind me of all the adventures we have experienced. Thanks for sharing everyone. X
Giggled the afternoon away shopping in Crawley and made the depressing discovery that the 80’s fashion revival is still lingering like a bad smell, (I did buy some ski pants, but no amount of money would make me wear a batwing again!). I was also forced to accept the horrific truth that I am rapidly approaching middle-age when I came home with not one, but two pairs, of magic pants!!!! Argh. Chinese finger food and a bottle of Fleurie in front of the telly helped ease the pain.
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Finished packing and decided the suitcase was way overweight so had to remove it all again and take all the books out. Went for Sunday roast at The Old Mill and said goodbye to the dogs. We all decided to go to the airport and crossed the border without hassle or being searched - result.
The plane left 15 minutes early which was a pleasant surprise, but then the captain announced the reason for it.... a 150mph head wind, which would make the journey 1½ hours longer than normal. Grrrr. We took off at 930pm Cypriot time and I touched down at 1am UK time.
Disappeared into town to get new phone, replacement fridge key cut (oops another UDI), a guide book to Hong Kong and a new fountain pen – all this journaling has finally taken its toll on my beloved Parker.
So, wearing flip-flops in mid November and still a little sleep-deprived, I managed to complete all tasks, have coffee with Janet (wonderful surprise), and be back in time to collect my temporary car, generously donated by my brother, whom I have named ‘Kerplunk’. She’s a true gem, despite costing me more to insure for 12 days than she is probably worth, she still saves me the cost of a hire car or lots of taxi fares. So thanks Lee, I’ll take it off your bill. xx
Went out to Rafters restaurant in the evening for a meal with Derek, Cathy, Malcolm and Anita and had a gorgeous Indian meal and a sing-a-long (and bit of a dance) to live music from Katie B.
Saturday, 14 November 2009
We had wanted to take the coast road all the way back to Girne, but discovered that the coastal border point wasn’t actually a permitted crossing point at all, but a closed barrier, guarded by what looked like an armed 15 year old. So we were forced to take the very long, very windy and totally deserted mountain road. Beautiful scenery and lovely rugged coast, but very hard to tell whose land you were in at any point, as army stations and look out posts outnumbered houses and the flags alternated from Turkish Cypriot to Greek for more than 50kms. Two hours later, feeling carsick and losing count of the number of live and dead snakes we passed, we crossed the border at Guzelyurt, hassle-free, and rejoined the coast road back to Girne.
Thursday, 12 November 2009
At close to sun down we drove out onto the Akamas game reserve and wildlife conservation area passing countless game shooters in their 4x4s returning home from a day on the peninsula. The area has no roads, only deeply potholed gravel tracks for miles and miles. We drove until we could no longer see properly and backed Bee into a side track to watch shooting stars and get some sleep.
We continued passed the new Larnaca airport, through the port town of Limassol and double backed at the Kolossi Castle until eventually we reached the Rock of Aphrodite; A huge rock in the sea which is said to be where the Greek Goddess of Love rose from the water. Now many people come here to pledge undying love for each other (or propose of course – congrats Nick and Sam. Xx), they make hearts in the sand out of pebbles, they watch the sun set and drink champagne. Not Ant. Let’s just say Ant’s cynicism hasn’t waned at all since we have been travelling and there is more fluff in his belly button than there is romance in his soul. So imagine his delight when we rounded the beach to discover a huge pebble heart with my initials in it that he could claim ‘here’s one I made earlier’!!!
We left the rock before sundown which happens at 4:30pm around here and headed North along the old Paphos Road, finding a quiet spot on the beach to sleep.
The evening was a brilliant laugh and instead of the 3 litres of wine Angie and I consumed on our last visit, we went for Sambuca shots and a fair amount of Vodka before hitting the dance-floor for the second time. Ant replaced his break-dancing with a Turkish Bull-fight dance and I managed to stay upright the entire evening. Hurrah! And the best part was that I managed to ‘forget’ to take my camera with me!! Oops, sorry.
Saturday we went totally Turkish; starting with a wander around the ruins at Salamis, followed by a walk around the old lost city of Famagusta, where Ant and I fell in love with a hand-made Oud embedded with mother-of-pearl shells (a very old 11-stringed folk instrument of the Arab world and, as we later discovered, favoured by a true God of the comedy world - Bill Bailey). We disappeared for lunch to ponder the price and I ate a traditional Turkish ‘Kuru Fasulye’ (beans and rice with pickled cabbage and olives) whilst everyone else had the ultimate hangover cure of double egg and chips! We returned to iHan’s shop and bartered £100 sterling off the price of the Oud and got a packet of Turkish pomegranate tea thrown in. What a lovely-but-loopy man.
Sunday saw us back at the Moon-on-the-Water restaurant for a traditional and gorgeous roast dinner, with extra spuds. We stayed all afternoon waiting for our dinner to go down so we could fit pudding in – Apple Crumble with cream. It doesn’t get any better.
Monday we all set off for the border and a rummage through the racks of second hand bargains at the thrift shop on the edge of the border army camp. Definitely be going back there again. We said our goodbyes and continued on into the Greek side of the island; With the formal name of - The Republic of Cyprus.
We passed Dhekelia army camp and reached the beach north of Larnaca just as it was approaching dark, so we made some food and got our heads down for an early night.