“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Day 157-163, 8th- 14th October. Both sides of Cyprus

This last week has been crammed full of allsorts; football matches, darts games and the pub quiz at the Five-Fingers restaurant followed by card games until til 3am. But the most notable was a trip to the South and Greek side of the island, (named by some here as the ‘dark side’).
We set off Sunday lunchtime, with pub-quiz hangovers and two maps of the island (one with town names written in Turkish and one in Greek). We reached the military base border crossing at Pyla shortly after 2pm and had absolutely no trouble in passing through. In fact the officer at the Greek crossing was surprisingly friendly and very impressed with Bee’s zero-breakdown record.
We spent a very entertaining afternoon and evening chatting and giggling with Martin and Bernice (friends of Ant’s) who were visiting the island on holiday and staying not far from Larnaca.
After a noisy night spent in the van outside their apartment, Bernice kindly made us breakfast and gave us a map and directions to the tourist beach. Two heavy nights of vino and not a lot of sleep were talking their toll, so when we pulled up at the beach and watched a cat crapping in the sand, we both looked at each other and agreed to head back north and explore the South at a later date.
We reached the same Pyla border crossing around 930am and breezed through the Greek barriers. We pulled up at the Turkish gates to get our passport slips stamped again, and expected to have Bee checked over and our belongings riffled through, but to our surprise this didn’t happen. They simply asked for her insurance papers. No problem. We handed over the expensive insurance we had been forced to purchase at the Girne port on entry to Northern Cyprus and waited. Something wasn’t right. I stepped out of the van and asked the customs girl what the problem was. A man took the paperwork from her and started questioning his colleagues. He returned and said that we had to buy more insurance. He said that this cover note wasn’t valid because it was hand written and not printed by a computer! I explained where we had got it from and that it was the Girne port customs team who had sold it to us and therefore his colleagues. He disappeared with the paper to make some enquiries, whilst the girl telephoned her boss. We were asked to pull over to allow other traffic through and told to wait until her boss had returned her call. It seemed to us to simply be a rouse to get us to line their pockets with more money for yet another worthless bit of paper. So we waited. After about half an hour, Ant strode back to the kiosk with a determined look on his face and came back with the passports, the cover note and a nod from the officer to proceed; Hurrah! Bloody Turkish time wasters. Grrrrrr. Maybe we won’t be going south again for a while. We rewarded ourselves that evening with a roast chicken and all the trimmings. Our first since leaving England.

By the way - can anyone answer either of these questions for us...
1) A man and wife had 5 children, half of them were boys, how is this possible?
2) and also, how is it possible to get a cold in 30 degree heat?


  1. Jo
    Answer Q1
    1 child was old enough to be a
    Turkish customs officer, they don't
    count as humans!!!!


  2. Hi Tony and Jo ,glad to see you are still enjoying your time off GRRRR arrived back in bristol wednesday, (much cooler here),sorry had crap meal and more sorry to say took Andy and Mel out the next nite and they had mussaka,would you beleive it different place and was gorgous.
    Anyway was great to see you both and bee enjoy the rest of your time and Australia.
    Martin and Bernice XXXXX