Three old GOATs of Cyprus

Monday 30 October

The drive up very steep and narrow backroad to the Bellapais was hilarious in our little asthmatic hire car. At one point it was so steep and loose, after stopping to let past an ungrateful British (looking) tourist, two of us actually had to get and push it to get us in our way. 

Wanting a “full Turkish” breakfast, we failed to find a cafe in Çatalköy or Özanköy that was open and had to “settle” for lahmucan, pride and ayran. Freshly made and eaten outside the shop of the pideci they were quite wonderful. 

Bellapais Abbey
“A few kilometres east of Girne (Kyrenia) lies the village of Bellapais, made famous by Lawrence Durrell in “Bitter Lemons”. The village is in the foothills of the Besparmak mountains, on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean, and affords spectacular views. It is dominated by Bellapais Abbey, the present day name of which is a corrupt form of the Abbaye de la Paix, or Abbey of Peace. The building is regarded as a masterpiece of Gothic art, and the most beautiful Gothic building in the Near East.”

We then completed an 8 mile long walk on the steep hills to the south of Bellapais which I had adapted from some trails I had found on t’internet. This gave us some marvellous views of the north coast. 

Walk from Bellapais

View from latter part of the walk. 

Celebrating the fact that we were actually on the correct trail … 

There is actually a long distance path (the Kyrenian Way) that runs east to west along the length of the mountains and passes through some of the old castles, deserted buildings and ruins. This is reported to be well way marked with signs similar to above. Anyway, we’ve got GAIA so we’re well sorted. 

For dinner we returned to Hati’s Cafe (in Esentepe) for a gorgeous spread of traditional meze, Sea Bass and home made Helva. 

Sunday 29 October 
This had been allotted as our (ahem) “acclimatisation day”. So we just had a stroll around the village of Essentepe (where we are staying) which included breakfast at Hati’s Cafe, and a wander around the harbour and castle of Kayrenia. Later we ate Tuncay’nın Yeri. 

The Road to Breakfast 

 Unable to Find a hat that matches his outfit, Cliff improvises …

Kyrenia Castle 

Kyrenia Harbour

Saturday 28 October 2017

“Lock up your medicine cabinets and mobility aids!”

Three old “Gits On A Tour” of Cyprus.

We love our linear backpacking walks and have completed Wainwright’s Coast to Coast, the Pennine Way and the Cleveland Way over the past few years. (Apparently there are some decent walks outside of the north of England too though.) However, coordinating and completing a seven-day linear walk, in which we also all remain injury, accident and illness free seems to be very unlikely event these days. So we thought we’d take a safer option – and much easier option – and stick to day-walks for this trip.

As one of us a Turkophile, another an ancient history buff and gastrophile, and the third clearly far too easily influenced (it’s an editor’s privilege to insult), we thought we’d combine some of this, along with our fear of very hard walking, and check out the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC – as it is known in the one country that formally recognises it).

Here I (or we) may (or may not) post some photographs and comments of tour and walks around Northern Cyprus.


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