The forecast today was abysmal with heavy rain and lightening predicted from 10 am onwards. We were certainly going to get a soaking as we had two mountains to climb.
Following a quick breakfast at Slimz, we were soon on our way up to Buffavento which lies at 945 metres or so above sea level. The approach road was another narrow single track road that was unguarded on the shear cliff face to the south. It seemed we were the first visitors to arrive at the car park and a steep 40 mintute trod soon saw us trying to get a decent view of the island amongst the swirling clouds and mist. Whist the visibility was not the best, we must have chosen the least windy day to visit the “buffeted by winds” castle.
We met a few tourists on the way down including a retired British couple in their seventies who bragged that they had walked from Beşparmak with no maps or water. Bonkers! We then set off for St Heraklion.
As we parked at he side of the approach road the tourist coaches were flocking in. We had a quick look inside the castle entrance and viewing platform but the hordes of guide-led visitors made us decided that we’d enjoy walking around the base of the hill the castle stands upon much more. And that’s what we did. As we set off we met a couple who had walked up all the way from Karenia. Impressive. Though our walk was quite short there was one very steep and loose pass to walk down on the east of the castle, which saw Cliff and I using our walking poles. Plus a steep climb and scramble up a gorge on the west side which was great fun.
You can see from the photographs that we avoided the bad weather that was forecast though we could see some parts of the island were quite badly affected.
On the return through a very crowded rush-hour Kyrenia we stopped at the Çıraklı pastahane for Turkish coffee, Ayran and teli-kaydıfı. Çok lezzetliydi! It was very tasty! And a bargain.
In the evening we went to Remzi’s restaurant in Esentepe where we had another typical feats of meze and shish kebabs. Remzi was a great host, his family made us very welcome and supplied us with lovely homemade food. This was probably my favourite dining experience on my the island – though we never had a bad one.