Thursday 2 November

It has got to Thursday and though we’d planned to visit all of the three castles on the Beşparmak Mountains up until this morning we still hadn’t managed one yet so we’d better get cracking. 
We breakfasted well at “Slimz” cafe again (but still no Turkish tea unfortunately) before setting off east along the main coastal road and then south and up through Kaplıca to the Kantara Restaurant. 

Abandoned Church in Kaplıca

We parked opposite the restaurant and then set off south on the road to Turnalar (and Boğaz) and then, after a couple of hindered metres, turned east on a little used rough track which runs along the south of the mountain ridge. On leaving the car we were followed by another dog (a Labrador cross that we named  ikinci köpek (the second dog though this one didn’t seem a stray and appeared to belong to the restaurant. Anyway, he followed us the whole way around the walk. We were soon at the Kantara castle and enjoying the views from the fortifications which are an amazingly well preserved condition. 

Kantara Castle (from one of the approach tracks) 

View towards Karpaz Peninsular from Kantara Castle

Whilst there, we met a family from Kazakhstan who were being guided by a student from there who is living in Cyprus. Their teenagers were desperate to practice there English on us which was at quite an advanced level even though it is their third language. They wanted to know what the British think about their country which is always a tricky question when it’s not really well know to most Brits and those that do know it have probably got a very distorted view (from  the film Borat). 

Three Old Gits on Tour at Kantara Castle

On the return we had tea at the Kantara restaurant where ikinci köpek got a good hiding and a scratch on the nose from the mother of the kitten he had chased up a tree. 
It was getting late but Bob and I wanted to get a few more miles and so Cliff dropped us off in the foothills of the Beşparmak to the south Esentepe and we walked bank from there. We found signs to an old curch (Antiphonitis) which desperately wanted to visit and explore but we were running out daylight and had to park the idea. As we reached the main road the sun had set and we walked into the village in darkness. 

We had another fine traditional Turkish dinner in the Esentepe restaurant and we were treated to patlamış mısır (popcorn) as we chatted at the end of the meal. 

We had a great laugh that night as we mimicked some of the local ex-pat Brits many of who seemed to be certain type of southerner with a strong accent who have a typical banter of “you wot, you wot!” This was only to each other – of course!

There are a lot of unsightly abandoned villa and hotel developments all the way along the northern coast of the island. Apparently the banks pulled the plug (during the global recession which started in 2008) on many construction projects during a boom period (which was fuelled in part by land ownership issues). There is supposed to be a moritorium on new projects – though this does not appear to be being adhered to fully. If you’ve bought or are even renting near to one of these it must be quite dissapointing. Some support needs to be given to get them all completed.   

Kantara Castle Walk (you can drive or walk up the road in the centre of the track that we walked) 

Walk from Beşparmak Hills to Esentepe


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