I blame the fridge. Heading off on a trip to Northern Cyprus I had just managed to close the car door after several attempts at juggling contents. I had discovered that my accommodation would come complete with a fridge, thus all the essentials could come with me: hunks of cheese, bags of maltesers, a bottle of gin and accompanying tonics. All set.
I’d left post it notes reminders scattered everywhere during the days leading up to the trip – as we weren’t leaving the country, remembering the passports could be a challenge. Once over the border, the first stop was to be Famagusta. We set off in convoy with our friends for the 2ish hour trip – I can only recall one occasion on the entire journey when another car came between ours and our friends’ vehicles. (Apart from the incident getting lost around McDonald’s, but that’s best forgotten). That’s one thing about Cyprus – there is so little traffic on the roads (bliss) that you can pretty much guarantee journey times and travelling in convoy from one end of the island to the other is fairly easy.
We reached border control at Akyar (the Black Knight crossing also known as Agios Nikolaos).
We had heard stories about ‘getting through’ varying from unmanned checkpoints (necessitating finding another one) to passage being dependent on the immediate payment of a speeding fine incurred on a previous trip over the border (often several years overdue). We were lucky – our passports were scrutinised, paperwork stamped, car insurance purchased and we were waved through. Smiley faces all round. The same cannot be said of the lady manning the checkpoint but – hey – you can’t have it all.
We crawled into Famagusta via a long road of endless speed warnings and cameras.
If you look closely below – someone’s jumping off the wall! Scared me half to death. Turned out to be a harmless prank – no harm done, except to my shattered nerves…
A leisurely lunch in Famagusta heralded my introduction to Efes, the Turkish beer. We were to become good friends
The final stage of the day’s journey was from Famagusta Bay up to our destination Dipkarpaz on the panhandle of Northern Cyprus. As we had hoped, the terrain became gradually more wild and unspoilt.
This was my first visit to Northern Cyprus and as we approached our accommodation, I had little idea of what to expect. The owner, Coşkun came out to greet our arrival (the name apparently means ‘enthusiastic’ in Turkish). Here’s what we found:
I had a feeling that this was going to be a great trip.