Where Are You Now, Mr Shorrock…?

“Whenever anyone visits the island for the first time, I always take them to Fontana Amorosa”. Having lived in Cyprus for many years, John is the font of all walking knowledge. As I hadn’t yet done this walk, it seemed the obvious choice. Fontana Amorosa is a scenic bay on the far west of the island in the Akamas peninsula.

My legs were on fire. The night before in an attempt to get the best angle for a photo of the sunset, I’d tramped into the grass by the sea sporting uncovered legs and a reckless disregard for insect repellent. The sandflies feasted.

I set off along the coastal path as a promising contender for the ministry of funny walks, trying desperately not to scratch yet unable to resist rubbing one leg against the other. I was smug today though as my rucksack bulged with bottles of Avon Skin So Soft, the insect repellent of choice for macho mountain guys and the SAS (I made that last bit up).

I decided I liked this walk. As a flat 7km stroll towards the cove at Fontana Amorosa it is unchallenging, yet the views are definitely good for the soul and it’s obviously difficult to get lost.

We hardly saw a soul.

We did meet one couple heading towards us who confessed that they’d turned back at a sign warning of risk of death. Softies. My husband was adamant: “The problem with these bombs is that they don’t tend to kill you outright. They usually blow a limb off and I don’t fancy that.”

A path climbing inland looked promising. Wouldn’t the views be amazing from a little higher up? An hour later the climb was relentless, with that soul-destroying hell of all walkers: the new climb that appears over every crest. It turned out to be 1213ft which is probably a large hill but I prefer the term small mountain. Husband was not happy.

“Would you like a drink?” I proffered
“Look at those views! Take a pic!”
In the end I had to stop pussyfooting around and just treat him like a man:
“If you’re good, I’ll buy you an ice cream when we get to Polis.”

My husband does enjoy walking, just not as obsessively madly as me. He prefers flying a plane or driving a fast car; he likes his movement to be propelled by an engine.

The goat bells were simply wonderful. How melodious they were; a soothing background to our tramp onwards and upwards. The goats skittered and jumped across our path.

Old Grumpy Guts had forged on ahead as I dropped back, totally puzzled by the constant splashes of liquid on the back of my legs. I turned around; the path was bone dry. I hurried on to seek advice from himself. Splash. Splash.

“I can feel water or something on my legs. Can’t work it out”

“It’s goat’s piss. They pee on you when they like you.”

Just then the smell hit my nostrils: Avon Skin So Soft. The bottle contents dripped from the bottom of my now sodden rucksack and shorts. Problem solved and we had now reached the ridge; the views were worth it. And I had the most insect-repelling bottom in the whole of the Akamas.

The distinctive table top of Moutti tis Sotiras was looming ahead; a tiny mountain boasting big views.

We reached a clearing dominated by a huge oak tree next to the ruins of the Pyrgos tis Rigaenas abbey.

Here we stopped awhile before tackling the descent – I was laughing so hard after just passing a wooden post in the middle of nowhere adorned with a pair of underpants and a scrap of paper which read “Mr Shorrock 10.32am Went Left”

I have no idea if the two were linked in any way. Ideas anyone? Calling Mr Shorrock…

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  • Ray Greenhow

    How long was the walk Karen? Mosquito’s love me so I don’t tend to move far from the hotel when on holiday and I hate walking in hot weather, probably miss out on a lot. Were they boxers, ‘Y’ fronts or slips?

    • KarenGuttridge

      Around 9-10 miles Ray. I did my best to study the pants without getting too close…I’d say boxers. Maybe Mr Shorrock will jump in and tell us…?… ;-)

  • http://www.discovercumbria.co.uk/ Discover Cumbria

    So funny! & so inspirational. Walking in Cypress is now most definitely on my ‘to-do’ list ;)

    • KarenGuttridge

      Thank you :-) It’s a great place for walking in the Spring and Autumn. It’s also one of the only places I know where you can be in snow on the mountains and in the sun on the beach on the same day!

  • Laura

    Brilliant! Knowing our luck, Mr S lives in Peyia…

    • KarenGuttridge

      My ears on on constant alert for mention of his name… :-)

  • http://twitter.com/chloegreene21 Chloe Greene

    Wow. Those views… Those goats…
    Karen you are so funny and you attract mishaps the way a magnet attracts iron filings. I love your tales. They always cheer me up.
    Can also see why you love Cyprus so much.
    Great post.

    • KarenGuttridge

      Thank you :-) I’m really enjoying this spell in Cyprus (I’ve never been warm in November before!) Some of my friends were concerned that I’d be bored but there is actually lots going on here – just have to ask! It’s such a lovely place to concentrate on writing, too.