Monthly Archives: April 2011

walking in cyprus

It is just the six of us this time – no Sally Anne and Miro. Sue and Colin, Les and Hefina and ourselves fly from Luton and arrive at night in Pathos where a taxi takes us into the Troodos mountains to Platres. I marvel that a small island has such extensive dual carriageways as our taxi weaves from lane to lane. Gradually it dawns upon me that these are not dual carriageways and it is only the absence of traffic that gets us to our hotel alive.

the sunny Troodos mountains

going downhill

near the bottom

The island is amazingly empty. No traffic and rarely do we see people. When we do they are ever so friendly and English seems a natural language to them. I’m at a loss as to why Archbishop Makarios wanted independence. Of course, I guess the islanders regret his rash actions too as, if it were still a British protectorate, the Turks wouldn’t have invaded leaving Cyprus partitioned.

Our walking holiday takes us through the Easter weekend and we witness some of the fervent religious fuss that Catholics make at such times – midnight bonfires, fireworks and the tv channels flooded with religious dross.

We walk some 60 miles in 6 days and the mountainous part (at heights in excess of Britain’s tallest mountains) is in rain, hail,thunder and lightning and often above cloud level. It is also quite cold and on one occasion, in Omodos – reputedly one of the prettiest villages on the island – we go straight to bed when we arrive so as to keep warm. The coast, though, at Neo Choria was different. Still vertiginous heights to climb but warmer. Our final hotel is very smart and instead of a room Sheila and I have an apartment.

the mountain above coast

 

view from our apartment

My abiding memories will be of the dreadful coffee – instant Nescafe, for goodness sake, the ban on flushing toilet paper down the loo although this turned out to be less ghastly than I thought it would, and the tasty but repetitive menus – meze every meal. I also loose two toe-nails, but I always do on these excursions.

lunch

 

 

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The Lakes

A glorious, sublime few days with Danae, Nathan, Esme and Rocco at Dale Cottage, Low Lorton in The Lake District. The 300+ mile journey was easier than I thought and quicker than going to St. Ives. Left at 10am and arrived by 4pm.

Sunday: Paddling in the stream beside the cottage and Wordworth‘s yew tree. Picnic at Crummock Water nearby where the sheep with their two lambs wander about the fields. Esme is excited about finding the Pole Star after Grumps had drawn her a diagram and in the clear skies we manage to do so.

Monday: Bowness by Lake Windermere for the Beatrix Potter museum and Grasmere for ginger biscuits.

Tuesday: Drove to Dalegarth  and caught the Eskdale railway for the 7 mile trip to Ravensglass. Then over the Hardknott Pass and the Wrynose Pass to Tarn Hows.

Wednesday: Cockermouth and Wordsworth’s house where he was born. We drive through the Honister Pass to complete the “hard drives”. Esme is sketching brilliantly and draws what she “sees”!

sheesh

I took Louisa, Tove and Harper to King George’s hospital to have Harper’s hearing checked and by way of a treat we ate at Alan Sugar’s acquisition of the King’s Head, now renamed Sheesh. Sheesh! It is the sort of place that TOWIE people would take their mums and dads inated of the King William. Still all good fun, especially the art work.

the white room

After many years of planning the White Room is more or less finished. The fireplace is a great delight and I now speculate on what lies in the chimney breast of the Yellow Room!