Cyprus (II)

July 2016

Start the trip again

After a hot night in Larnaca we decided to continue our route with some more recommendations. We had to start in Agia Napa and Protaras to accomplish them all.

The first thing to do was the so-much-wanted picture in the sea window of Cape Greco, this time, it was empty, just for us; swim a bit around and keep going. Next, we were looking for a small church near the sea, but a specific one: Agia Thekla close to Nissi Beach. It’s a small, white and blue church in a hillock in front of the Mediterranean Sea, so the whiteness is highlighted by the blue and the dirt which surrounds it. Act silly, look for a good picture and let’s go.

Our end route of the day would be Pafos in the southwest of the island but first, we needed to visit a few recommended beaches. The first one is between Larnaca and Limassol, Governor’s Beach signals on the road, however, when you get to the dirt road you will find lots of possible ways to get to the beach, but to different areas. The most characteristic and beautiful part is on the left. Small white rocks cliffs and big rocks with the same colour make this beach one of a kind.

Once you pass Limassol city, you will find the place where Afrodite was born (Petra Tou Romiou), a small pebbles beach with a few giant rocks and sometimes heavy swell. Full of people taking impossible pictures we decided to go at last to Pafos, which would be our base for the next two nights. We had dinner at an Italian restaurant, Grazie, a bit pricey but exquisite, absolutely recommended.

Aphrodite’s beach of birth

Impossible ways

We left Pafos with just one intention: getting to Adonis baths. We start on route and at one moment we have two options: following the signs or following our map. First attempt: we follow the signs which led us to fields of vineyards up to a cliff, a Scottish couple joins us in our search. Second attempt: we follow our map (the Scottish’s map says the same), we end up in an impossible embankment, we go back to the closest village to ask for directions. Third attempt: after asking a bus driver we go to our third road, we avoid bifurcations as we were told and keep straight… Two more cars join us, this time they are Russians, and we get to the end of the road.Fourth attempt: in that same road as the driver told us we take one of the sideways, another car which has already given up joins us, this time, they are English. Fifth attempt: we go back and take another sideway, we end up in the middle of nowhere again. And enough is enough, after two hours under the heating sun we decided it was time to give up. We are aware that there is a way to get there, and on our next visit to Cyprus we will do our best to find it, but given the circumstances, it was time to go back to the beach and relax for the rest of the day.

Something more than beaches

Our second day in Pafos, we have a few things to do before finishing the day in Polis. First, we wanted to get to Avaka George, a canyon in the Akamas Peninsula which contrast the arid sight of the area. You can hike different distances: the easiest from the parking lot to the hanging rock about 3 km, from the beach which could be around another 3 or 4 km, or the whole canyon, around 14km in total. For us ,it was something in between that took about 2 hours. At the beginning might seem like hell with the morning sun, but once the canyon starts the shade and the wind will calm your heat.

We headed to Lara Beach, a tortoise refuge in a milepost beach with just one restaurant. Another adventure more, we got stuck in a sand bank. Quickly Russian tourist and a French one came to help us, pulling sand away from underneath the wheels to make a way, putting rocks under the wheels and pushing the car. Finally, after an hour trying we decided to ask for help to the restaurants owners who, kindly and only for the “low price” of 50€ (a ripoff and a way to make business, but we needed to get out of there) helped us out. After all, a quick swim in a pebbles beach with heavy swell and breakwall  and we left, we didn’t want anything else to do at Lara Beach.

Lara Beach

In Polis, after a nice meal, we went back to Akamas Peninsula to find two things: Aphrodite’s bath and the Blue Lagoon. The baths are inside the botanical garden to which the road is asphalted, in the pictures, the baths look amazing, however, the reality is a small pond where you cannot put your toe in. So we followed the way to the Blue Lagoon, but before we took four Russians going the same way looking for transportation. With their broken English we communicated in those 25 minutes of dirt road, potholes and dust. As we arrived we realized the magic of the lagoon which, although there were a few party boats, it was quiet with very few people on the shore. And there we stayed until everyone left. The beach for ourselves again. Two Italians arrived as they had hiked their way in, they also wanted to hike back but it would have been dark by then so we offered them a ride.

We camped in Polis next to the beach in a eucalyptus forest and went back to Latsia for lunch. It was only then when we found out: a military coup in Turkey (the country where we are living at the moment), what now? It was a long night trying to find answers and making thousands of questions to our friends in the city. Unsettled we went to sleep, the next day we wanted to visit the inner part of the island and Troodos mountain. However, we were rattled still the next morning, and didn’t feel like travelling, so we stayed in Latsia one more day.

Coming back

One more night in Lefkosia, as our flight was leaving from the north side. We repeated bar, friends, and conversations; although some of those also included the coup, the uncertainty of how would we find the country, what had happened…

The flight is on time, everything is calm. No problems at the airport, we were told later that there had been some shooting that same night (ignorance is sometimes a bless…). We crossed Fatih Sultan Mehmet Köprüsü’s bridge, a burnt car on the side road in the European side. And at last at home, now we need to wait and see how things go, everything looks normal during the day, let’s hope everything stays normal.

All the pictures and videos of Cyprus are in the Gallery

Approximate costs (July 2016):

Flight Istanbul-Cyprus 100€/person

Meals 10-15€/person

Hotel accommodation 50€/night

Camping in Polis 7€ (two persons + car +tent)

Car rental (4×4 or similar) 25€/day

Cyprus is incredible for its nature and if you like history there are plenty of places to enjoy and learn about it. Our recommendation is to avoid the summer months due to high temperatures (especially if you are planning on camping), it is preferable to go on May-June or September-October to enjoy the island to its fullest.

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