We then turned southwards. The picture shows our hire car on a rather rough unmade-up road, which, fortunately, only lasted for a few miles. It was the only untarmaced road that we experienced in north Cyprus.
We then stopped off at Dipkarpaz, the largest village on the peninsula, to take this photo, before driving on to Salamis....
When we left St Hilarion Castle, we returned to the north coast and followed the road eastwards to the Karpas Peninsula. The first few miles of the road were new and wide, but it then became narrow and quite bumpy (although tarmacked) and often hugging closely to the coast. There was very little other traffic, and sometimes we drove for several miles without seeing either another vehicle or other people.
IF YOU HAVENT BEEN YET,GO,BEFORE THE WHOLE ISLAND MAGIC IS LOST,THE ADVERTISING SPIEL SAYS "A CORNER OF HEAVEN UNTOUCHED BY MAN" AT THE MOMENT,YES,IT STILL IS BUT NOT FOR LONG.TRY THE CASUAL CALM OF THE PEOPLE,THE UNHURRIED WAY OF LIFE,THE LOCALS AND FOREIGN RESIDENTS LIVING IN A BUBBLE OF "THE OLD DAYS",YES,A GREAT PLACE TO VISIT,I LOVE IT!
A bottle of wine, a loaf of bread and thee... or something like that. To be honest, we get quite bored with eating at restaurants all the time, so at least once a day we like to have our own lunch when we are traveling. That usually means a quick trip to the local supermarket or kiosk, and believe me, kiosks are as thick as flies, so you will not have to hunt far to find some bread, meat, cheese and wine for your picnic.
On this day from Kyrenia to Gamagusta we drove along the northern coast, away from all the real-estate development and found a nice secluded beach for our picnic. Along the way, we stopped at a roadside stand where the farmer was selling stuff right off the tractor. At one point he even sent his son off on his bicycle to pick some fresh onions for us. Talk about freindly people. You just cannot match their kindness. We stocked up on everything we were likely to eat even though it was more than we needed. Watermelons, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, lettuce and some other stuff. We already had some bread and cheese that we picked-up in Kyrenia the night before.
We usually carry a cool bag in the back of the truck packed with some frozen water in plastic bottles. Two 1.5 liter bottles of ice will easily keep food cool for up to two days, so long as it is out of the direct sunshine. Needless to say, the price of a picnic helps keep your food budget down and if you have it on hand, you are far more likely to stop at some out of the way place to eat it rather than push on to the next town.
You do not need a four wheel drive and you should not drive where you are supposed to in any case. However, some of the roads were a little rough and the narrow streets sometimes have steep drop-offs on the shoulders. Therefore, along with getting access to the beach, a fourwheel drive type vehicle offers you more clearance above the ground, so you do not get hung-up.
Get out of the towns and experience the countryside. There are all sorts of gems off the maintrack waiting to be discovered. Enjoy.
The following morning we drove in a replacement hire car to the Apostolos Andreas Monastery, which is almost at the tip of the peninsula, and a long way from the nearest settlement.
Unfortunately, we were unable to go in to it, as it was in the process of being restored with a U.N./E.U. grant, although there didn't appear to be much activity. However, outside there was a large market selling a huge variety of items, with several stalls and stallholders, but no customers!
From Bafra we headed north-east back to the north coast. We were considering whether to stay the night on the Karpas Peninsula when our car started overheating, which decided the matter for us. Fortunately, we were near to the Theresa Hotel, and were able to spend a night there.
We eventually arrived at Palloura Beach near Bafra. It turned out to consist of a cabin selling food, some tables and chairs under a makeshift cover, sunbeds and parasols, a handful of people and a glorious, long beach, mostly unoccupied. We swam in the warm, clear turquoise sea with the fish swimming round us.
We saw several of the wild donkeys for which the Karpas Peninsula is famous whilst driving along it.
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