The hill town of Karaman

   When we set off with Heidi for Karaman, Randal and I knew nothing about the place. We visited on a damp, chilly, gray January day, but with Heidi as our guide Randal and I really enjoyed our walk around the hill town. I’ve included links to information about Karaman and hope one day to see the book Karmi to Karaman, A photographic history of a Northern Cyprus Village from the 1970’s to the present day, compiled by Jean Clark and Corinna Phillips which shows the transformation of the village of semi-derelict houses into the beautiful village we visited. I think Karmi was the former Greek name and Karaman the new Turkish name which is a common phenomenon here in North Cyprus. written by Heidi

“There is a lot of enthusiasm necessary to renovate or rather build up from scratch the ruined houses but there existed plenty of it and this effort and the problems the new tenants were going through were the cement that brought and kept them together.” …… talks about the book Karmi to Karaman

“It was a Greek Cypriot village before 1974, occupied by EOKA members and sympathizers. (The people who wanted Cyprus to become part of Greece.) It was abandoned with the arrival of the Turkish army to protect the enclaved Turkish Cypriots from the murderous EOKA gangs. This is a different view from the pro-Greek EU version, but valid nevertheless. The book itself is quite balanced and describes how it became a community again.

The first chapter describes how a Turkish Cypriot, Mustafa Cemal (pronounced Jemal), Director of Tourism in the 1970’s, became fascinated by the shabby, deteriorating village, and worked for years to convince the government that it had an asset that ex-patriots would love to leasehold purchase and restore.”

“Karaman (Karmi) is one of the loveliest Cypriot villages with whitewashed houses built on the hillside.”

DK Eyewitness Travel Cyprus

“Karaman, the Muslim librarian who braved enemy shelling to rescue the hagaddah.”

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks: Questions

While looking for the meaning of the word Karaman I found this reference to The People of the Book which I had read. Perhaps the character has the name from a connection to the Turkish town of Karaman. is the link to the town of Karaman in Turkey. “The town owes its name to Karaman Bey who was one of the rulers of the Karamanids (Karamanoğlu). The former name comes from the Greek Laranda which in turn comes from the Luwian language Larawanda, literally "sandy, a sandy place".”

And finally what it might really be like to live in Karaman…… Though extremely attractive to look at, and to walk around in springtime, when garden flowers are emerging and there is an abundance of colour, the village suffers with the cold and damp in winter as the sun barely comes above the mountains and in summer it is unbearably hot when the stones upon which is built act like a night storage heater absorbing the heat during the day and releasing it long into the night.

Now the pictures that are worth all of those words…….


The whitewashed hill town where the beauty is in the narrow walkways and stone houses.

Photos of our walk through town…..

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Most shops and businesses close for the winter……Randal made me take the boot photo….

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The Greek church that has been protected and has become a museum of sorts for icons taken from abandoned churches. Nadia Brunton, a Belgian woman who had come to live in Karaman was a leader in the protection of the church. It was not open during our visit and most homes seemed to be closed for the winter.


Some of the narrow streets with the whitewashed stone houses reminded me of walking around the monasteries in Tibet.


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The home that was Nadia Brunton’s until her death but still with her name.

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The yellow sign says there is a freehold lease available on the property.

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From Karaman we went to visit Green Heights Park, a lovely botanical garden/resort/restaurant just down the hill from Villa Manzara and the next day the hill village of Ilgaz and Club Ilgaz for coffee. But those stories will have to wait for the next email.

Saturday morning coffee in Sipahi

  I will continue with the story of our visit with Heidi and Kalle and tell about the beautiful hill town of Karaman, but first this short email today.


Saturday Morning Coffee with the Brothers Hasan and Cevat in Sipahi

We have a huge boat project underway. We discovered that to install the stove pipe for our diesel stove, Randal must reroute the electrical wires that are located in the saloon ceiling just where the stove pipe hole needs to be. He has been working on it for days and I’ll do an email about it when it’s finished. It is quite a project but thankfully none of the wires involved were our main saloon heater, hot water heater, microwave, frig, etc. We were down to one 220 outlet yesterday while Randal worked so we had to juggle use of the electric kettle and toaster. For a few days the washing machine has been out of commission, but today it was rewired and I have put in a laundry of my favorite jeans and spare less favorite jeans. Tomorrow if the sun is still shining I’ll do towels and everything that didn’t get washed today.

While Randal was hard at work, I went for a walk to Sipahi to buy bread, cheese, and a Mars Bar for Randal as a reward for his hard work. For dinner tonight he was given the choice of dinner at the marina or my salmon croquettes and he chose the salmon! So I will cook them for dinner and make lots to have for leftovers.  It was a beautiful morning and the sun was making dramatic shadows on the white church at the top of the hill. I stopped to take a bunch of photos only then noticing the men across the road watching me. I’m a bit afraid that interest in the Greek churches can be seen as a political statement so felt a bit awkward when I started past them. I said hello, they said hello, and then I was invited for Turkish coffee on their patio. Luckily I had taken my Turkish language cheat sheets with me telling in Turkish where I’m from and that I live on a boat and a few other things that now add up to 3 sheets front and back. It’s not nearly enough but today I was lucky because Hasan spoke enough English that we really could talk a bit. His language skills certainly put mine to shame as he also speaks Greek from his time living in South Cyprus. Hasan was originally from Trabzon, the site of the horrible Turkish earthquake that I just realized while looking up the spelling. Hasan now owns land up in the hills behind Sipahi and has 2 good hunting dogs. He also has two daughters 16 and 17, I those ages are correct. Cevat, at whose home we were sitting having coffee is also from Trabzon and also understood a bit of English so could join in too. I finished my coffee, thanked them, asked to take their photo and wrote down our website for them. I hope they look and see their photo. I do hope I am spelling Hasan’s name correctly. I had written it in my notebook but couldn’t figure out how to spell Cevat so he wrote Cevat beneath where I’d written Hasan. I know he saw how I’d written it so it’s either correct or he was too polite to correct me. Spell check wants me to spell it Hassan. Hasan was waiting for the car tire repair man to come in his truck. Car repair services actually do come to where you need them here, though maybe not all the way up into the hills. Robin once had work done on his car while he was stuck out on the road back from Famagusta and it was after 5 pm!


The church Cevat and Hasan. (Cevat is pronounced Jevat in Turkish)

I got back to the boat about 11:30 and quickly put some laundry into the now functioning washing machine which Randal had rewired while I was walking. Then it was time to go shopping for veggies from the Veggie Man who stops here with his truck on Saturdays at noon. Thankfully he drives down the hill into the marina because climbing that hill once a day (and then the hill into Sipahi) is enough.  In Malaysia the Veggie Man sold fish, chicken, cheese, bread, meat, etc but here just veggies which is still a very nice service as the marina Mini Market still hasn’t opened…but soon.  Maybe…



I bought lemons, tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber.


Other cruisers taking their turn.

I just heard Randal say “Oh *^%# !” But that’s life on a boat!  And there are no sparks!!!

Heidi and Randal cook

   We definitely ate very well during our visit with Heidi and Kalle.  And this only tells the story of dinners.  We ate homemade bread, home grown and homemade grapefruit marmalade, cheese, thinly sliced cold meats, lots of tea and lots of wine with dinner.  For many years now I’ve been saying that the best food is served in homes, not in restaurants.  Bon Appetite!


Heidi and Randal Cook

Heidi prepares Barbun (Red Mullet)

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In the kitchen with Heidi.

Instead of flour, Heidi mixes corn starch and herbs and this and that and then shakes enough of the fish in the bag of coating to cook without crowding the pot. Best eaten hot they were cooked in batches. I don’t think Heidi got many of them because she kept cooking and serving them to us. I ate most I think! It’s lots of fun as you eat them with your fingers. They are small with a bone down the center that you take out and discard along with the head and tail. I ate tons of wonderful salad too. They have the best arugula here and Heidi makes wonderful olive oil based dressing from their own pressed olives. I have no photos of the cooked fish because I was too busy eating them! And my fingers were messy and I just forgot. For dessert we had apple pie and ice cream. Randal had made the pie and we’d gotten some ice cream at the Starlight Market along with some shrimp for the meal Randal would cook the next evening.


Lots of atmosphere

A French chanteuse singing in the background one night and the next evening the 3 tenors and Heidi could sing along with them all.

Sunday night Randal cooked his “egg basket stir fry,” a dish he’d learned to make at a cooking school in Thailand during his ‘round the world bike tour in 2000.


Randal’s “Just happy to be here” face.

When Heidi and Kalle had visited our boat Randal had spoken of his Thai cooking class and the egg basket presentation of the stir-fry. When we arrived for our visit he asked if he could cook it for dinner one night. At the Starlight market Saturday afternoon we bought eggs, shrimp, scallions, and different and variety of bright peppers for color. It takes lots of pots, pans and bowls so while Randal and Heidi cooked up the baskets, I washed the dishes that wouldn’t go later into the washer.


One basket in the pan.

You stir up the eggs in a bowl and then strain them into another bowl. Then you put them into a plastic bag and cut a tiny hole in the corner. When the pan is hot you squeeze the bag over the pan making lines of egg in one direction and then turn the pan to make lines in the other direction. When it is set you slide it from the pan onto a flat surface to wait.


You make a big bowl of stir-fry.

I peeled the kilo of shrimp which seemed to take forever, but of course, didn’t. It’s just that peeling shrimp is not my favorite thing. But then nothing about cooking is my favorite thing. I’d rather was dishes.


You put the egg basket into a small bowl, fill it with stir-fry, fold the basket over the top and turn it over onto a plate. Voila!

Now it’s Heidi’s turn.


Putting the egg net into a bowl to shape the basket which is then filled with stir-fry.


Then put it onto the plate which takes two people if you don’t have big Randal hands.

(More about the painted peacock below.)

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Tomato and avocado salad and stir-fry egg baskets: looks as good as it all tasted.

Randal had wondered how to make the baskets for 4 people but serve them hot. You make the baskets and then when the stir-fry is cooked you quickly fill all of the baskets and the heat from the stir-fry re-warms the egg. But you have to eat them while they are hot; like the barbun and so we did.

(I bought some avocado at the Monday market and hopefully they will be soft one day soon and we can have them with tomato.  I will wrap them in paper today with a banana which I read helps both to ripen.)


“The peacock has for ages been our protective house bird, we had it before at our entrance and so I did the same here, but not in wire but painted: a king’s bird an old sign of royalty with the old cultures of South America and a bird of the fairy tales I made up for my children.” Heidi

There is also a beautiful embroidered peacock over the fireplace I forgot to point out in the prior email.

Next email a visit to the hill town of Karamam.

Inside Villa Manzara

  Heidi and Kalle have named their home Villa Manzara, which in Turkish means view, landscape or panorama: and they certainly have beautiful views.  There is so much that is so very interesting about Heidi and Kalle so I hope that you visit her website to read about her explorations of Cyprus which sheds light on Heidi and Kalle as well.  You can see from the photos of their home what is important to them and how they want to live their lives so I don’t need to speak for them.  It is better that you read Heidi’s words which capture the magic of North Cyprus and what it means to live here.  is a link you should look at also.  Heidi has translated her love of art into a beautiful book about the art world of North Cyprus.  "Art and Creativity in North Cyprus has been four years in the making and the artists have welcomed Heidi Trautmann into their studios and their lives, and have confided in her the many experiences of hardship and ways of life that are representative of their people."  In telling about the book you learn also why Heidi thought a book like this was important to create.


Heidi and Kalle Trautmann’s Home: Light, Space, Art and Books


You walk through the front door and are immediately surrounded with art.


“We could move in and not change a thing!”

Randal leapt right into a discussion of house location and design before even taking off his coat.


Art, books, light, heat, doors that open for breezes, comfortable chairs….all the necessities of life.




A fireplace is both beautiful and essential when power comes and goes.

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Going upstairs


Kalle gave the tour while Heidi prepared lunch.

There is a balcony that runs the length of the room and is used for a sleeping porch during warm months.


Art Everywhere and Books!

The hand painted lamps in the house is done by Heidi along with most of the art in these photos.

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Looking in from the balcony and out from the windows.

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And back downstairs.


The dining area.

Next email: Heidi and Randal cook!

A visit to Heidi and Kalle Trautmann part 1

  I have just finished part 1 about our visit to Heidi and Kalle Trautmann.  It has been raining since very early morning and the sun is just now trying to make an appearance.  I will try to get some walking in to work off the huge plate of spaghetti with meat sauce I ate last night.  It was a really good dinner made better because our friend Sharman came to share it.  Randal was the chef and I only had to clean up the dishes. 

   Our power and Internet seem to be back to normal just now.  It is a wonderful coincidence as our dongle expired this morning at 10:25 am.  We will go later this afternoon or first thing tomorrow morning to add more days.  We never run out of bytes, we just run out of days to use it.  It is actually just a back up for the marina wifi, but really quite necessary if we want access all of the time. 

  I have put links to Heidi’s website several places in the email.  Heidi makes everything come alive through her writing and she can tell you about her home, the towns and people much better and more accurately than I. 


Heidi and Kalle Trautmann: A Visit to Their Home January 2012

Randal and I went to visit Heidi and Kalle Trautmann at their beautiful home in Yeşiltepe just west of Girne/Kyrenia. Rather than write a great deal, this email will be mostly photos. Heidi has a website where you can learn about Heidi and Kalle and their experiences in Cyprus.

I met Heidi online. I had searched the Internet looking for an artist in the Karpaz area of North Cyprus from whom I could take lessons. I found Heidi’s website and she has become my “encourager to do art,” to practice and try new things. Heidi and Kalle came to visit us here one day and in return invited us to come and stay with them for a weekend. Last weekend we did just that. We talked and talked and still didn’t talk about everything we wanted to talk about. But it was a start.

First I will show photos of their land, next we’ll tour the house and finally the small villages in the hills nearby. It will take several emails because I think it is the only way for me to share the experience with you. At Heidi’s website you can also see her artwork which fills her home and made me want to pick up something too and try to tell a story with images. But first I will tell this story with photos.


Heidi and Kalle at their front door.

Look, there is a fox outside our kitchen door…

11.12.2009 By Heidi Trautmann

“We live in Yeşiltepe, that is Green Hills – about 150 m above sea level. Around our land a small river has dug its bed, completely dry now. The bamboo there growing since ages along its bed is in a very sad state and has lost all its lustrous green. Also the frogs don’t make their music any longer. Some years ago my husband has imported the spawn of the green‚ ‘singing frog’ in a jam glass from Bellapais. No trace of them is left, no evidence of them for three years. There is no more water, in the summer season we had to buy our water for the garden.

We have a natural biotope in our valley (derived from Greek bios (life) topos (place). My husband has kept the valley path free from black berry bushes, down to the riverbed and up to Ilgaz. There we encountered small wild life such as quails, partridges, francolins, mice, rats, badgers, snakes, lizards, and we learnt to distinguish the sounds they give off. And often we saw foxes in the valley, also stray dogs left running wild or lost by hunters.

When the hunting season is on, we avoid being around the valley although there is hardly anything left to shoot at. During these dangerous days the birds take refuge in our big garden and I warn them: Chums, keep to yourself and hold your tongue, the hunters are around. …….” 

(You can read the whole adventure and more at Heidi’s website; that was just a bit to entice you.)


Looking back towards the house from one of the places on their land where grapes are grown.


Kalle and Randal looking out from the corner of the property into the ravine that surrounds the Trautmann land. Kalle calls the ravine “no man’s land” because it is too steep to really develop so no construction will surround their property.


The swimming pool provides Heidi with exercise in the warm season and water for the garden when necessary.


Looking down into the ravine towards the city and the Mediterranean.


Along the side of the land, the grape vines.


Such a beautiful place to be.


A stone garage which houses wine making supplies and a supply of wine.

The water tank holds water for the garden when the rains don’t come or are not enough.  Heidi said they lived on their boat “Early Bird” and in the garage while they supervised the building of their home according to the plans they had designed themselves.


And outdoor cooking and eating area.


Along the back side of the house are lots of herbs: Randal particularly liked the lavender.


A summer place to sit.


Kalle built the stairs and then planted land holding trees down the slope just beyond.


Picking grapefruit which amazed Randal to no end.

I especially liked the grapefruit marmalade that we ate during our visit. Heidi had brought a jar of grapefruit marmalade and a jar of orange marmalade as well as a bottle of their red wine when they visited us. The wine has been finished! But I had to use up a “store bought” jar of jam in the fridge before I could open one of Heidi’s. Now it can be opened!


The tour continues through the orange and lemon trees. There are nut trees too.


The beautiful side patios…don’t you just want to be there in the spring and fall when it’s warm and breezy and you can hear the quiet.

Next email we go inside

A new calf and new friends

  Randal and I spent this weekend visiting Heidi and Kalle Trautmann at their beautiful home near Girne.  We had a wonderful time!  We arrived late Saturday morning and left early Monday morning and I took almost 300 photos over the two days.  I took zillions of photos of their beautiful home and our cooking experiences and another zillion photos of the small hill villages we visited.  It didn’t even matter that the weather didn’t cooperate.  Add to that the fact that there is a power and telecommunication strike going on in North Cyprus so late Sunday afternoon we sat by candle light and were warmed by the stone fireplace.  It was sailing that brought Heidi and Kalle to Cyprus and they still have their cruising skills and their boat generator so can make their own power when it is necessary and deal with the inconveniences of living in a still developing country.  It will take several emails to write about our visit.  In the meantime I’m sending this email about the walk I took today into Sipahi.

  The telecommunications strike has eliminated the marina wifi so we are relying on our dongle that uses cell phone technology.  Cell phone communication hasn’t yet been impacted by the strikes.  I’m not going to try to explain what the strike is about; you can search the Internet if you are interested.  The marina has a generator so we do have power to the boats. 

Happy Chinese New Year to all of our friends in China!



ps  I really don’t know how the telecommunication strike will effect our ability to email before this is all over but hopefully I’ll be able to get the story of our visit to Heidi and Kalle written and sent in the next few days. 

Sipahi Calf and Coffee Visit January 24, 2012

     I needed a walk but really didn’t want to go. By that I mean my body needed the walk but my mind had other things it wanted to be doing: writing about our weekend visit to Heidi and Kalle Trautmann, Turkish practice, sketching, reading, even cleaning needed to be done. But I knew I’d be sorry if I didn’t walk; so off I went. Since we actually needed milk, I decided to walk to the small market in Sipahi. The weather was uncertain so I wore lots of layers, a winter hat, and regular glasses but carried a baseball cap, sunglasses, and an umbrella in my backpack. Halfway up the hill to Sipahi I took off the winter hat, jacket, and vest and switched to my baseball cap. It was warm but cloudy so I never really needed the sunglasses. Almost to the store I met a young high school student whom I’d met one day while he was herding the family sheep. We walked along gamely trying to make conversation. Luckily his English was better than my Turkish. He was on his way to visit a friend. I asked why he wasn’t in school and he told me the school day went from 8 am until 1 pm. I told him I was from America and his reaction was very positive.  I let him get away before I thought to ask to take his photo.

    At the store I bought some 1.5% fat milk and some 100% fat cookies and started home. Not far from the store I passed a house with a cow shed in back. I noticed about a dozen people hovering behind one of the cows, holding its tail up. Even a city kid like me knew what was about to happen. I stopped to watch having only seen animals born on TV. Some of the women waved to me and I went closer and took some photos and stood in awe as the calf was born. It scared me though because I thought it would pop right up and begin to nurse. It just kind of lay there and then it was moved out of the birth mess and cleaned by some of the neighbors. The mom just lay there pooped too. Eventually the cow got up and was cleaned up and milked and when I left the calf was being fed mile from a bucket. At least that’s what I thought I saw. While I was watching, several of the people asked if I wanted some coffee. It seemed the polite thing to say yes, so I did. After a bit the two high school girls, sisters,  motioned me to follow them into the house. I tried to stop and take off my shoes but they insisted I leave them on though they took theirs off. So I left mine on glad they weren’t mucky for a change. It is in social situations like this that I realize exactly how little Turkish I’ve made myself learn. But it was ok and I smiled and they chatted to me in Turkish as I drank my thick Turkish coffee with sugar and hot milk. They had also poured me a glass of water and put out some nuts. The husband of the house came home and was surprised to see me but said hello and offered me a cigarette. I politely said no to that and sat a bit as the women tried to explain their relationship to each other and the man I’d met. After a bit I motioned that I had to go. It was a lovely experience. One day soon I will make an apple cake and bring it to them. I will also take my dictionary.


Why did the chicken cross the road? To see what the puppies were chewing on.

I passed these puppies and noticed how they just ignored the chicken that seemed to ignore them and ignore me too for the most part. 

It was on my way home that I saw the calf born.


It seemed to be taking all of those men pulling to free the calf from its mom.


Out came the calf.


Calf and mom and all of the women who had helped.

I think everyone was trying to tell me that the woman in the red vest was also pregnant.


Only the young person in blue wasn’t too shy for the photo.

The woman in the skirt, the teenage girl in black and her sister in the stripes made me the coffee.


I snuck another photo.

A Four Hour Walk with Sharman and Sophie

I’m writing this email while Randal is in the galley cooking up a spaghetti dinner using some of the ground meat from the butcher. I’m not really a spaghetti person, but this evening I’m starving from the 4 hour walk in the hills this morning I did along with Sharman and her dog Sophie. If I type I can’t be eating so I won’t ruin my appetite for the spaghetti dinner.

Sharman takes Sophie walking every morning. They leave the marina at 8 am which is about 2 hours earlier than we usually go except when we do the Thursday Deks walks which meet at 9 am. Most of the cruisers say the 9 am walks are too early so Sharman usually goes alone with Sophie. Randal and I decided to go this morning with Sharman as our Deks walks are canceled while Denise is in England. I set our alarm for 6 am because lately we’ve been sleeping until 7 am or even later. We turn off the heat when we go to sleep so neither one of us wants to get out of our warm bed and into the cold saloon or pilot house. And with our porthole covers down to block the marina security lights, the mornings are pretty dark in our cabin. The 6 o’clock alarm was a bit of a shock, but I got up and turned on the kettle and the heat. Randal got up about 6:30 but he’d already decided to skip the walk. He was just getting up for coffee, Raisin Bran, and email. I had my usual oatmeal and raisins topped with yogurt and a large mug of tea. But there was no time to dawdle as I wanted to make the bed, wash the dishes, gather up the trash, pack juice and cookies and be at Sharman’s boat by 8 am. Deciding what to wear is a challenge. Yesterday Randal and I walked and I chose clothes based on my walk the day before that. I had been too hot so chose fewer clothes yesterday but was cold. Today I compromised and wore a middle amount. When we finally got back my fingers were numb and I was a bit chilled but ok.

We started up the path across from the marina since it was mostly dry and not a day of locals hunting. Sharman had printed out an aerial map from Google Earth so we had somewhat of a guide and truly no fear of getting lost. And we had juice and cookies and some coconut candy to suck on too. From my bike riding days I have learned to take food and drink. It was a beautiful sunny day and once we started climbing we both got warm enough to take off our jackets. We climbed and climbed and finally got to the top of the ridge.


The view from the top of the ridge.

We could actually see the Mediterranean on the southern coast of the peninsular. It was beautiful but quite windy so out came the jackets again.


Standing on the ridge overlooking both north and south coasts of the Karpaz Peninsular.

I could only hold my hand out so far so not the greatest photo. But you can see the wonderful path we were able to follow most of the way. Sharman has also spent a great deal of time in the tropics so both of us set off with warm clothes and wool hats. We often see cruisers in shorts but both of us are horrified wondering why they aren’t freezing.


Our goal was to get to the road you see in the photo that leads back to Sipahi and we sort of did that.


Sophie waiting for us.

In the distance down below is either Sipahi or Yenierenköy but I’m not sure.

Sophie is adorable. Sharman found her one day when Sophie was only a few weeks old and she was a mess. A few trips to the vet and great care and she is healthy as can be. She was supposed to be adopted by a family but the young son, who really wanted Sophie, just has too many allergies so Sophie and Sharman may be a team forever.


We came across this stone building with running water probably from an underground well or stream so Sophie had a drink form some of the dripped water.

We really weren’t sure exactly where the road was leading us but not particularly worried. Both of us really like to walk and go about the same speed. Eventually we came to a dirt road with white circles and green dots so I knew we were on the path that would take us to Sipahi. And that’s where we came out, at the top of the paved road above the basilica near one of the Greek Churches.


There is a church bell just visible in the tower but I’m not sure if the church is still in use.

We had about 25 minutes more to walk from this point and my fingers were getting quite numb and I was feeling a bit chilled. Sharman finally broke down and ate some of the chocolate covered digestive biscuits. If I’d skipped breakfast as she had done, I would have already eaten half of the biscuits plus the container and all of my coconut candy. As it was, the oatmeal had done a good job. Or so I thought until I got into the boat and immediately aimed for a bag of salty chips that were stashed in the pantry. I think I had eaten half the bag before I even sat down. I also ate a huge bowl of cabbage salad and some canned tuna that I’d opened for sandwiches. Since then I’ve eaten the last bit of chips Randal left in the bag, an orange, about a thousand cups of tea, a glass of the red wine Heidi and Kalle brought from their vineyard and a bit of the wonderful white cheese. If I wasn’t typing this email I’d probably be in the galley telling Randal to hurry up with that spaghetti. It certainly is nice being all cozy on the boat having someone else cook. That someone else doesn’t like to wash up though so that job will be mine which I don’t mind if I don’t have to cook.


I want one!

When Randal and I had walked yesterday afternoon we passed by this calf that called to us wanting something…probably food or its mom or whatever calves want. I let it lick my hand for a while and I scratched its ears. I was afraid to let it suck on my fingers because I could feel some teeth in there when it licked me. But it was so sweet and unafraid. When I stood up I noticed the lady of the house where the calf was chained had come out to watch. I stood up, said Merhaba, waved and Randal and I continued on our way. You can certainly see how long my hair has grown. I have no idea when it will be cut; probably when I can convince Randal to do it, or maybe Sharman. It certainly keeps my head and neck warm which is good.

I just checked in with Randal and it will be another HOUR before dinner.  Well the meat was frozen….. so I just broke off a chunk of what here is called "village bread" and got some more wine and  that will have to do. 


ps I’ve decided my new calf friend will be one that grows up to give milk to the local cheese factory and not shoulder to the butcher!


  Our friends Julia and Rob are off to Thailand for some sun and tropical warm weather and they have kindly loaned us their car.  Today we made good use of it driving to Lefkosa/Nicosia to the Turkish Embassy to clear up the motorbike mess created when our usually competent agent Sonar forgot to have our motorbike checked out from Turkey when we left.  He was paid to handle all of the paperwork and forgot about the bike.  Turkey has all of that information on computer and someone noticed the motorbike was, according to the computer, overstaying its welcome and still in Turkey.  We tried several ways other than actually riding the bike to the Turkish Embassy to deal with it, but phone calls and faxes didn’t cut it.  Our friend Sharman had to go to Nicosia today, so it seemed like a good idea to drive the car there, give Sharman a lift and hope that with a letter from the marina, our Cyprus motorbike insurance paper, a photo of the bike here, etc that would be enough proof and we could avoid a long cold motorbike ride.  Sharman had to visit the Cyprus Immigration Office so we took her there and we went off to the Turkish Embassy.  It was actually quick and painless and we were assured by the lovely clerk, successful.  While we were waiting a young Nigerian university student came in wearing a Boston Red Sox hat but since we were in the Embassy, no photos.  All tasks were accomplished successfully and we were all on our way home by noon.  There is a quite good supermarket on the way back so we stopped there, ate at the Pizzatown next door, shopped and were home by 4pm.  (We ordered a meat pizza which was interesting as the meat tasted like fried bologna and there were kernels of corn sprinkled around too.  But the crust and cheese were good and it was actually ok.)  A long day, but successful and Sharman is good company, so also a good day.



So, what’s happening with all of you?

Randal and I are fine but our friends are having some hard times. The Turkish lessons and walks are canceled for now. Denise’s brother, ill with cancer, took a turn for the worse so Denise and Dina have gone to England to be with him. And poor Scruffy dog has gone missing leaving Julia and Rob heartbroken. We all hope Scruffy will turn up, but after several weeks, it’s not likely. Scruffy and Ellie, two pals played together up in the hill community where Julia and Rob live. They always stayed around the complex. But both are missing. Sadly, some farmers put out poison so stray dogs won’t bother their sheep or goats. Locals don’t seem to neuter their pets so there are lots of strays that get dumped so it’s a mess. The people of Cyprus are so nice and the children and farm animals certainly seem well cared for, but not the dogs and cats. Now especially there are lots of puppies wandering the road to Sipahi but I won’t let them follow me because we just can’t have one. Sad situation.

So mostly we’ve just been on the boat or doing our own walks. I have taken up knitting again and even picked up my pastels along with some watercolor attempts. And I do still try to practice my Turkish. I was walking the other morning in Sipahi and had a short conversation with one of the women who lives there along the way. We each said how are you and I am fine kind of things. I pointed around and told her it was beautiful. I could tell her where I was from and that Randal and I live on our boat in the marina and that I love to walk. She loves to walk too. But then she told me other things, maybe where she was from, but I couldn’t understand. But it was good.

Randal and I also made a return trip to the local butcher and got some beef shoulder, some of which we asked him to grind up. In Roanoke, the meat guy at Kroger might cut up something for you back behind the counter where you couldn’t see. Here you see what you are getting…


The butcher in the meat locker cutting off our chunk of shoulder.


When we paid for our meat, the butcher gave us a package of his pastrami. It was an interesting conversation asking if it had to be cooked. It doesn’t. I just tried some so I could tell you what it was like. Lots of spice flavors and I think it would be great in tomato sauce. The butcher told us to cook it in a pan with eggs so we will.


The butcher and his wife weighing and wrapping our meat.


Their new baby girl who I think looks like her mom.

We had brought a cooler and packed the meat into it. It was Monday market day so we left the meat with the butcher in his cooler to collect on our way home. We made the butcher our first stop because beef isn’t always available and we didn’t want to take a chance it would be gone later in the morning.


This man was selling soaps, shampoo and oils. We bought olive oil shampoo and lavender oil and soap. Randal uses the oil like cologne because he likes lavender. It’s very subtle so it’s ok.

The weather has been North Cyprus’ version of winter weather. Nights can get down to the high 40s and days the low 60s. Sounds like early spring in Virginia and it sort of looks like that with everything blooming and fields being planted. But Randal and I have thinned tropical blood in our veins so we feel cold. Our friends who’ve come from the UK or north Europe wear shorts! You can count on wind and rain some of each day, but enough sun, that if you plan it, you can walk. The problem is the trails are very muddy. I walked the other day with every intention of staying on the paved roads through Sipahi. But the road to Hell, as they say, is paved with good intentions.* I walked up the road, followed the loop it made and then decided to walk further into Sipahi because I wanted a longish walk. I came to a road that went off to the right and followed it thinking it would loop back around to the road I was on. But it kept going back down the hill and the further I went the less I wanted to turn around. The pavement eventually stopped but the wide dirt path seemed mostly dry so I kept going and then the path got a bit more muddy and then more narrow. Finally it split and I took the path towards the right thinking it would lead me back to the main road I’d walked up on. But it didn’t. It took me to the backside of a plowed field with no path through it. I had no desire to retrace my way all the way up the dirt path, all the way up the paved road, and then back and down the road I’d walked up on. So I mucked my way around the field as best I could, not wanting to trample any of the small shoots of whatever that was growing. I eventually got to a path blocked by a huge puddle but could walk on some mashed bushes around it.


Can I get there from here?

I could see the Mediterranean and the marina, but unfortunately this path ended in the fields.


What used to be dry as dust now is thick and sticky as new cement; packs right into the treads on the bottom of my shoes.


Like red Georgia clay!

While in Library School in Tallahassee I joined some classmates to go caving in Georgia. I had to crawl through stuff that looked like this! Amazingly those clothes came clean in the wash.


How to clean mucky shoes: rub the muck off in tall grass.


Rub the muck off on an old tire lying near the side of the road


Find a puddle and hope it will wash more muck off than it adds back on.

Getting into mud and muck has been my way since I was a wee tyke. We have early home movies of me, wearing a clean white dress and shoes stomping in a puddle left at the edge of our porch. My mother had just hosed off the porch and for some reason let me go outside. Instead of killing me someone got the movie camera and it’s there forever. That’s also around the time I gave myself a haircut just before I was to have professional photos taken so we only have them of my older sister. When I was a camp counselor one of the kids taught me about dealing with dirt. I saw 8 year old Sedalia walking without her shoes and I told her that her socks would get dirty. “So, we got soap,” Was her answer. She wasn’t being snotty or anything, just matter-of-fact and logical. “So, we got soap!”

The Sipahi paved road loop takes us by homes with sheep and puppies and flowers and cats.


Sheep in a pen.


Puppies who understand the English word “Stay!” thank goodness!!! But sooooo cute.


Flowers blooming


Cat in the planter.

The Road to Hell is Paved With Good Intentions… I looked up the quote and found a link to Samuel Johnson. This site explains that Johnson didn’t exactly say those words, but something similar. It also gives lots of interesting quotes attributed to Johnson that he really didn’t say.

Your manuscript is both good and original. But the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.” Is one of the quotes

Another is….

The next best thing to knowing something is knowing where to find it.

This is a corruption of something Johnson actually did say. When visiting an estate, Johnson seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time reviewing the contents of the library. Boswell quotes Johnson as having defended himself with the famous line, "Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it." The corrupted form is not found in either Johnson’s works or the contemporary accounts about Johnson.

Visit from Heidi and Kalle

Hi Everyone,

  I want you to meet two really nice very interesting people.  Heidi and Kalle Trautmann….


  It was serendipity and some left-over reference skills that led me to Heidi Trautmann’s website.  Heidi is an artist.  She makes art, teaches art, shares art, has friends who are artists.loves art. is her website.  I’ve mentioned Heidi in earlier emails.  Today Heidi and her husband Kalle came to visit us. (Thankfully the weather cooperated with us and not with the forecasted weather report.)  We had a wonderful time sharing cruising stories, travel experiences, home building experiences, recipes and I even got a mini-art lesson.  Heidi may not say she teaches art, but her suggestions are teaching me to think better about how I put paint on paper.  And Kalle explained to me about voppa (sardines) which I’m still on a quest to find.  Heidi and Kalle have lived on Cyprus for 6 years.  Their home is in Yeşiltepe near Girne and they have made lives that involve them with their community as well as the land itself.  Heidi was invited yesterday to watch a class of college theater students give individual performances before a jury of professors and artists.  In the past she was part of a team that wrote about the creation and development of libraries on North Cyprus.  And there’s lots more.  Heidi has chronicled these adventures on her website.   We have promised to visit them sometime in the next week or so when we can all work it out. 


Heidi and Kalle


Home produced wine, orange marmalade and grapefruit marmalade. 

I managed to tear up the beautiful hand-painted label on the wine bottle and I’m really sorry about that because it was quite lovely.  Kalle brought a map of Karpaz and Heidi also loaned me some art magazines she uses with her Thursday art group.  I passed along the ones I have so Heidi could share them with her Thursday art group too. 

If you visit Heidi’s website you can read her story about harvesting their olives and bringing them to the local press to be made into olive oil. 

Trying to buy toilet paper when you don’t speak the language!

  For some reason our satellite TV is now working so I could watch Once Upon A Time this past Friday night.  The US is ahead of Cyprus in episodes, but I’ve only seen about 3 of them so they are all new to me.  It was the episode when the people in fairy tale time, the parents of Gipetto,  were shrunken into puppets!  Randal watches the educational shows, I watch the entertainment ones and the movies.  But I’ve taken up knitting again and TV is really good for that; I can listen and knit at the same time.  If I have a problem both Julia and Tatty, a cruiser knit so can help me.  I’m just making a simple vest so we’ll see how it goes.



“Somewhere over the rainbow” is North Cyprus.

Friday morning greeted us with a beautiful rainbow. The weather report for Friday and most of the days to follow predicted rainy days and heavy winds. Luckily most of the forecast was wrong and I could walk every day. Sometimes Randal came too. He always does the Thursday Deks walks, but the rest of the week I have to push and prod him to walk with me. Friday was sunny, Saturday and Sunday called for rain so we went off for a long walk to tide us over for those rain days.


Up into the hills across from the marina and then along the ridge.

There are many plowed fields up on the ridge and beautiful green fields that are way too mucky to walk through. We walked up and then took one of the dirt roads heading west parallel to the main road toward Deks.


Then down and left onto another dirt path back towards the marina.

Our friend Charmin plotted out the paths looking at Google Earth. Charmin walks even more than I do with her puppy, Sophie. Charmin had found and nursed back to health a stray “pointer” pup. It may go to a home in America because a visiting family fell in love with the dog. But the family’s son has allergies so Charmin and Cliff may have Sophie forever which is ok with them as there sailing days are winding down and they think the puppy would fit into their “not so much cruising life.” The green fields off in the distance were dirt brown when we first saw them in August.

Saturday morning started out sunny so I decided to go for a walk before the rains would eventually come. Earlier in the morning I’d noticed we were getting low on toilet paper. With rain forecasted for days, I wasn’t sure when we’d motorbike into town for supplies and the marina market isn’t open so can’t provide supplies. One can do without some things, but not toilet paper. I decided to walk back to the small market in Sipahi where I’d bought my cheese, yogurt and bread. I looked up the words for toilet paper (we’d learned them in my Turkish lessons) but decided to write them down on my cheat sheet paper which has all kinds of phrases I can’t always remember.


How are you? I am good….. I am lost: We are lost….. Yes No Okay


Tuvalet kağıdı pronounced Toilette kadur

The words for toilet paper are crammed on the edge just below, I’m an American!

Kütüphane is the word for library. To show something is a building you add the phane at the end of the root word. Kütük means register so maybe that’s where it comes from. Kitap is book so you would think it would be Kitaphane…but it isn’t. Then the ci means profession and then yim means I am. So as Pete says, the language is written left to right but read right to left. So starting with the yim you read I am the profession of someone who works in a library. Or something like that.

On my way to the Sipahi market people called out hello to me, since now I’m a regular…I’ve shopped there twice. The owner got up and gave me a smile this time too. In what I thought was Turkish I asked for the toilet paper pronouncing it TUVAHLET KAAUHDUH. That didn’t work so I dropped the word for paper and just said Tuvalet and sign language the word for roll. That didn’t work either so I got out my cheat sheet and showed him. He pronounced it the correct way for me and then got the 8 pack down from a high shelf. He then spent a few minutes reading other phrases on the paper and smiled when he read that I was an American. I would have spent more time in the shop but the sky was looking grim so I needed to hustle back to the boat. It was actually drizzling when I started out, so I put on the light jacket which I unearthed from my back pack which caused the rain to immediately stop, the sun to come back, and me to get hot. Off came the jacket as I walked down the hill back to the boat. The trip takes about 90 minutes if I don’t dawdle. I usually do dawdle taking photos and saying hello to dogs, cows or chickens I see along the way. And people too. But usually no rush, we’re retired.


The cupboard was getting very empty with those last 3 rolls the only ones left in the storage space. The new pack should last us until we go to town Monday morning if the weather cooperates.

Saturday, about noon, the veggie man stops at the marina. I usually buy something because some cruisers need this service not having motorbikes or even bicycles to get to town. If not enough people shop, he probably wouldn’t come. I was the last in line, not needing much and not being in a hurry. I asked for a few lemon, some cucumber, and some tomatoes. (Potatoes and other things we buy at the Monday market.) He told me it was beş TL. I knew that was 5 and handed him a 5 TL note. He took it and then put some oranges and cilantro and arugula (or what the Brits call rocket lettuce) into my bag…just because he seems to always give extra stuff.

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The arugula and cilantro are the best tasting stuff!

They are also full of dirt and a pain to wash, but if you don’t they crunch when you eat them


Sunday morning walk with wool hats and scarves! But it doesn’t take much for us to feel cold after our years in the tropics. The marina is in the distance.

Sunday’s rain didn’t come until later in the day, and then it came and went and came and went. I’m really counting on Monday being sunny so I can do a laundry and we can go off to the Monday market. We’ll see.