Archive for March, 2012
Today we all joined Sharman and Sophie for an 8 am 3 hour hill walk. It was another beautiful day with more bird spotting and lots of wild flowers. This afternoon we’re catching up on rest and reading and a few boat chores. Tomorrow we’ll head off to Büyükkonuk for the Sunday market and end of the month festival. We will also do some of the Büyükkonuk Walk # 28 listed in my Walks in North Cyprus book. We’d saved lots of adventures for when Linda and Charmain arrived and now it’s full speed ahead!
We set off early Friday. The first stop was the rental car company in Boğaz to add Charmaine as a driver. Next came an ATM stop. Then we were off for the Friday market in Iskele. Randal and I had been to Iskele but not on a Friday. Also, when we’d been the Icon Museum was closed so we thought we’d try again. From there we’d head to Kantara Castle where we’d have a picnic lunch! Everything was perfect except I forgot my camera card and my spare held only 3 photos?@^#^%#$#!!!!! Good thing Charmaine took some great photos and I could include them here.
Iskele Friday Market
We bought lots of dried fruit and a dried fruit and nut concoction that is really good but not really sweet. Even the prunes taste good! There were lots of great looking veggies and strawberries but we didn’t want anything to sit in the car all day, so we took a pass on the fresh produce. We will visit the market in Büyükkonuk tomorrow and our own in Yenierenköy on Monday. (One of my 3 photos! All photos are Charmaine’s unless noted.)
ICON MUSEUM OF ISKELE
“This museum was inaugurated on 23rd May, 1991 in the main church (Panayia Theotokos- Blessed Virgin Mary) of the village as a result of work carried out by the Department of Antiquities and Museums of the Ministry of National Education and Culture.
The church housing the museum was built in the early 12th century. It originally had a single isle and a dome, with arched recesses on the side ward. Such churches represent the popular church architecture of 12th century in Cyprus.
In the 15th century a vaulted aisle was added on the northern side and at a later date an extension at the west. The church was soundly repaired in 1804. A carved railing (Thorakion) taken from the original iconostasis was installed on modern belfry standing on the north - east corner of the church. Some of the wall paintings dating back to the 12th century still stand today and are rare examples of the art decoration in the island.
Apart from these magnificent wall - paintings, icons belonging to this church and some other icons from other parts of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which have been put under protection are displayed in the museum. The tiny little chapel of St. James is one of the most charming miniature churches in Cyprus. The interior has porcelain plates in the vaulting, but the icons and iconostasis are without interest. An exact model of the church has the erected by the Queen of Romania, at her palace on the Black Sea, to serve as her private chapel.” http://www.north-cyprus-villa.com/north-cyprus-historicalplace-iskele.htm
http://www.whatson-northcyprus.com/interest/iskele/icon.htm shows more photos of the restored wall paintings these being the most famous.
Church paintings being restored
A photo of ME! And the church and icons.
Linda surrounded by icon paintings rescued from the Greek Churches in North Cyprus.
Our next stop was Kantara Castle.
http://www.mydoramac.com/wordpress/?p=8096 Randal and I visited Kantara Castle in August and this is the link to that entry. This visit everything was green and there were hundreds of lovely cyclamen. Last visit we wore shorts and short sleeves and this time we wore layers of clothes!
Another photo of ME! and Randal, Linda as well as a Swedish tourist.
Looking east towards Karpaz
Linda and Charmaine (with their camera)
On our way home looking back towards the castle built on top of the mountain.
We’d arrived back in Yenierenköy about 3:30 pm and I talked Charmaine and Linda into a walk home from there. We met two Sipahi coffee friends and also saw the local cheese factory truck collecting large yellow containers of milk put out in front of a house. One container was not yellow and we wondered if that was goat’s milk rather than cow’s milk, or the other way round. Alas no photos so hopefully we’ll see the milk being collected again.
Back at the marina and home.
It had become quite windy but the laundry hadn’t blown off the back of the boat. We’d done a load just before leaving at 9 am.
As if that hadn’t been enough exercise, Linda, Charmaine and Randal all went to the gym. Randal did the treadmill and machines and Linda and Charmaine yoga. When they got back to the boat C and L made a great Mexican dinner for us. It will be a sad day when L and C go home and Randal and I have to eat my cooking.
No Comments »
I am really tired! We’ve had three great days with our Canadian pals who arrived 1 am Wednesday morning. I’m just about asleep but want to get this off or I’ll never catch up as every day is another adventure!
Deks Walks # 11 Stone Statutes Loop
Randal holding a Gladiolus Italicus or Common Corn Flag
Now normally we don’t pick the flowers but Randal needed this one for a prop in the crazy story he was concocting about the Stone Statues. So we’ll forgive him this one time.
Randal telling the story of the stone statues..
Here we are at the statues listening to Randal tell his story of Larry (known in Turkey as Osman Melemendi.) It’s a long story, too long to tell now, but it involves a flower, a kiss, meeting back at the statues a year from the date of the walk and the awakening of the statues. I don’t remember the rest but it was quite entertaining to hear.
A very skeptical audience Mary, Mehmet and Denise listen to the story of Larry’s lost love who became
the stone statue. Mehmet was quite a wild flower expert.
The stone statue with the flower…that was a prop but now even Randal can’t remember why. And as far as I can tell this statue may actually be a male…so maybe Larry’s love was Osman Melemendi!
Randal Denise and Mick walking back through the fields to Deks.
An olive tree with some asphodel and fields of Cyprus mustard plants.
A donkey tethered in the field and white and green trail markers.
Sophie visits our boat.
Sharman had to be away from the marina during the day a few times last week so I “dog sat” for Sophie who was recovering from “female surgery.” I had to carry her over our passerelle and up the back steps and into the boat but she just let me without a struggle. Now she is back to her perky self so the Sharman walks will begin again.
Our Canadian friends are here!
Charmaine (left) and Linda (right) landed at the Ercan airport at 1 am Wednesday morning. But with Air Canada on strike and changes in their itinerary, it was good they got to Cyprus “on time” and with their luggage. And the drive back to the marina was easy as there’s traffic at that time in the morning!
We let them sleep in a few hours Wednesday morning and then the whirlwind tour of North Cyprus began. Charmaine and Linda met Randal when they all did the “Around the World Bike Trip” in 2000. While we were home last fall we visited them on their island home in Lake Charbot in Ontario.
Charmaine and Linda on an introductory walk through Yenierenköy. Thursday they went on their first Deks Walk and our 12th.
Deks walk # 12 the Carob Warehouses and Bird Watching.
Inside the old warehouse which is now being renovated into a “green restaurant.”
The renovation is just now starting so we probably won’t eat there this trip to Cyprus.
Sharman and Sophie
Sophie is back to her old self so Sharman joined us for the walk.
Denise and Randal enjoying one of their “walk conversations.”
Sophie and I are playing “crouch and run.”
After the walk we all returned to Deks and it was “bacon sandwiches” all around. Deks now offers a new sandwich called “The Randal Sandwich” which is bacon and scrambled eggs on grilled village bread. The best!
Jay and Diane (in red) with their backs to us.
Jay and Diane, retired high school science teachers from England, were spending two weeks in Cyprus; the first in the north and the second with friends in the south. They had rented an apartment at the top of the hill where Rob and Julia live. It was great that they came on this walk when Charmaine and Linda
were here because all 4 are great bird watchers. They spotted lots of tiny birds I could hardly see and also a flock of resting crane. It was a great day for all 4 of them and they’ve planned to try to meet when all 4 of them will be in Australia later this year.
As we were about to leave Margaret, Donkey Dave’s wife asked if we’d left our sunglasses. We said no, but guessed they belonged to Jay so we offered to bring them to him. They weren’t Jay’s but we had a nice last visit with them.
Jay, Linda, Charmaine, and Randal
Looking for the “Cyprus grey striped something or other.”
Diane and Jay
Randal taking a photo of Diane and Jay with their camera so they can prove they were at the same place at the same time. Usually only one of a couple is in any photo.
Then it was back to return the sunglasses to Deks where Denise would try to find who owned them.
That was Thursday. Friday we went to Iskele to the Friday Market, the Icon Museum and then up to Kantara Castle and then for a picnic. On the way home Charmaine, Linda and I got out of the car in Yenierenköy and walked back to the marina. They then went to the gym to do yoga and after that came back to the boat and cooked a super Mexican meal. Whew!
No Comments »
We were having such lovely bahar havası (spring weather) and then Tuesday winter returned. Today it can’t decide but as there was no rain, just wind and sun, I joined Sharman and Sophie for a morning walk through the hills. Tomorrow, Thursday is Deks walk day so hopefully the weather will cooperate. Now the wind is up making the boat rock and roll, but so bad as last time. It is chilly enough (about 55 F) to have our wonderful, quiet, diesel stove heating the boat. We keep a kettle on it for tea water. Just now Randal put a small tin with boiling water (from the kettle) on the stove and added a few drops of the Lavender oil we’d bought at a Monday market. Makes the boat smell nice especially after last night’s stir-fry meal of onions, peppers, mushroom, garlic and ground meat. Randal cooked! It tasted really good, but a closed up boat tends to trap smells. The worst are the cooking smells left over from my salmon patties! Yuck. I had made them one night and then we left the boat closed up all the next day when we did the visa run to Nicosia. The boat smelled as if some small thing had died. Well maybe not that bad, but certainly not good. We do have an oven exhaust fan, but that doesn’t quite do the trick. You need to open portholes and doors. Soon the boat will be open all the time as the weather gets warmer and that will be lovely.
Had another Sipahi coffee adventure. Here’s the story.
Why Learn Turkish?
Working on my Turkish; a little wine never hurts!
Yesterday was Turkish Lessons at Deks. The weather was foul so Denise collected Pete and me from the marina. Denise doesn’t charge for the lessons nor for the transport. How often do you find that? And the lessons are fun! I know I’ve said that before, but it bears repeating. Inspired by the morning lesson and needing an afternoon of quiet, I sat down to work on the Turkish. That morning we had worked on verb past tense and prepositions and it had really, finally, hooray! sunk in so I wanted to keep working at it. There was another reason I wanted to work at it. During our walk on Sunday through Sipahi, Sharman and I had been invited for coffee by Nadia Yilidiz. (I’ve done my best with the spelling from what we heard her say.) I had left my cheat sheets on the boat (for the last time, I swear!) and between the two of us, Sharman and I don’t have enough Turkish to have a real conversation. We could understand some of the things she told us. She has 4 children, 3 girls and 1 boy. One child is in Istanbul, and one or two are still in school. And we could say that we don’t have children, (though both of us have connections to stepchildren we didn’t have the words for that.) My cheat sheets do, but they were on the boat. I do know the word for flowers and beautiful, so that came in handy as it was her flowers that had brought us all together. And we could tell her that we lived on boats at the marina. And that I was American and Sharman British. So we could converse some……
Here are the photos from our visit.
Lovely spring flowers, but what is the pink one in the middle?
Each time I had walked by Nadia’s house, in Sipahi I had admired her flowers. Sunday, while returning from our walk, Sharman and I had stopped to admire them and try to identify them with the small Cyprus wildflower guide Julia has loaned to me. Nadia saw us and came to try to help. She knows what they are, but could only tell us in Turkish. Then, as the people in Sipahi do, she invited us in for coffee. We drank coffee, had a lovely visit and then it was time for photos. Nadia was reluctant, but agreed.
Me and Nadia
Nadia and Sharman
I really like this photo of both Nadia and Sharman (except for the stove pipe sticking out from Sharman’s head.) Luckily, Sharman has a photo program that can make that go away. Then we will bring a copy to Nadia. I don’t know if you can tell from the photo, but Nadia has the most beautiful soft skin. Actually since I’m standing on Nadia’s right and Sharman on her left, maybe Sharman can put all of us in the photo! They are certainly color coordinated.
Nadia and her granddaughter.
What a lovely, smart 11 year old. Her English put our combined Turkish to shame! Sadly I didn’t get her name. She came after we’d had coffee and were going on our way.
Flowers everywhere, outside and in.
The Turkish coffee is thick and sometimes strong, but I have grown to like it. I have mine with a bit of sugar.
More of Nadia’s garden.
We were standing across the road where there are more flowers when Nadia came to talk with us.
Sophie getting a treat too.
Sophie had waited patiently for us and was now having some bread that Nadia had given to her. You can see that Nadia is barefoot. Sharman and I removed our shoes before entering but Nadia had told us that it wasn’t necessary. But since they don’t wear shoes in the home it feels better to do the same when visiting.
Water for Sophie
Nadia’s granddaughter is filling a bowl so that Sophie can have a drink.
I wonder if they use the stone oven?
Nadia had a wood stove burning. It has a side compartment for baking which is really neat. It certainly kept the front room where we were sitting very warm.
I will definitely miss Sipahi when we leave here. I am working on a short letter that I will ask to post in the small market in Sipahi. Denise is helping me write it. I use the Google translator and then I try to correct its mistakes and then Denise corrects all of the mistakes. We won’t be leaving until the end of April – beginning of May so I still have some time to learn more Turkish. And maybe deliver a few more apple cakes.
No Comments »
My sister emailed me commenting on the Avtepe festival saying she was looking forward to the tulip photos! My mind must be going….I forgot the tulip photos in an email about the Tulip Festival. Good Grief! So here are the tulip photos.
Heidi had asked for directions from Avtepe out to the tulip fields so we set off hoping eventually to find some sign we were heading in the correct direction. I guess it there were lots of signs and it was easy to get there; there would be no tulips left to see. One of the organizers had asked to Denise to translate a notice into English telling “tulip pickers they would be prosecuted.” Being early there were few people there which was nice. We parked the car and headed off to find the tulips…in the wrong direction. Soon enough an official looking man told us we’d gone wrong and to go back and walk straight ahead from the car around some trees and shrubs and we’d find the tulips.
First we saw fields of white rock roses.
And fields of blue…somethings.
Heidi and Randal enjoying the roses but wondering, “Where are the tulips?”
Hunting for the tulips
Here they are…wild tulips.
Tulipa Cypria: Black Tulip
“The tulip appears to be bright scarlet, but in normal reflected light resembles its common name – Black Tulip. Distribution: Northern Cyprus only. Tulipa Agenensis occurs in Aegean Islands, Turkey, Syria, Israel and Iran.” Flowers of Northern Cyprus by Halliday and Luschington
“Habitat mostly in cereal fields, hidden below the level of the wheat, but in great numbers: 400-900 ft. alt. (Not sure what that means.) Flowers March to April.” Flowers of Northern Cyprus. Avtepe in one of the few places in Northern Cyprus where they grow.
Kalle taking some photos.
Finally we had to leave and as we drove back through Avtepe we were glad we’d stopped early in town to buy our “souvenirs.” Cars were parked half way to the next town! It would have been fun to see the dances or maybe get a glimpse of the President of North Cyprus, but we had more things to see and do and Heidi and Kalle had, at the end of the day, to drive back to Yeşiltepe.
Our next stop was the Panagia Kanakaria Church in Boltaşli. It is a lovely church and Randal and I had stopped there back in August. http://www.mydoramac.com/wordpress/?p=8020 is the entry. I had every intention of walking through the lovely church compound until I heard those terribly enticing sheep bells so off I went to see.
The shepherd and his neighbor.
Heidi, Kalle and Randal were back at the church talking with other tourists so there was no one to take the photos of me playing with the baby sheep. The shepherd had called to the lamb and it had come to him. He told it to come to me and it did and I got to play “butt my hand” with its little head against my hand. I rubbed its neck and felt the lovely wool. It was so unafraid. I raced back to the car and grabbed my “cheat notebook” and ran back to show it to the shepherd so he could read what I still haven’t memorized. It tells about Randal and me and where we live and that we like Cyprus. It also says I worked in a public library and that impressed the shepherd very much. I had one of our flag bandannas in my backpack so gave it to the young boy. I finally left my new friends and ran back to the car where Heidi, Kalle and Randal were patiently waiting for me and off we went to Bafra.
No Comments »
March 24, 2012 (Time to Spring Forward at 4 am)
Randal and I have had some busy days lately. We are getting the boat shipshape for our friends Charmaine and Linda who will arrive Tuesday evening from Canada. Late in April or early May the 4 of us will move the boat to Israel. We visited "Charlin" on their island home in Lake Charbot last October. Charmaine and Linda did the ’round the world bike trip with Randal so are prepared for the half home/half camping life that cruising is. They are great walkers so this is the perfect place for them to visit with us. Randal spent 2 days installing the new GPS compass and I have been doing more cleaning than usual. Friday Randal went off for the rental car and today we took our friend Eve, just returned from Israel, and Susan, wife of my Turkish classmate Pete, grocery shopping at Lamar. We needed to provision and knew Eve’s boat was totally empty so planned the trip. Lunch was at "big Deks" near Bogaz where they make the best calamari, my new favorite Deks food. I was hooked on the bacon sandwich but now I’m equally hooked on the friend calamari. On the way home we stopped in Yenierenkoy for small provisions and to drop off Eve’s propane gas tank to be filled. That’s why shopping is so tiring, everything gets crammed into one trip because you have to drive at least an hour away just to get to the closest small supermarket. But the weather is just about perfect and the fields and hills are alive with wildflowers and it’s just beautiful.
I have one more email to write about our Sunday adventure. Until then.
ALMOST BASEBALL SEASON
Avtepe Tulip Festival, Boltashli Village Shepherd, and Bafra “Vegas”
Sunday March 18 was a beautiful day. We set out about 9 am so we could visit the location of the cave church just outside Avtepe. (You can see the cave in the poster.) The road map showed the route to Avtepe along the main road out of Yenierenköy heading west. But Kalle is quite familiar with North Cyprus and knew there was a “back way” so that’s the way we went. We stopped and asked for Avtepe at tiny crossroad towns along the way, just to make sure. But Kalle was right and we found Avtepe exactly where he said it would be. Kalle and 3 friends have met every Thursday for years to go exploring the island. He has been just about everywhere. We were quite early so drove further along the valley towards a hillside cave-church thinking we might takes a quick hike before the festival. We did find the cave but it was obvious there were no short hike options so we decided to put it off for another time. We were lucky enough to see a stork fly overhead and that was impressive. I actually didn’t take photos but will when we visit again. Here is a description I found on the Internet.
“The stretch between Derince and Avtepe is most unusual, with a dramatic drop down into a huge valley and bare rolling hills all around. A track leads along this river valley to the sea, some 4 km away, where a ruined 14th-century domed chapel, Ayios Seryios, can still be seen, to the right of the river mouth. Northeast of Avtepe there is also an unusual cave tomb of unknown date cut into a bare cliffside at a height of some 200m, and visible as you approach from afar. The climb up to it is very tricky and should be attempted only by those who relish heights and unsure footholds. Inside are many deep corridors leading to grave chambers, cut some 26m deep into the hillside. Be sure to take a good torch. At the very back is a well shaft of immense depth, which village tradition has it leads either to hell or to paradise, depending on which is more deserved.”
We returned to Avtepe and the early bird gets the parking space so we had no trouble parking. Had we come later we’d have parked half way back to Yenierenköy!
Craft and food tables lined the main street.
We’d eaten breakfast and it was too early for lunch so we just looked.
The favorite universal gourmet treat, Cotton Candy!
Books for sale: unfortunately they were all in Turkish and I’m just not that good yet! But it was nice to see that popular fiction had been translated to Turkish and that there was a demand even in tiny Avtepe.
A stall perhaps selling borek: phyllo dough filled with cheese and then fried.
A potter selling exactly what I wanted: a tiny pitcher for milk when serving tea or coffee.
Artist friends, Hasan Eminağa and Heidi Trautmann
“Hasan Eminağa, the ceramist from Dizayn 74 who was invited by the local Muhtar to come and add to the festival’s image.”
Heidi’s tale of our adventure and definitely worth reading as she knows so much more about the area than I. A Muhtar is just what it sounds like, the village head honcho.
Randal was totally intrigued and had lots of questions while Kalle looked on along with village children.
I was busy shopping..photo by Heidi. My small milk jug and olive pit holder.
I really liked some of the taller vases but that will have to be another time.
Our Yenierenköy Monday Market “nuts and raisin” man had a booth. We’d long wondered at the odd looking “sweet” that he sold. It looks like a rubber candle…but now that I’ve tried it, I really kind of like it.
“A more unique dessert is Souzouko – a long string of almonds dipped repeatedly in thickened grape juice and hung to harden. This “wand” of sweet goodness takes days to make but is available for purchase almost anywhere on the island, especially around festivals and fairs.” http://globaltableadventure.com/2010/11/30/about-the-food-of-cyprus/
It’s interesting, not very sweet, but like thickened weak unsweetened grape juice that you chew. It is made the same way you make candles! It’s not tough like gum but chewier than gum drops. Veddie Interesting!!!
See what I do for Y’all!
Heidi just forwarded this photo to me from our Karpaz visit to the Apostolos Andreas Monastery. I was trying to find the “famous spring in the chapel” but it was just too dark. I had to slide the whole way back down off the side of the chapel but it wasn’t as far as it might look. I don’t do heights unless there’s no second choice.
No Comments »
I am hoping to get this off before we leave the boat this morning for our Thursday Deks Walk. It is beautiful here in Cyprus! I have another email to write about the Tulip Festival and will also give the link to what Heidi has written on her website. But that’s for next email.
Karpaz Peninsular and the Avtepe Tulip Festival with Heidi and Kalle March 17th and 18th 2012
Heidi and Kalle came to visit this past weekend. They wanted to take us out adventuring along the Karpaz Peninsular and to the Annual Tulip Festival in Avtepe. They also wanted to show us the other image of North Cyprus, the huge resort complexes of Bafra which are quite a contrast to the unspoiled lands of the Karpaz Peninsular. The weather cooperated and we had a wonderful time. I took zillions of photos!
Heidi and Kalle arrived about 10 am after their two hour drive from Yeşiltepe. We had coffee and some “just made banana bread” and then headed off down the Karpaz Peninsular. I don’t know why I say “down” except we always used to say we were “going down the cape” when we went to Cape Cod. Karpaz is a smaller unspoiled, undeveloped version of Cape Cod.
Our first stop was the Golden Beaches on the south side of Karpaz Peninsular.
Wild flowers and sandy beaches.
We didn’t encounter any.
Simple but comfortable accommodations: Heidi and Kalle stayed here a few years ago.
Walking along the beach.
It really looked like this…no photo-shopping necessary.
Sea, sand dunes, and sky.
Heidi and Kalle
What a great place to spend time.
Randal, Kalle and Heidi
Kalle said that even in the summer the beaches are mostly deserted making them my kind of beach.
We left the beach and continued driving through what is designated as park land for the wild donkeys. We’d seen a few in the distances when we’d motorbiked out here in August. This time they came up to visit.
Collecting park entrance fees?
We came unprepared so had nothing to feed them.
There had once been a Neolithic community at the very tip of the peninsular, but now there are just two giant flags; one of Turkey and one of Cyprus. Randal and I visited back in August when nothing bloomed and we didn’t walk up the mound to see where the community had been. This time we did and were rewarded with lovely views.
This is the link to our earlier trip on August 6th shortly after we’d arrived in Cyprus. http://www.mydoramac.com/wordpress/?p=7738 This link shows photos inside the monastery and the huge flags on the tip of the peninsular.
We parked the car and walked up the steep, small hill.
Looking back at the south coast and the road we’d taken.
The north coast is more forested and we saw no signs for beaches.
Looking across to Turkey and Syria below the horizon.
I just barely captured the water on both sides of the peninsular.
On our way back to the marina we stopped at the Apostolos Andreas Monastery. When Randal and I had come in August we hadn’t known anything about the small chapel at the rear of the monastery with the spring of fresh water. I only learned of it when we got back to the boat and read more about the monastery. This time I was determined to see it.
The spring water now is delivered by spigot.
The spring was supposed to have been created by Saint Andrew (Apostolos Andreas) to quench the thirst of sailors arriving at the peninsular.
The guide books mention the rocky shore.
But here is the chapel with the locked door and no access just as it was the last time we’d come.
There are no signs and no information available. I read recently that money was allocated to refurbish the monastery but so far nothing has happened.
As we walked around the monastery complex we met more friendly donkeys.
The donkey seems to be interested in the conversation of these two staff people.
For me animals trump ancient ruins every time.
Donkeys are the water buffalo of Cyprus.
These two came to visit Heidi
They actually followed us back to the car.
Where should I sit?
This one appears to be eating for two…she looks quite pregnant.
Alas we had no food to share. Next time we come I’ll load up on carrots and apples.
Heidi took this photo of the cats that live at the monastery complex.
We stopped for a late lunch and then headed back to the marina first stopping to visit with Denise at Deks and discuss any possible options for an art exhibit at the “big Deks” near Boğaz. Then it was back to the boat to relax. After a bit Randal cooked up a wonderful spaghetti dinner with some “Trautmann red wine” and “Ruth’s cocoa brownies” for dessert. Then it was time for sleep.
No Comments »
Cyprus is beautiful this time of year with more and more wild flowers blooming. Our friends Heidi and Kalle are coming this weekend and we will travel down the peninsula to the tip of North Cyprus. Randal and I went by motorbike in August when everything was dry and brown, (but lovely then too.) Now we will see it blooming with wild flowers. We will also attend the Annual Avtepe Tulip Festival on Sunday. I’ll take lots of photos. But our part of the Karpaz Peninsular is beautiful too.
Deks Walk # 10 and the Best Bacon Sandwich Ever!
Randal and I had Denise all to ourselves this walk. Unfortunately our friend Rob isn’t feeling well so Julia is staying home to look after him. Mick and his dog Dede also missed the walk. Denise very patiently spent some time explaining to me the correct way to say “My husband’s name is Randal,” in Turkish which has a double possessive ending on the word husband to indicate Randal is my husband but the name is his. Whew! Denise never gave up so I finally understood by the time we reached the top of the ridge. “Kocamın ısmı Randal dır.”
It was a beautiful Spring day with a bit of a chill.
Walking uphill quickly warmed us up.
The old stone building at the top of the ridge.
The perfect place a Deks extension or a home for two.
The north coast at our backs.
Hills and the south coast at our backs.
Arkadaşımızın ismi Denise dır. Our friend’s name is Denise.
I’m sure Denise is our friend and that her name is Denise. I hope I wrote it correctly in Turkish.
A place to sit and talk.
If we’d only brought the oranges and brownies we’d still be there now rather than back on the boat!
It’s hard to believe the place isn’t crawling with tourists! It’s so wonderful for walking. So many wild flowers now.
Making ourselves finally return back to Deks. But there were some rewards!
The best bacon sandwich in the world!
Grilled bread, salty bacon, fresh veggies and a pot of tea, YUM!!!! Or beer for Randal.
We were hungry but full of sunshine and clean air so actually took time to eat our lunch rather than just chow it down in two minutes. Then it was time for coffee and brownies!
I’d made the brownies for our “after walk snacks.” Often Julia brings biscuits (cookies) but I like to test out recipes and this way Randal and I don’t eat them all. It was a small 8” square pan and there were 5 of us at Deks to eat them, Denise, Randal, Ayup who works at Deks and Fred, a visiting friend of Denise and Erin who is here from England. I had searched the Internet for brownie recipes that called for cocoa. This recipe also uses oil rather than butter which makes it even easier. I’d been out of vanilla so used almond flavoring but the vote was for vanilla or no flavoring next time. But our friend Lewis has now kindly given me some of his vanilla so next time I’ll use the vanilla.
No Comments »
Here are two more walking stories.
When I go walking with Sharman, I never know where we’ll go. I just follow along and trust she knows where we’re going. Sharman has studied the area on Google Earth and pays attention when we walk. Before I stopped being too lazy to walk at 8 am (that’s when Sharman would walk) I went by myself but I didn’t explore so far. I knew I couldn’t get lost if I just headed for the sea. Same with Sharman. And with Sophie for company she ventured further than I did. But together we really go exploring. Like the other day….we tried a new trail and the bottom line was we had to keep going up because there was no way on earth we could get back down!
If we cross the stream and make it up the slippery rock we might find a path to Sipahi.
Well, we didn’t go that way because I thought there was a path on our side of the stream. There was; but it ended half way up the slope and then we had to make our way through lots of different thorny scrub and loose rocks. We were 10 years old again!
We started out at the foot of those fir trees and ended up looking down on them.
Both of us have agreed, next time we cross the stream and we can cross the, “up the slope scramble” off the list.
That walk was Wednesday. Thursday I did the Deks Walk. Friday Sharman and I did a regular hill walk. But Saturday was a whole new adventure. Sharman needed to go with friends to Boğaz early in the morning. Helen and Dennis from Dream Provider had asked to “baby-sit” Sophie for that morning. Sharman knows I would take Sophie any time she needed but many of the cruisers ask to have Sophie for a day when Sharman has to go off to Famagusta, so my services aren’t needed yet. And I see Sophie every morning. So, anyway, Saturday morning I joined Helen at 8 am for a walk. Actually, I was supposed to be leading the way as Helen hadn’t ever done the hill walks. Of course, I had always just followed along not really paying attention to the twists and turns of the path so I was a bit nervous about being the leader. But Helen said to me what I say to Sharman….”wherever is fine.” I actually managed to lead us on a 3 hour walk picking all of the correct paths to follow. We had a great time and Sophie was sooooo good. She never ran far off and always came when she was called. That was especially important when we met the angry donkey, the 3 sheep guard dogs and heard of sheep, and then the HUGE herd of sheep and goats just at the end of our walk. Any time we heard sheep or goat bells we’d call Sophie and she would come and we would put her on the lead until we were far enough from the herds. Our first encounter was the donkey early in our walk. Usually they just trot off. This one stayed and snorted at us, maybe defending a baby we couldn’t see. We gave it a wide berth and then kept going. Half way back we met the 3 herding dogs but Sophie came when we called and the other dogs didn’t bother us because they seem wary of human. Not sure how they would have treated Sophie had she been alone. Our last encounter was quite funny. We saw the huge herd of sheep and stepped aside to let it pass but it didn’t pass. It stopped just in the path we had to take so there was no choice but to walk by them. They behaved and Sophie behaved and it all seemed fine until we had passed them by.
Follow the “new leader.”
Amazingly the sheep started to follow Helen, Sophie and me down the hill.
Sheep breath on Helen’s neck!
It was amazingly warm as you can see from Helen’s sleeveless shirt. They just crowded along behind until finally the shepherd called them back.
But then they all turned around and went back up the hill to the shepherd.
It really was the funniest experience! Having the puppy follow me back to the marina was one thing. Having an entire herd of sheep following you back is a whole other story. Actually, the kind of thing you would read in a child’s picture book. What fun!
No Comments »
The marina wifi has quit. Not sure when it will be fixed. Luckily Randal and I have a dongle which we load with time from Turkcell. We pay 40 TL for 2 Gigs (sp) that must be used within 30 day. In the past we’d never used it all so lost it. Last month we ran out before the end of the month so now maybe we’ll get the larger package. Hopefully they’ll get the problem fixed. Wifi is available in the restaurant so that is useful but we like to stay on the boat with the computers. Lazy, spoiled us.
Deks Walk # 9 “Showing off” the Stone Statues
The Neolithic Stone Statues are pretty unique so when new people join the Deks Walks, that’s where we go. It’s always fun to see their reactions and hear new theories about what they might be and why they are there. Even if they are male or female. Carol and Derrick were visiting from the UK. They had stopped at Deks and learned about the walks, Friday night Fish and Chips, and Tuesday Bingo Night to raise money for some rescued donkeys cared for by "Donkey Dave". We had met Carol and Derrick in Ma-Pa the small supermarket in Yenierenköy Monday morning while in town for Market Day. Wednesday they were strolling around the marina when Sharman and I returned from a walk so I invited them to the boat for tea and cake. So now they are sort of “old friends.” Thursday was their last day in the Karpaz area before they moved west towards the Kyrenia area. But they made time for the walk because of their interest in birds and wild flowers. It was fun to have them along. The "old regulars, Julia, Mick, Dede, Randal and I" always enjoy the walks. The prior Thursday Julia and Mick were busy and Randal wasn’t feeling great so Denise and I went off by ourselves and had a lovely time exploring new paths and navigating the huge puddles that swamped the paths. We had great fun walking and swapping stories.
Randal and Dede, Mick’s dog, use one statue as a seat.
The old Greek Orthodox Church near the ruins.
Carol, Mick, Derrick and Denise in the black hat. There are bits of iconography visible on the wall in front of Derrick. Visitors have left some modern painted version in the indentions in the walls.
Denise and Randal share the stone wall outside the Church.
Lots of Cyprus buttercups and a new trail marker on the pole.
We have seen several repainted or new trail markers and some new restaurant signs. Maybe they are renewed every spring to get ready for the Easter visitors and then the summer visitors. I like desert Cyprus but it is especially beautiful in the Spring with all of the wildflowers.
No Comments »
Tuesday morning we had coffee in Sipahi with another Yildiz family. As usual we didn’t know that would happen, but we are finding how much we enjoy the experiences. Randal and I had joined Sharman and Sophie for a walk along the coast and then up the hills to Sipahi so Sharman could buy some chicken necks for Sophie in the small Sipahi market. I had tried to get them yesterday in Yeni Erenkoy when Randal and I went in for the Monday morning market. But they hadn’t yet been delivered and the shop where I bought them last time told me the delivery would come in the afternoon. At least that’s what I thought she had said. We figured that by Tuesday morning they would have been delivered to all of the shops so that’s why we chose the walk to Sipahi which is closer. Sharman had read that raw chicken necks are good for dogs so she uses them as training treats for Sophie. My mother used to put them in soup and I remember chewing on the bones as a kid. Maybe I was being trained? I was certainly trained to like her soup! Anyway…. The delivery hadn’t come and that made for an interesting discussion trying to learn when they would come and to explain when Sharman would come back. I’m okay with the names of the days, but not so great with time. Sharman got chicken legs which they did have. Sophie was having a hard time digesting the kibble so she gets rice, potato, beans, chicken, eggs, etc and all of the donkey poop she can sneak or the old left-overs from the Turkish guards at the small harbour down the road. Sophie is probably the healthiest dog on the planet, especially if you read up on the kibble issues as Sharman has. Yuck. Anyway… We left the store and were retracing our path through Sipahi when a small flock of sheep and goats came our way. We stopped to let them pass by. Their owner, Özgür came to talk with us, and as seem to happen in Sipahi, we were invited for coffee.
Perihan, Açelya (age 6 in 2 days,) and Özgür
We are sitting on their patio having the wonderful thick, Turkish coffee. Behind them you can see the blue school bus that Özgür drives. The sheep and goats are a hobby and provide milk, food, yarn and, I thought he said, shoes, for his family and probably the family of his father who also lives in Sipahi. Açelya had stayed home from school “with a cold” and to spend time with her cousin who was there for the day visiting. Özgür’s father was ill and needed to go to Nicosia for treatment. One of Özgür’s siblings was going to take him but their child would stay with Özgür’s family for the day. I think that’s correct. And Randal seems to remember that Özgür‘s sister works in the hospital in Nicosia and her husband is a doctor at the hospital.
Özgür and Perihan were both born in Sipahi. Özgür literally was born in Sipahi at home as was one sibling. I believe the youngest brother was born in the hospital in Nicosia. I wish I could listen in on what they tell their friends about us as they struggle to remember or guess what we had said or what we had really meant to say. Özgür had worked in construction for a Russian woman who spoke English and had learned from her and from his own determination to learn. He speaks a great deal of English but it is tricky to try to explain the collision repair business or Sharman’s race horse stud farm. I did remember the word for horse (at) so that helped. And I did have my cheat sheets so we could say we were retired but even without the sheets I could say I had been a public librarian for 26 years. These past few days I’ve been really working on my Turkish and have improved some.
Sharman, Perihan, Açelya, Özgür, and Randal
The oldest daughter, Aleyna age 11 is in school and the baby Aysima 9 months was in the house with another adult who we really didn’t meet. Sophie was patiently waiting off the patio. I somehow have no photo of the sheep and goats or the family’s adorable puff ball puppy whose name I think is Pati. Özgür said the puppy’s name and then pointed to the puppy’s paws so I thought it meant paws but that word is pence in my dictionary but is paws on Google Translate. Patik is bootie in both dictionary and Google Translate. There was a copy of an abridged Robinson Crusoe translated into Turkish on the table which was being read by Aleyna.
I think one reason we were invited in for coffee was that Sharman and I were recognized from our many walks through town. Both Özgür and Perihan mentioned seeing us.
We had a lovely visit and then it was time to go. As we were leaving Özgür reached up and took about a dozen oranges from the tree by the patio and gave them to Sharman and me to put in our backpacks. Randal and I shared one later that afternoon.
Many homes have oranges, lemons, pomegranates, maybe chickens, sheep or goats.
Most morning I join Sharman and Sophie for walks. We’ve added a Frisbee now that Sophie knows “fetch” so my arm gets a workout too. Good thing I’m doing all of that walking and Randal goes to the gym every other day and we also do the Thursday Deks walk because I’ve been doing some baking lately. I made great banana bread and a chocolate snack cake. Luckily we can share with other cruisers so we don’t actually eat it all ourselves.
The banana bread recipe from the Internet
I wanted a recipe that used oil rather than butter. This one did. It also called for buttermilk but suggested that whipping cream could be used instead. I had the cream but not buttermilk and it makes a really moist cake; and you can pour some on top when you eat it! I also used some brown sugar, some wheat flour and more banana than it called for. Randal said it was the best!
Betty Crocker snack cake
No eggs, just water, vinegar, cocoa powder, flour, sugar, salt, baking soda. It called for vanilla but I was out of it so used almond flavoring. It’s light and simple to make.
My simple vest is turning into a major task. I made one side too long so had to rip part and then the armholes are making me crazy. Tatty, one of the cruisers, showed me how to pick up the armhole stitches with a round needle. She made it look simple. First I picked up too many stitches so that had to be ripped out. Then I cast on too few and had to rip that. It may never be finished.
I have also been working on my Turkish which is good. But finally I got out my “art stuff” to do some sketching. The whole table gets covered with Turkish notebooks, art stuff, books….
My Sophie sketch. It looks better here than in reality. I made her face too dark.
I got the Anthology at the wonderful book shop in Hyannis and the other, Courage was loaned to me by Denise. It is about her great, great grand uncle…I think I’m reading the genealogy chart correctly. It is an interesting picture of late 19th and early 20th century England made more interesting because it’s about Denise’s family. Look up Donald Adolphus Brown and Eliza Adelaide Knight and you will find info about them on the web in the British National Archives.
The marina wifi stopped working yesterday so we’re relying on our dongle for a while so less browsing around on the web. Hopefully it will be fixed soon. Thursday is a Deks walk. Friday since the weather forecast is for sun ,we’ll take the motorbike to Boğaz, the closest ATM (we know how to find.) There is supposed to be an ATM here at the marina but it’s not available yet.
So that’s what’s happening.
No Comments »