North Cyprus Tourism Update and Our Day with Surveyors and Ice Cream!

Another very hot day today – 35C – but it will be back around the 28-30C for some days after that. Somewhat of a relief with jobs still to be done.

We had to lower the pool a little bit this morning so that the men can work on the overflow gulley when they come back this evening. It has to be dry. So, rather than waste the water, we have been running the garden irrigation lines and then filling the garden tank with pool water and then running the watering lines again…… the water is fine for our plants. You have to be careful with chlorinated water if you are watering vegetables but even then the chlorine will dissipate after being in the tank for a few days.

Bob went off to Kyrenia early to get some electrical bits and bobs he needs to install the pool surround lights and to get some photocopies of documents we need for our visa appointment on Friday. I stayed back waiting for the plumber.He came about 10am. You won’t be surprised to find out things with water supply are different here. Couldn’t be more different. In some respects unchanged since Roman times in that they use a system of wells and cisterns. I won’t go into the mains/tanking system – I’ve explained that before. However, just know that the house stopcock is up on the roof, next to the cold water staging tank. For someone of advancing years, or indeed a fear of heights, this is not at all accessible. However, all appliances have individual isolating cocks within the house. It was the isolating stopcock for the dishwasher that needed replacing as it was only partially closing. I guess they get calc’d up. Anyway, it took him about 20 minutes and he had to drain the roof tank (about 1 tonne) and turn off the house pump so that it wouldn’t automatically refill. I managed to get most of the drainage water into the container plants. I hate to waste water.

Had a walk around our lower garden. Our trees are all very mature now and it is lovely and shady down there. We have a rustic dining table and benches under the trees and other chairs in the shade and it’s a great place to take a book if you are not wanting to sunbathe. Up until 2 years ago we had a massive creeper growing up the front of the house and along the dining terrace. It wasnt terribly attractive and it was very prolific and needed constant pruning. So, Habibi, dug it up and has planted 2 new flowering creepers coming up the front. They are making good progress and will even more so with watering. The absence of the old creeper has also had a very beneficial effect on the other two “heritage” creepers we have coming up to the dining terrace: a red trumpet flower and a grapevine. Both of those are going great guns, better than they have in years. We have two pepper trees near the house and they have lovely lacy foliage and they grow pink pepper berries. It is not a true pepper but it is used in this part of the world as a pepper, both fresh and dried. We take some home because the flavour is lovely. Guests are very welcome to pick any of the peppers, fruit and nuts that are blooming when they visit.

We were going to go to the quiz at Hoots Bistro, just up the road in Ilgaz village tonight, but the workmen wanted to come into the house this evening and take the damaged plaster off the kitchen wall where there had been water penetration over the winter. So, we will put that off for another week and stay home.

More clarification on the loossening of quarantine restrictions here as the caseload dwindles away and the vaccine rolls out. Over 30s are now being vaccinated. Countries are to be coded Red, Amber, Yellow and Green using WHO figures of new rases from a rolling 7 days.

From June 7th, there will be no more hotel quarantine in northern Cyprus. Anyone needing to quarantine will be able to quarantine at home or their address, wearing the wristband.

The country of origin of the flight determines the entry country, not a transit country. For example, if you are flying from the UK to Ercan, it is the UK categorisation that counts, not the airport transit in Turkey.

The only people who will need to quarantine are those who are unvaccinated and travelling from a country other than Green or anyone coming from a country coded as Red or who has visited a country coded as red in the last 14 days.

The doubly vaccinated travelling from a Green, Yellow or Amber country will not need to quarantine at all. If they are travelling from a green country, they do not need to have any test. If they are travelling from an Amber or Yellow country, they need to take a PCR test within 72 hours of arrival. Tests are free here in many places or cost less than £10. Children 12 and under do not count as unvaccinated.

  • Red– 175 000 and more new cases for the last 7 days
  • Amber – 174 000 -70 000
  • Yellow – 8000-69 000
  • Green – up to 7000

Country colour updated weekly – to be confirmed each week.

If you are unvaccinated and travelling from a country other than category green, quarantine and testing are required, at home.

The border with southern Cyprus is expected to fully open very shortly at all points in both directions. Currently only one checkpoint is open for south to north travel and while all are open for north to south travel, that is only the case for a direct airport run. So, for example, you can travel from the north to Larnaca by licensed taxi but you cannot stop off anywhere on the way or go south for any other reason.

For border crossing purposes, they are still discussing “political issues” around the country categorisations. No doubt, this means the categorisations of Russia and Turkey, the south being full of Russians, and the north, Turks. No doubt accommodations will be found soon because over the last 15 odd years, there has been so much cross border economic and work travel in both directions, it has caused major inconvenience and hardship to both sides to have restrictions on the border.

Of course, from a tourism perspective, getting into Cyprus is only half the equation. Any tourist has to weigh up what the restrictions are on leaving their home country and then returning to their home country. Hopefully, that too will become clearer as we get into June and the main holiday season opens up across Europe. Certainly, for those who are vaccinated, a trip here presents a safe and easy option whilst, getting home is still in the balance, depending on the categorisations the home country places on Cyprus or Turkey. Watch this space…..

Bob got back late morning having been successful with all his tasks. The car was nearly empty of fuel so he had filled up. Petrol here is very cheap. A full tank cost £19.63. That’ll keep us going a long time. He also picked us up another bottle of gin. 1L = £4.50.

This afternoon we had a call from Alan, our neighbour, to say that the surveyor was ready with the drawings for our land partition and that he needed us to take down the deeds and sign some papers. We’d been waiting for this for a long time. We went down the hill to his office and signed everything and he took copies of our deeds and our POAs to handle the plots that are in Lucy and Daisy’s names, to redraw the boundaries. He will complete his work in around 2 weeks and then all the paperwork will go back to the land office and eventually we will receive new deeds after the master drawings have been registerred. That will probably take a few months minimum

We felt we needed a reward after all that, so we went into Mardos ice cream parlour which was right next door and bought a takeaway box of their delicious icecream. 20 big scoops for 80 tl which is around £7. We got chocolate, lemon, cherry, cheesecake, snickers.

Spent the rest of the afternoon in and out of the pool. We had lowered it a bit for the workmen to be able to work on the gulley tonight, so we just sat on the steps, immersed up to our necks, to cool off.