We have been finishing off a last few tasks here over the weekend. Hung the poolside gazebo curtains and Bob ordered us a little sign for the upper drive to make it plain it is private property and not a public side road.
On Friday we went into Kyrenia for Bob to have his two crowns fitted. He’s really pleased with them and at about £350 in total it was a bargain. We then went to a shoe shop I’d visited with the girls the day before because I’d spotted some hiking sandals there I thought he would like. His beloved Croc leather hiking sandals are nearing the end and he’s been wanting to replace them. Croc no longer make them in leather. Anyway, he did like them and bought a pair. They will be super useful on our big road trip in the autumn.
We also bought a new electric fan for the lounge area of the villa – it gives us 2. We do not have a/c downstairs because the house opens to the air all down one side – sliding glass doors – and so it keeps airy even in summer. However a fan is always helpful in July and August. We have considered putting a/c into the ground floor but electricity here is very expensive – even more so now – and we would have to put the rent up quite a bit to cover the charges, so we’ve held off. Most people adopt the Cypriot way of living semi outside in the hottest months on one of our terraces or beside the pool. Of course the bedrooms have a/c.
We spent the afternoon around the pool. It has turned pretty hot now. There’s been a big change in the garden in the 4 weeks since we’ve been here – leaves and flowers and fruit are bursting out as the plants react to the warmth of the sun. I am always amazed at how huge geranium plants grow here.
On Saturday we had planned to drive along the coast westwards and end up at Horseshoe Bay for lunch in the little restaurant there. But just as we were about to set off Marion arrived with the news that our vacuum cleaner could not be repaired. We decided that we would buy its replacement ourselves which we did, finding quite a nice bagless one for about £120.
We set off along the coast and we decided to just take a look in the mattress shop in Lapta. A fatal mistake. We were going to wait till the winter to replace the mattress in the master bedroom which was getting a bit long in the tooth although it is still very comfy. However, they had such nice ones at such great prices that we took the plunge and bought one. Only problem was that they wanted to deliver it in the next 30 minutes – wow – try getting that customer service from John Lewis!! We are entering Eid here, a 3 day holiday when some shops and all government buildings and banks will close, and they needed to get their deliveries out. So, we turned back again to the house and indeed they arrived very quickly, deployed the new mattress and took the old one away with them. Off we went again…… no stops this time!
We got to Horseshoe Bay just about on 12 and the owner, Ibo, was as welcoming as ever. It’s such a quirky place with the loveliest views over the cove. To get there, you drive west along the coast road through Lapta and Karsayaka. After a while the road goes past a long rocky beach with a cafe on it and then turns inland. At that point, you see a collection of nightclubs (don’t ask), one named the Titanic, and a right hand turn off the main road signed Kayalar. Take that turn. It is almost exactly 3km to Horshoe Bay. You see the little sign at the roadside in the photo above. Often Ibo has a load of flags there too. The little cove is stone and shingle but the water is incredibly clear and it’s lovely for snorkelling. We like to do that in the summer and then have lunch in the restaurant. It was a bit breezy for that today, although hot, and we were running late.
Anyway, for lunch, we had a big bowl of salad, chips, bread and a platter of grilled chicken shish and lovely lamb chops washed down with some nice cold white wine. It was all delicious and incredibly cheap. He cooks everything on a charcoal grill and it’s all simple food but very, very good. We were just finishing up when a lady came over with a plate of Cypriot black loganberries. She was in a family group, friends of Ibo, and she’d brought a load of these fabulous berries with her and shared them around the other diners.
We got back to the house about 230 and Habibi came up about 3 and we marked our upper boundary with string so that we know where to plant our trees come the autumn. We will see him again then but it is good to know he will be taking care of the garden while we are away.
Then it was time to change and get ready for dinner. We had been invited to a black tie dinner dance at the posh Arkin Colony hotel in Kyrenia and to make up a table with Pamela, Eddie, David, Deborah and Ann and Roger. So, quick showers and best bib and tucker on…. David came and picked us up at 5 and we went to their house to wait for the taxi we were sharing into Kyrenia. We waited a good while and then Deborah realised she’d given the taxi driver the wrong time, so bit of a panic and David ended up driving us in with the plan of leaving the car there and taxiing home. Deborah took a bit of teasing but in good humour!
The dinner was on the 4th floor of the hotel – lovely views out of the windows and there were about 150 people there. It was a charity dinner and the tickets were about £40 each but my goodness it was good value. The service was amazing throughout and the drinks flowed all night. There was a selection of wine on each table but you could order whatever you liked. The Starter was a seafood vol au vent, then Bob and I had both chosen the fillet steak which was delicious and served with mushroom risotto and broccoli. Difficult to do for that many people but it was perfect. Then there was a coffee/chocolate dessert. Entertainment was provided by a singer called Mr Smile who had a great voice and covered a huge number of hits from the 60s through the 80s. Brilliant really. We had a good bop and a fabulous evening with lovely company. I was very impressed with the Colony hotel. I have heard they have a fantastic rooftop cocktail bar so must try that one day.
We got our taxi around midnight and were soon collapsed on our new mattress!!!! I don’t think we needed a lot of rocking.