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Published: October 21st 2017
IMG_1711Saturday 14th October 2017
Cistern removed.....no flooding
John was awake just after 6am so decided to get up and take Kilroy for his walk, letting Sarah have a sleep in. Still dark as we set off down the hill, wiggling along the roads with no one else around. Sunrise at just after 6:40am and back home by 7:15am. Sarah surfaced shortly after we got home, cups of tea for humans and breakfast for Kilroy. Then John decided to look at our downstairs toilet as it was permanently running water......investigation showed that innards were all encrusted with crud and also the cistern lid had a slight crack in it. Remove cistern and head off to find a toilet shop! First diy place didn't have any, then Sarah remembered a big ceramics yard on the edge of town so we called in there. Quick chat and yes they had to but you had to go to the shop to select item/s and pay before coming to yard. Into town, shop found. Thought we might have to buy a whole new toilet, but no managed only to have to buy a new cistern and innards all for £20 - a bargain we think. Back home and
New cistern replaced. Fitting the innards took a while.....there were more bits in the box than needed, but eventually figured it out!
time to spend a pleasant couple of hours putting it together and fitting, not to stressful and fortunately done without flooding the place. Most of the time was spent fitting the innards for the cistern. Instructions in Turkish and more bits than needed......took time to work out what we needed and how it all fitted together. Job done so now time for shower and a rewarding bacon sandwich. After this unexpected amount of work it was time to chill for the rest of the afternoon......until 5pm and the football. Mid afternoon and two Orelly men aka Fawlty Towers turned up next door. Ladders out and up onto the roof, bit of banging with hammers; we think on there water tank, then sound of tank emptying and water gushing out. Looks like they are at last investigating getting there leaking tank fixed. Whilst men were on roof bashing things around our neighbour jumped into his car and hot footed off to the main drag to find a "Yapi" (DIY) shop, returning 10 mins later with a new ball cock. It's only taken forever to get the job done 😊 and all this time water has been overflowing and there water pump
Saturday down Catalkoy village festival
has been on pumping more water into the tank as fast as it's exiting. Anyway all sorted now and there water and electric bills should be better. Sarah in the meantime was busy making apple and cinnamon cakes......it's been a while since baking last happened but now it's not as hot its making a welcome return. Just before footie our friends Jill and Norman gave us a call, seems like the village of Akincilar is having a festival tomorrow so looks like we may take a drive out with them. It's a village right on the border with very limited access over the years, as it's in a military zone, however things have eased with the building of a new road. It is supposed to be an interesting place to visit so will look forward to that.
Football done, nothing to be said we were hopeless. At around 7:30pm we headed the short drive to the edge of Catalkoy village, parked up the jeep and walked to the village centre to enjoy the festival. Very crowded with lots of stalls around selling food, souvenirs, crafts etc. Had a wander around taking in the atmosphere, we tried a couple of
home made brews....something alcoholic for sure. Think the first was lemon which Sarah said was to strong, then tentatively tried the carob liquor and strangely enough it was nice enough that we bought a small bottle. Probably be a nice Christmas tipple. Onwards to watch a bit of Turkish dancing, then found the food stall.....kofte wrap for us both. More wandering and watched a choir on the big stage for a short while before a bit more grazing required and found a stall selling a sort of sweet deep fried pancake. Very nice. Sat people watching before Sarah was tempted by the freshly made potato wrap stall opposite - this time we shared! A final walk around and then we headed off home after a very pleasant couple of hours. Back home it was tv on, coffee to hand as we watched the end of a film started last night before dog walk and time to nod off. Sunday 15th October 2017
Well this is it, the last month countdown has started. ☹️ In a months time we will be waking up for our first day back in the UK and after our overnight stay at Heathrow we
Eating our way around the village
should be looking forward to picking up Kilroy and taking him home to Devon. In the meantime we must make the most of the good weather here in North Cyprus so this morning Sarah is giving Church a miss and we are heading off out to Akincilar village. Firstly there is the small matter of the Kilroy walk, breakfast and shower/change. By around 10:30am we went into Catalkoy village to pick up Norman and Jill and were then on our way over the mountain pass towards Ercan airport and onwards to the village. Passports to hand just in case as this is close to a military zone right on the border. A newly built road bypasses the army camp so access to the village is much easier and didn't need passports. Arrived just before the crowds so able to park up no problem. Akincilar village is located right at the bottom of the teardrop bit of land which pushes out close to Larnaca. It sits right on the border in a sensitive area. Akincilar and the villages around were all Turkish in 1974 and when the coup started villagers all came and gathered in the village which is located in
Another day, another festival at Akincilar
a basin below surrounding hills. It was from these hills that snipers fired down into the but they held out until the Turkish forces finally arrived......this was as far as the intervention reached. Disused Turkish tanks dating from 1974 are still parked on a rise above the village which overlooks the Republic of Cyprus. Today was a time of celebration with lots of stalls selling food, crafts, home made drinks, toys, clothes and souvenirs- an hour after we arrived the place was buzzing. A good wander around with a pit stop for coffee then more shopping before heading for home. It was now mid afternoon and as we had not eaten we decided on a late lunch so pulled into Arapkoy village and headed into the KleppinI taverna. Efes all round, meze and sheftalia and kofte kebabs, great food and lots of it followed by baclava for pud. A good two hours well spent, so thanks to our friends Norman and Jill of a lovely day and suggestion that we give this place a go. Back home to find hound at the door to great us....what good boy he had been. Plenty of pats and hugs and of course a
Ruined houses Akincilar village
treat before we took him out for an extra long evening walk. Home and chill time, hound on his favourite sofa outdoors and humans on sofa indoors, tv on and wine to hand. A really nice relaxing Sunday evening in front of the tv. Final stroll around block and so ends the day. Monday 16th October 2017
Wake up its a beautiful morning. Indeed it is, clear blue sky lovely temperature and perfect dog walking weather. Dogs walked it was cup of tea time and then we decided to get the admin and jobs done so we could then relax for the rest of the day. So off into town, change money (Rate 4.83TL to £), the Turkish lira is weakening. Then onto church as Sarah had some money to pick up before strolling down into a side alley to find the key man. More keys needed for church. Amazingly keys here all have numbers on, so you go in and If you need another key, just ask for the number. Today we needed two number 4 keys - wonder how many number 4s there are on the island! As often happens the key man had "popped out"
Ruined houses in Akincilar
for 5 mins or so; no problem, we strolled across the road and sat and had a coffee. Key man returns, keys obtained so we jumped in jeep and headed out of town stopping at China Bazaar for some compost and then strolling across the road to the plant shack and picked up two plants. One was a bougainvillea and the other not sure! See pics. These will be planted in a couple of empty spots in the communal garden down opposite our patio. We think/hope that the weather has cooled enough so they won't get frazzled by the heat, plus we can water them over the next month to nurse them along. By the time we leave the rains will have arrived so hopefully that will mean they establish themselves over winter and will then be strong enough to keep going when the heat returns next May. That's the plan! Onwards to Petline Vets. Just making sure they are open on Mon 13th Nov as Kilroy needs his worming inoculation done on this day, just before he travels to the UK. Yep they are open, no need for appointment. Bayram (Holiday) is 15th Nov - the day the Turkish
Overlooking Akincilar village
Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded in 1983. This explains why Kilroy cannot fly this day as it could be tricky with the handling agents at Ercan Airport. Next call, Supreme Supermarket, we needed a few items plus getting some essentials in for Sue who arrives late tonight. Shopping done it was home and unpack. Sarah then started making brunch whilst John carried on with another job, scrubbing an outside wall down where the aircon water had stained it as it leaked out. Scrubbing cleared most of the stain but to be sure a bit of white paint applied. At the vital moment our gas cylinder decided to run out, just as the fried eggs were cooking....no problem we nipped into Sues place to finish them off. Nice brunch, fried eggs, fried salami, tomato and toast with yet more tea. John loaded empty gas cylinder and went to the village shop to replenish. On the way down the hill the sky was so clear and the summer heat haze gone, so much so that the mountains of Turkey just 40 miles away could be clearly seen. Shop is just behind the village mosque and open till late for any vital
Turkish tank from 1974 parked on a rise overlooking Akincilar village
supplies you may need. Nice chat with Abdullah who runs the shop. He is from Pakistan, works 6 days a week, 13.5hrs a day in winter and 14.5hrs a day summer. On his day off he often helps his brother gardening!! He works damn hard. He was touting for gardening work but our garden is to small to need his help. Nice bloke, been in North Cyprus 16years and worked in the village shop for 13years.....last year he got citizenship as well which is good for him. Very polite and helpful and his parting words were "thank you for shopping at the village shop". 🙂 Back home Sarah was doing a few church admin jobs so John then went and dug holes and planted the new plants in the communal garden. Hot work but nowhere near as bad as it would have been a month or so ago. John had just one more job, prep BBQ for tonights supper....fish (Cipura in Turkish) and chilli prawns. All jobs done, shower time and relax - it was 3pm, where has the day gone!
Late afternoon and time for our usual stroll before coming home and having tonight's sundowner. Today we opened
From Akincilar with the Republic of Cyprus a stones throw away
the bottle of Aphrodite white wine, purchased a week or so ago on a trip to the south. Again it was not bad, dry, crisp and well chilled - we managed to share the bottle between us. BBQ was lit and soon our fish and prawns were slowly cooking. Lovely supper enjoyed outside under the stars. A final wander with Kilroy and off to bed for us all. Tuesday 17th October 2017
Out on the walk a little earlier today, weather still set fair and again the mountains of Turkey clearly visible on the horizon. Rest of the morning/afternoon was spent relaxing, enjoying a late breakfast, reading and watching a film. So very quiet around site at the moment. John did a bit of supper prep for tonight.....it's chinese style chicken, fried rice and a veggie stir fry. Around 4pm it was Facetime with Kayleigh and catch up on what her and George had been up to. It seems there property extension is proceeding along well......just like our project. John had emailed earlier today a few customers of the company we were considering using to build our log cabin and one had replied.....all very positive.
just after 5pm, a sundowner - this time Brandy sours....plus to show no bias we may enjoy a glass of Turkish white wine later. By 8pm it was supper time, excellent it was as well......the stir fry veggies made by Sarah were especially nice. Sat indoors for supper as it has cooled down of an evening but daytime the weather is just about perfect. The big decision of the day is whether John logs in on the Internet and pays his £5 to watch his football team live.....kick off is at 7:45pm which is 9:45pm North Cyprus time so if it's a not so good a game it could provide the sleeping tablet required to nod off! 😮 In the meantime it was a bit of tv for us both. Quick dog walk just before footie kick off, when John retired upstairs headphones and iPad to hand. Looked ominous as Posh went 1 down after 10mins and a poor first half. However, things at last got better and we deservedly equalised and should really have won the game at the end. Never mind it was an improvement on there last performance. On that happy note it was time for snoozing.
IMG_1739 Wednesday 18th October 2017
Turkish tank from 1974
Collected Buddy dog and all four of us went up into the hills for the morning walk getting back home around 8:30am in time for more cups of tea, cornflakes and toast for breakfast. Sarah then changed and headed poolside, yes poolside in mid October 🙂. No swimming but nice sat in the sunshine with a book.......of course she had the pool to herself. John did more reading and put a film on and so our day progressed. Another email from a satisfied customer of the company we are considering for our log cabin, very helpful advice as well which was much appreciated. Now we have nearly finalised the size/design we are now researching, heating methods, hot water supply, kitchen styles, appliances, bathrooms, flooring etc.......it’s good fun. Late afternoon and we wandered out with Kilroy prior to a quick shower and change before heading out for the quiz night. A team of 5 tonight, Gary, Brendan and Beryl plus us two. Did well but not well enough - a score of 45 points but there were 4 teams on 49 points but hey it’s the taking part that counts. The girls now know that
On the hilltop sits a church located in the Republic of Cyprus. This hilltop overlooks Akincilar village and from here snipers fired down in 1974.
an Ocelot looks so much different than a leopard! Back home and supper time, spaghetti bolognaise, garlic bread all pre prepared so just needed heating thro. In the meantime email received from log cabin company with updated plan with room sizes plus dates for site survey so things are moving along nicely. Spent a few minutes measuring in our place here and comparing sizes of rooms....we think things will work. Pudding of fruit and ice cream, dog stroll and off to bed. Thursday 19th October 2017
A different early morning walk for Kilroy as we got up and headed the 15min drive towards Alagadi Beach parking off the road about a mile inland. Headed along dirt tracks thro olive groves and past long abandoned old settlements before finally reaching a small reservoir. Explored around for a while before retracing our steps and on the way back saw a man setting up the tarpaulin under some olive trees as this is the time of year to harvest them. Think he was waiting for others to come along and join him in bashing them off the trees. Decided to carry on down to the sea passing under the main road
Ruined house Akincilar
thro a tunnel and on down tracks for about a mile before ending up on a rough beach area. Enjoyable walk for Kilroy as it was plenty of new sniffs and things to explore. Arrived at the sea shore but hound not convinced about going in.....it made a lot of noise! A new experience for him. Back along the tracks to the jeep, water replenishment for hound and we were heading home, all in all an enjoyable couple of hours. Will look for another walk for a few days time. Back home via Supreme supermarket where Sarah nipped in for some vital items, bread, milk and eggs. Hound had his breakfast and promptly collapsed on his outside sofa and within 5mins was snoozing well. For humans it was shower, clean ourselves up and time for brunch, scrambled egg on toast, plus more toast with marmalade and the Turkish version of Nutella spread all whilst sat on the balcony enjoying the great weather. For those who don’t like to much heat and are not that fussed about swimming (although the water is still warm) this time of year is really just perfect. Pleasant enough to walk around and enjoy the sights.
Sarah in shopping mode.....Akincilar village
The rest of the afternoon was spent listening to the radio, reading a film ......about Martin Luther King, very enjoyable and a bit of pottering around.
Early evening and time for Kilroys second walk of the day, this time just down and around the Buffavento Site area. Glass of wine for Sarah and brandy sour for John with a bit more tv. This was followed by supper, tonight belly pork, mashed spuds and beans with some bread and butter. Pud was the rest of the fruit plus more ice cream, rounded off with a coffee. A quick check of emails and details from KAR received regarding Kilroys travel and flight arrangements plus also costs for flight/UK handling and finally just when you thought it was all done.......details of VAT payment on the animal as he is arriving from a non EU country.......talk about squeezing (Could have written a much ruder word!) money every which way possible. Apparently the VAT rule has always been in place but not strictly enforced until April this year - how lucky are we. Looks like the Chancellor of the Exchequer and HMRC need some money. 😂. Could have had a good holiday for the
More food 🥘
both of us when it’s all added up 😮 but hey ho.......I am sure the hound fully appreciates how lucky he is - well we still think he is worth it. All being well he will land in the U.K. around 10am on the 15th so that will give plenty of time to process and get things sorted.....think he will be a confused, tired dog by the time we get down to Devon. What an adventure for him to look forward to. More tv and doing not a lot before a quick walk and then it was time to head to bed. Friday 20th October 2017
Morning routines all accomplished by 10:30am which included our usual Friday clean around. Time to do some admin with John sorting out payment for Kilroys travel to the U.K. then contacting the U.K. handling agents to make payment to them and then getting a few quotes for car insurance renewal. That lot should lighten the bank balance. Before we knew it, it was midday already - time passes quickly when your busy. Rest of the day spent reading, before preparing ourselves for the Friday quiz night at the Club Tropicana. Usual team
Bougainvillea. Planted in the communal garden opposite our patio. Hopefully we can get it going and over the winter the rains will help it establish.
of 5, not a good performance tonight but at least we got the tie break question right giving us 10% off our next bar bill. Question was....no googling the answer ......In what year did the Harrier Jump Jet make its maiden flight? Back home by 8:30pm and time for supper which tonight is chicken curry which we found lurking in the freezer. A bit of tv and up to bed for more reading and lights out at about 11pm. Another week comes to an end.
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