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November 11th 2017
Published: November 16th 2017
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Safe....of course
Saturday 11th November 2017

A bit of a lie in for us all this morning with none of us really stirring until just before 8am. It was Kilroy of course who decided that it was time to get up so he came upstairs looking for us, determined to get us moving. Little does he know that yesterday we received his airwaybill number and some final bits of information from KAR prior to him travelling on Tuesday, so it’s really happening. Kim from KAR has confirmed all arrangements and also let us know that she will be transporting Kilroy to Ercan airport on the day. Just his last worming to be done on Monday morning and a long walk Tuesday morning followed by a “light”breakfast as advised by KAR. Make the most of the warm weather over the next few days Kilroy, Firstly tho it was cup of tea time before we got ourselves sorted out and ready for the morning walk. Buddy is away for the weekend so it will be just the three of us. Decided we would take a walk into Catalkoy for a change, a longer walk but we will take a break half way and stop
Fruit treesFruit treesFruit trees

Citrus fruits returning
at the village coffee shop before heading home. So it was off downhill and following the back roads down into the village. Weather was fine for the moment but there is supposed to be rain sometime. After about 50mins we reached the coffee shop in the centre of the village. Inside was very busy with all the men playing cards, backgammon or just chatting. As it was a nice morning we found a couple of chairs outside and set up base camp. John went in and ordered the coffees......it really was a men only environment. Old boy took the order and bought them outside about 5mins later. He also saw we had the dog and bought him out some water....very kind gesture. Spent a nice 20mins soaking up the warmth and watching village life. Mustafa in the barbershop across the road was doing a steady trade......John will visit on Monday. A couple of guys took a keen interest in Kilroy, not only is he a handsome boy but of course if owned by a local he would most likely be a hunting dog. Fortunately for him he is with us so has a far more pampered lifestyle. When we arrived
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John and Kilroy enjoying the coffee shop in Catalkoy
on island back in June the citrus fruits were coming to the end of the season and now just as we are about to head home to the U.K. the trees are full of oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruits. It is also amazing to see grass again....impressive what a drop of the wet stuff will do. A leisurely stroll back thro the village and home. Walk took two hours so Kilroy should be ready for a snooze later. Breakfast for the hound and then we headed off for what will be our last little bit of shopping. We thought we had done with bbqs earlier this week but cannot resist one last go, especially as we had some lovely marinated chicken and belly pork in the freezer........so that’s tomorrow’s supper sorted. Have invited Gary as well to help us wade thro it all. Back to the shopping. First stop China Bazaar for a couple of lighbulbs and then as Erdener supermarket was next door we went in and managed to get most of the items we wanted. Then onwards with a quick stop at Supreme supermarket only because Erdener had no bananas. We also spotted a couple of wraps for
Village centreVillage centreVillage centre

Catalkoy village centre across road from coffee shop. Barbers and taverna
lunch. Called in at a friend of Sarah’s to drop off some cakes and then home, shower, change cups of tea and lunch. Sat on the front balcony for a couple of hours reading before heading indoors for a film and while away the afternoon. No football today as Peterborough are live on some obscure Sky Sports channel tomorrow so John will try and find which one it is and hopefully watch the game.......however they have a habit of not doing well when on tv.

It was gone 5pm and dark by the time we took Kilroy on his evening stroll, nights are drawing in out here. Back home and we settled down for some more tv this time an old classic Grand Torino with Clint Eastwood. Supper was whatever we could find so it was mashed spuds, beef burger, eggs and beans. A relaxing evening before the final whizz around the block and bedtime.

Sunday 12th November 2017

Out for the walk by 7:15am, just John and Kilroy this morning as Sarah was sorting out some packing at home. An hour later and back home for breakfast and then we headed into Girne to St Andrews Church for the Remembrance Day service. Arrived a little early so had a stroll around the old part of town, the last time for this trip. Into church for the service, well attended and the usual wreaths laid. Back home and jobs to do. Sarah went thro the ironing whilst John gave the jeep a good clean out and wash.....removing the layers of summer dust and sand. Then it was a clean down of the outside balcony furniture and finally set up the bbq for what will be our final one for this year......unless it’s hot and sunny back in the U.K. 🤣 Late lunch but just a tuna sandwich as we have the bbq tonight. Feeling satisfied we had done as much as we could jobs wise we could now settle down for a relaxing afternoon in front of the tv. Just after 4pm Sarah took Kilroy off for his evening walk, John stayed at home wrestling with technology to see if he could find the Sky channel which was showing the Peterborough game live. Not a bad game after all and in the end a 2-2 draw. Around 6:30pm Gary arrived and bbq was lit and whilst the
Fruit treesFruit treesFruit trees

Citrus fruits returned
chicken and pork was sizzling we sat indoors chatting and listening to some tunes. A good meal was rounded off by some bbq bananas topped with a caramel sauce plus of course a couple of glasses of Gary’s Irish coffees. At around 11:30pm Gary headed home, Kilroy had his last walk for the day and it was off to bed.

Monday 13th November 2017

Awake just after 7am for the morning cuppa before heading out for an hour with the dogs. This morning is the last walk for the two of them together. They have become good friends over the last few months, wonder if they will miss each other. Walk done it was more tea and then we headed off to do a few last minute jobs. Most important job was Kilroys final worming at the vet, that’s everything all sorted ready for his flight tomorrow. Onwards to town to put some money into the bank to cover the bills whilst we are back in the U.K. and then it was back home to do a little more tidying around and make sure we had everything ready for our travels tomorrow. John headed off to the village

Back streets in the village
to visit Mustafa in the barbers shop, might as well fit in one last haircut. Had the usual full works, beard trim, shave, ear wax, nose and eyebrow trim plus hair washed and cut.......finishing off with some aftershave, all for the princely sum of £5. Back home for a light lunch, film and relaxing - not a lot more we can do for now. Weather is warm but with a strong breeze blowing outside and temp today getting up to 22C. Mid afternoon and time for Kilroy to have a scrub and brush up. In the summer he really looked forward to a cooling shower but now the temperature has dropped he initially wasn’t as keen, but once it was done and he had a good rub with a towel he was fine. We have no idea if he will smell and look as good when we come to pick him up on Wednesday but at least he will be clean when he starts his travels. After his bath he settled down on his bed, John went to across pick up an old toy and Kilroy moved just as John bent down. Result.....clash of heads. Ouch! No real damage done
Remembrance DayRemembrance DayRemembrance Day

St Andrews day service
although John came off worse as Kilroy had smacked his head into Johns glasses which then made a nice little cut just below the eye. Out with the tissues and frozen peas to hopefully stop the bruising. Nurse Sarah took a look and pronounced that there was a small cut which could possibly do with closing up. A quick look in the first aid box and there were the steri strips which Gary had given us when Kilroy had a cut on his belly......these were duly applied by the nurse. All was well.

Around 4:30pm it was time to take Kilroy out for his last evening walk in North Cyprus, usual route and about 50mins later just as it was getting dark we were back home and Kilroy retired to his favourite chair whilst we picked up again on a film that we had paused earlier. We have received reports from our young people that they have had a couple of cold evenings and frost is on the ground so it looks like Kilroy will be wearing his coat when he is out for a walks back home. Supper time for Kilroy and then it was time for us humans to head out for a meal. We had wanted to go and visit Riaz at Happy Valley as when we arrived here at the beginning of June it was the place we went to on our first night. However; Riaz was in the middle of transferring the business into his own name and the law here states that he must close and then re-open once the paperwork has been processed. He thinks it may take 2-3 weeks so unfortunately for us we had to find another spot for a meal. As we had fancied a curry anyway we made some enquiries about a place called Sartaj which we have never been to but it has looked busy on the odd occasions we have driven by in the evening. There was positive feedback so we thought why not let’s give it a go. Arrived around 7:30pm....... very quiet with just a couple sat at the bar waiting for their takeaway. Not to worry we sat and perused the menu, ordered a couple of drinks and then placed our order. Mixed Indian starter to share and poppadom then a chicken dopiaza for Sarah and chicken biryani for John. Whilst we were

Kilroy posing, morning of departure from North Cyprus.
waiting for our order to arrive more people did come in so we were not the only diners! Food arrived and it was very good - both mains were tasty and plenty of it so can recommend. Evening ended with offer of free coffee and brandy - we just had a Turkish coffee each. Worth the visit and another place to add to our list to return to next year. Home by 9:15pm and time for a FaceTime with Ben just for a quick catch up and to make sure he was happy with all the arrangements to meet and pick up John and Kilroy on Wednesday. A final walk with Kilroy around the block and then home for a coffee, chocolate truffle and bed. Our final full day in North Cyprus was over.

Tuesday 14th November 2017

Well its arrived, our North Cyprus adventures come to an end today for this year. What a great time we have had, been to lots of old haunts, explored new locations, enjoyed some great food in the company of family and friends. Plus of course we have had the “fun” of having Kilroy to entertain us. He has come a
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Kilroy posing but would rather be snoozing after his long walk on the morning of his departure from North Cyprus.
long way since he first came to his home in the sunshine......his first day saw a very nervous dog stand at the front door very unsure if he could or was even allowed inside. Since that day we have worked hard with him to train and make him into a good well mannered dog. He has done well and will sit and stay on command. He knows when he has been naughty and understands when he should really stay on his bed! When we let him out in the mornings he knows to sit and wait by the door and not try and barge thro. Also when we take him for his walk or return from a walk, he will sit down without any prompting whilst we put on or remove his harness. He is young and very occasionally has his moments but he has made us laugh a lot with some of his antics and deserves his forever home in the U.K.

Awake just before 6am, the earliest for many a day and still dark outside. Kettle on and tea on the go as normal. A quick plan of the day....nothing much to say we are heading home🙁
Farewell HoundFarewell HoundFarewell Hound

Sarah says goodbye as Kilroy starts his travels
but no matter it will be good to see family and friends again. Around 6:15am John hooked up Kilroy and set off for a good long walk whilst Sarah stayed at home to finish off the cleaning and last tidy around. Off John set firstly uphill to the Sea Vistas complex, then the walk down the hill and out to Catalkoy village before winding our way slowly back, all familiar territory for Kilroy and in a couple of days time he will be exploring new walks. About 2hrs later we were back home.......hopefully the walk will make him tired and he will sleep 💤 a lot on his travels. As advised by KAR it was a light breakfast for the dog so just some dry biscuits today. Time ticked on and by 9am it was time to pop Kilroy into the jeep to start his great adventure. Sarah said her farewells, gave him a hug and John set off for the KAR office just outside of town.

On arrival at the KAR offices everything was ready for his journey and after putting his bed in his crate plus a couple of old t shirts John said farewell to Kilroy
First pintFirst pintFirst pint

Back in the U.K. in the Premier Inn T4. First pint.....expensive!
and left him chewing on a biscuit. He seemed pretty relaxed and will no doubt have a snooze as he has had an extra long walk prior to his trip. John back home by 9:30am just as Sarah was finishing off the last bit of cleaning and once done we nipped around the corner to drop a few things off for Gary, had a quick cup of tea and said farewell to Buddy dog. Home, showered and changed, suitcases packed and time for coffee and toast for breakfast, a bit of radio 2 whilst we waited for our pick up to arrive. Midday and our chariot rocked up, locked our little place up and look forward very much to our return in 2018. A steady drive across to the border; we were the only pick up so that was a result and this time crossed via Beyarmudu (Pergamos). We did wonder if the driver went that way because tomorrow is the anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus......think it’s 34 years old. Only recognised by Turkey but still going strong. Sometimes around this time of year there are protests at the Metehan border crossing in Lefkosa
Arrived home in East DevonArrived home in East DevonArrived home in East Devon

Shall I get on the chair?
(Nicosia) which can result in delays or a bit of verbal as TRNC vehicles cross over. A nice steady drive to the crossing point and onwards to Larnaca airport to check in for our Aegean Air flight to London Heathrow via Athens......originally it was a direct flight but we presume as this was not a full aircraft it was the short hop to Athens and then onward to Heathrow. Made little difference for us as we will be staying overnight at Heathrow anyway - good old Premier Inn. Checked in fine and then thro to security. Obviously we looked a bit dodgy with John being stopped and called across for a drugs swipe.....hands and hand baggage swabbed. Nothing found......maybe they didn’t like his blood pressure tablets. Sarahs bag was also pulled out and had to be sent thro the scanner for a second check......again nothing to report, but Sarah reckoned it was her sausage sandwich picnic that they weren’t sure about. 🤣 Time for a wander around duty free to compare prices etc........best thing is with wifi available it’s easy to compare the prices in the airport shops with any supermarket in the UK. We could then decide wether or

A very tired Kilroy after his travels.......home now and happy!
not it was really a bargain or not. Whilst we were sat in the airport our thoughts turned to Kilroy who would by now be at Ercan airport and being checked in for his flight to Istanbul which departs around the same time as we do. Hope he isnt stressed and his familiar bed and our t shirts make him realise we will see him again soon and he has not been abandoned. We have only had him 5months but he is very special to us as we are sure many can appreciate. Decided that the Gin from the Edinburgh Gin Company was a good deal so ventured back and picked up a couple of bottles....one was a normal gin the other infused with rhubarb and ginger! Quick hop to Athens, flight on time and they even managed to fit in a snack and drinks service. On arrival just enough time to stretch the legs and before we knew it we were boarding for the last leg home. Flight out of Greece was a bit bumpy for the first hour, although we were warned about this shortly after take off but once things settled down we were served a meal, bottle of wine and tea/coffee which passed the time. Arrival at Heathrow was 30mins early! Bags were first off the plane and within 20mins we were on the train service around to T4 and our overnight stay over in the Premier Inn. Check in was quick and after we had dropped off the cases there was time for a quick pint before bedtime. Expensive in Blighty! We had received an update from KAR on Kilroys travels.....they said he was such a gent and so well behaved whilst he was waiting in his crate and travelling to Ercan airport. Customs checks etc were fine and the customs man commented on what a handsome boy he is. His flight departed on schedule and arrived Istanbul on time. He is being tracked by KAR and Animal Couriers here in the U.K. By 11:30pm our day came to an end as tiredness came upon us after a long and slightly emotional day!

Wednesday 15th November 2017

Today the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus is 34 years old.

Our body clock was still on North Cyprus time so we were awake at 5:30am - oh well time for a cuppa. John went on line to check out Kilroys flight and all was looking good for departure from Istanbul. Also a little later had another email from KAR to advise his flight had taken off ....they are keeping us updated for sure. Watched a bit of BBC News on TV before heading down for breakfast - the usual help yourself to as much as you want. Made the most of what was on offer as it’s going to be a long day. Back to the room to finish packing and then we had a couple of hours to chill. Around midday we checked out and John wandered back to T4 with Sarah to set her off on her train journey home. Whilst we were making our way to the bus station Sarah received a call from Animal Couriers our handling and clearance agents here in the U.K. for Kilroy. They updated us saying he had been offloaded from the flight and was now being processed - they said he had travelled well and was fine, Sarah was a bit emotional to hear the news that all was well. sarah was using the Railair link to Woking then train to Honiton and pick up by Claire. John then went back to the Premier Inn at T4 and had a coffee and waited on updates plus this was the pick up point for Ben before the short drive to the Animal Reception Centre. We were told it can take 4-6hrs to process an animal arrivals so there was no reason to rush to pick up. Ben arrived at just after 1pm and we took the short drive to the ARC and sat in reception awaiting for Kilroy. First thing was to pay the VAT due - pleasant surprise as it was not as much as we had worked it out to be, no idea why but not about to argue. Confirmation given that all paperwork was in order and Kilroy was brought out for his reunion. 😃🤗 What a confused dog he was but he was so pleased to be with his Dad. Then it was outside into the cold air to retrieve his crate and load everything into the jeep. It was a bit tight but we got everything in and set off for the Southwest. For the first 30mins Kilroy was looking out of the windows wondering what is happening but after he was given a few biscuits he relaxed and for the next two hours he decided to catch up on his lost sleep. John kept in touch with Sarah and it was clear we would arrive home within 20mins of each other. On arrival Ben went indoors first and then John and Kilroy followed.....Teeni the rescue greyhound was introduced to her new friend and then for the next few minutes we watched them carefully. They were wary at first but slowly they began to relax and by the time Sarah arrived home they were both relaxed enough to be taken out for a walk. So many new sniffs for Kilroy and altho it was dark he was clearly enjoying himself. About 20mins later we were back home and it was time for some food for us all. Hounds were relaxed now and each had their own part of the sofa to chill on. Tonight was the FA Cup replay v Tranmere and it was live on BT Sport .....always a worry as we seem not to do well when on tv. No need to worry we won well at 5-0. What a great end to a long but happy day. Game over it was time for bed for all of us tired people and animals.

So the journeys are over, Kilroy is at his forever home in Devon with his new friend Teeni. He has lots of exploring to do, new walks and new experiences as well. We of course have an exciting few months ahead with a new arrival due soon, an adventure to the far east, our log cabin project and a return to our place in the sunshine to look forward to. 😀

So that’s our blog done, hopefully those that wanted to read about our time in North Cyprus found it interesting. All the best to everyone and remember if you ever want a bit of sunshine your welcome to come and visit! ☀️


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