Farewell September.........a lovely month.

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September 30th 2017
Published: October 6th 2017
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Cocktail time......Margeritas x 2
Saturday 30th September 2017

After a good nights sleep the three of us were up at 5:30am, the air cool and the sky still dark. September, after the very high temperatures of July and August is a lovely month to visit as the temperatures are just about perfect. Around 6:15am we set off for the regular hours morning walk, today it's just Kilroy as Gary has gone south side for a few days so Buddy dog is now lodging at an "all inclusive" hotel in Catalkoy. The early morning flights from Ercan airport just over the mountain were heading across the sky to various cities in Turkey, whilst out to sea we could see the usual two ferry boats slowly appearing thro the haze as they chugged towards Girne harbour. Nice walk, again doing a lot of training with the dog on the way round, he is so good when not distracted! Back home and Malcolm came round with a few bottles of excess soft drinks for us; they fly home today ☹️ after spending a good few months out here. Look forward to meeting up again when they return. Time for more tea and plan the day. As it's

Lamb chops for supper!
Saturday it's a nice slow day for all of us. Girls are off to the butchers to get some meat in readyness for this evenings traditional Saturday night BBQ. Not sure we will be doing many of these on our return to the UK in about 7 weeks time. We called into the vet, following his call last night. Vet said he did not want to see Kilroy but to pop in and pick up some anti biotics as he has a urinary tract infection and possible crystals in his bladder. So he is slurping back the medicine for a week or so and the vet will take a look via ultrasound if necessary to see if crystals are present - he is suggesting that we may need to modify his diet slightly. One of the side affects of him taking his once a day tablet to ensure the leishmania does not return is the possible formation of these crystals.....not a lot we can do about it as he has to take these forever, so we will be purchasing a large stock to bring home with us and also each time we are out here.....much cheaper! Back home and John

View from Karaman village
gave Kilroy a welcome shower and he then settled down for his usual snooze. The weather forecast hinted at rain today and in actual fact as we arrived at the quiz last night it did rain a little for about 10mins, not enough to make an impact tho. Lunch of ham sandwiches with freshly baked Village bread. Then it was snoozing, siesta, reading or chilling time for a couple of hours as we all settled down to do our own thing.

It's 5pm on a Saturday so it's football time 😃. Today it's Peterborough Utd v Oxford Utd. Armed with a couple of drinks John got the technology fired up and the boys settled down to another 90mins of character building and shouting at the tv screen. Well what a disaster darling......leading 1-0 at half time but we never appeared for the second half and were easily beaten. Talk about character building, sometimes we hate football. Oh well game over, more wine time and fire up the BBQ. Whilst it was doing its thing Sarah made a Margarita cocktail for Jackie, think she enjoyed the two that she had! 🍹 Excellent supper of BBQ sausages, liver, pork and lamb

Old church Karaman
chops. Followed by bananas warmed thro on the charcoal and ice cream, with coffee to finish and the night was done. John took hound for a stroll and then everyone off to bed.

Sunday 1st October 2017

None of us really felt like surfacing this morning, so we stretched things out and John eventually roused himself at 6:30am, hooked up the hound and went off for a walk. Nice morning with a bit of a breeze so keeping things pleasant. Like yesterday the training was being kept up making sure hound sat on command and remained sat for longer periods of time. He can do it - most of the time 😅. Sarah was up by the time John got home so it was a quick cup of tea, water plants and feed Kilroy before showers and changed. Sarah headed off to church, rest of us just chilled or caught up on some reading. A really lazy morning. Lunchtime came around, Sarah back home some time for a cuppa and think about what to do for the rest of the day. A short drive out this afternoon to Karaman or sometimes called Karmi village for a wander around

Church door Karaman
- very pretty and worth visiting. However; Sunday's is tourist visiting day plus also bride and groom pictures day, so place was rammed with cars and people....message to self - visit on a weekday! Never seen so many bride and grooms wandering around....whilst they smiled sweetly and posed for the pictures, they didn't look to happy when camera was off and they were walking up and down the narrow village lanes. Back home in time for cups of tea followed by Kilroys stroll before we changed and went into Catalkoy village to Leman taverna for a meal.......we are becoming regulars here! Excellent meal as always with a goodly selection of food chosen. Back home by 9:30pm to find Kilroy had regressed to his mad puppy days, yep you guessed it a paw thro a flyscreen! We were not amused as they say, so much so he was nearly going to be deposited back on the street. However; the deed was done so John took him out for a walk and a good heart to heart chat about his behaviour. It did register as on his return home John told him to sit outside and stay.....he did just that. Dogs can

St Hilario Castle from Karaman village
sense the vibes and Kilroy knew his humans were not happy with him - he just sat not moving for a long time, whilst his humans were indoors. Eventually we decided he had been on the naughty step for long enough so we called him in - he was a sheepish dog for the rest of the night. Now time for a coffee and 30mins chill before ending the day with a quick walk around the block with Kilroy before bedtime. To be honest the flyscreen frame was a bit ropey anyway so Kilroy did us a favour, but we won't tell him that!

Monday 2nd October 2017

This morning it was a very late start for us all - hound knew not to disturb us! 😉. Eventually we set off for the usual morning walk, plenty of training for Kilroy to which he responded well, he can do it. Plenty of stops, sitting, keeping sat, coming when called and generally making sure he knows that if he is a good boy life is so much more pleasant. Time marches on for our visitors, so after the walk we set out organising their last few days here in

Church bell tower, Karaman
North Cyprus. Nothing much planned for the morning but late afternoon we headed to Girne so the girls could wander the town and do some shopping whilst the boys headed to the old harbour for people watching. Shopping done the girls returned and we went to the rooftop of the White Pearl Hotel for a sundowner, plus a great view of the harbour. Nice spot to look down on the harbour watching the changing light on the castle and cafes as the sun disappears for another day. Then it was home and Sarah took Kilroy for a walk before supper....tonight's special is John's Thai Chicken Curry washed down with Efes, some fizz and chilled wine all followed by syrupy sponge cakes and ice cream. Meal ending with a cup of coffee followed by a sprint round the block and time for sleeping.

Tuesday 3rd October 2017

Now able to set off on the walk each morning a little later as the weather has cooled down. So it was a lie in until about 6:45am and after our usual cups of tea we set off up into the hills for an hour. Whilst out on the tracks we met

Karaman street
a couple of others out walking and what a great time to be in the hills, not to hot and at every turn a different view. Next week we will be taking a few drives in the hills so we can take a few longer walks with Kilroy. After the doggie walk, breakfast etc we sat relaxing on the garden patio for an hour or so. Hound enjoyed his breakfast but he does not enjoy his anti biotic liquid he is having to take. He visibly shakes if he sees the syringe in anyone's hand. After a couple of failures trying to get it into his mouth Sarah resorted to the tried and trusted method of mixing it in with something.....this time some yogurt.....he did gingerly lick it up and you could see him thinking this is a bit strange.....but he finished the lot. Kilroys training continued this morning and he seems to now understand that doing as he is told makes his humans happy. We do think the world of him and have to always remember he has had a very rough early start to his life; firstly being abandoned having had what was obviously a bad accident and

Karaman village
having his pelvis pinned, plus almost dying in a storm drain before he was rescued by KAR, then contracting leishmania and spending some months in the rescue centre kennels. We come along and take him out of the kennels into a foreign environment and of course we want to make sure he is ok to travel to the UK. So he has had lots of jabs etc and in addition we had a teat removed from his belly.....just so it wouldn't be ripped off running thro thorn bushes and in the last week we discovered he had a bladder infection. So he is being jabbed, prodded, poked and is well known to our vet! He is a very loving, social dog, who just wants human company and is so anxious to please - despite his occasional lapses he deserves to be rescued. 🙂 When he arrives back in the UK he will of course have two playmates so they can all amuse each other.....we think he and Teeny the greyhound will get on very well, same age and can tire each other out.

Today it was the short drive to Bellapais village - a wander around the Abbey and

back streets as well as a coffee at the cafe. The old boy running the place is still going strong although now very slow. Like a lot of towns and villages in the area, new water pipes are being laid.....we arrived in the village just as they were unravelling a large rolled up plastic pipe. The unravelling machine was a pickup truck complete with rope attached to the pipe. Slowly they pulled it out.......later we saw the pipe being dragged through the village streets by same truck, accompanied by much shouting and gesticulating as they created chaos! Returned home for light lunch and our guests went and relaxed for a while. Sarah prepared tonight's supper....Moussaka and the rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing or reading whilst sat out on the balcony or by the pool. The usual early evening stroll with the dog, plus more training as well before coming home for a shower and change. Then it was retire to the garden patio for a few drinks, nibbles and chatting before supper. Everyone was a bit weary tonight so after some pineapple for pudding plus chocolate and cups of coffee people headed off to bed. John and Kilroy

Wicker baskets shop, Edrimit near Karaman
followed the usual pre bedtime routine and so ends a beautiful day here in North Cyprus.

Wednesday 4th October 2017

Clearly the early night was needed as everyone slept well, even Kilroy had a sleep in! John got up and hooked up hound and went on the walk downhill for an hour, training continued with Kilroy who is really responding well. Back home to find Sarah had surfaced and was busy with the laundry before she settled down with her usual morning cuppa. Today we all agreed would be a day of doing nothing, so its reading, pool time or watching tv - whatever anyone wanted. Some of us watched a DVD called "Sharing and Island". It is about three Greek and three Turkish Cypriots in there twenties who come together in a house on the border for a few days to talk about their feelings, hopes and thoughts about the Cyprus problem. It is a good documentary and each group visits areas in the north and south of the island......it's interesting to hear their experiences and how they perceive the reasons for the current divide. It's on You Tube, worth a watch If you want to gain

Big enough Efes?
an understanding of the similarities and differences between the two communities.

Late afternoon so John took Kilroy for a walk as we will are off to the Wednesday quiz at the Club Tropicana and looks like we will also eat out as well. The food is good value, well cooked and plenty of it. Well we never won the quiz, but never mind.....we did however win the stand up bingo....well not we but Jackie did. Winnings were almost £50! Rounded off a lovely evening. Home around 9:30pm, feed the dog, cups of coffee and off to bed.

Thursday 5th October 2017

Our visitors travel back to Blighty tomorrow so we could not let them go without them having enjoyed an authentic Turkish breakfast. So after the usual morning routine we headed out west and up into the hills to the village of Ilgaz, a lovely little place. Heading out of Girne then off the main drag, up thro Yesiltepe past the new Entel winery and the Ilgaz Koy Firini (Ilgaz Village Bakery) is on the right hand side. Have been many times and believe this is the best turkish breakfast in North Cyprus......make sure you are hungry!

Lovely lady at Leman making Pide
Everything is freshly prepared on the premises and cooked to order. The pictures tell the full story.....check them out! Hellim and olive bread, freshly baked plain bread, assortment of home made jams, cheese fondue type dip, tomatoes and scrambled egg, cigar borek, filo pastry parcels, plus your plate of egg, kopes, tomato, cucumber, chilli, spicy sausage, hellim and feta cheese. Plus as much Turkish tea as you can drink! Fully stuffed we then headed home via Erdener and Sah supermarkets, as we were not hungry 😂 there was no temptation to slip extra items in the trolley.....then called in the vets to book Kilroy in for him to see him again as he had asked us to return for a check up and also ultrasound scan...........tomorrow at 11am. Home by 1pm and everyone retired to sofas, beds, chairs etc for a very relaxing, snoozy afternoon. Whilst it's early to think about it, Sarah is making stuffed Cyprus chicken, roast spuds and roasted veggies for supper tonight, plus we all have a lovely cake from Sah supermarket for pud.

Early evening stroll for Kilroy, then shower and change.....the evenings are cooling down now and we think it won't be very

Pide made!
long before we will be eating supper indoors. So long sleeves and trousers are the dress tonight. A couple of sundowners including a bottle of fizz 🍾 before the main course and then our puddings. All rounded off by coffee and a small nip before bedtime.

Friday 6th October 2017

Morning walks with the dogs and pottering around for the morning. John then whisked Kilroy down to the vet for his appointment. A very well behaved dog in the vets, laid down no problem whilst his ultrasound was carried out. Everything was normal, so looks like it was just a urinary tract infection......so its continue with the antibiotics (Kilroy will love that!) until finished and then take a urine sample for final test. Back home and Sarah prepared brunch for us all and after final packing and checks it was time for our visitors to climb aboard the luxury Jimny Jeep transfer across to Larnaca Airport. Sarah was staying home to allow more room in the jeep, so said farewell and at around 2pm John headed off eastwards having decided to go over the mountains via the Gecikale pass, down to Dortyol, then onto Beyamudu and the border

Pide....all homemade
crossing, before dropping down thro Dhekelia, Larnaca and along the sea front round to the airport. There are several ways to cross over to the south and whilst this one may be slightly longer distance wise, it is more interesting. Plus it will be a trip down memory lane for our visitors as they were out here way back in 1992 when John was in the army and they came and stayed. We lived on Pergamos Camp (Beyamudu) - now long gone and often took visitors to the beach in Dhekelia and also into Larnaca town. Travelling via Girne town to Lefkosa and the Metehan crossing point can be very busy with traffic and may slow things up a lot. Just before 4pm after a leisurely drive down we arrived at the airport, unloaded and our visitors were off to check in for their flight back to the wind and rain of Manchester. We hope they enjoyed their time with us, we certainly managed to have a few trips out but there is a lot more to explore and we hope they return again. John then headed back home via the same route and by 6pm was back at 13

Girne old harbour late afternoon
Zeytinledere Sokak. Sarah had been busy in the afternoon, tidying up and sure our visitors had left nothing behind! A stroll with Kilroy and then time for supper and relax!

Soon we will have to start thinking about packing things away ourselves as it's now only about 5 weeks till we all fly home. Time to check on the hounds travel arrangements, book the transfer across to the airport and get ourselves ready for the cold weather plus before we know it Christmas will be upon us. Time to make the most of the last few weeks!

Additional photos below
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Old harbour


Margarita........don't mind if I do

Early evening

St Andrews Curch - Girne

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