Day 3 - Cyprus

Woke up to a hot, clear day and first up were Helim, basil, tomato & olive oil sandwiches out the back. The verandah is protected from the morning sun and its quite nice sitting amongst the grape vines and olive trees, we've spent a lot of time sitting here. Hassan is a really funny man and he and Şhenay play off each other so each meal is a good laugh.

Today we went up the mountain to Bufaventos which is an old castle which sits on the range dividing the northern coast of Cyprus from the inland. The drive there was on a single lane road next to quite a drop down to ground level, which snaked its way around and up the mountain. We started walking up the last part which was a good path with steps etc, Uncle Tony lasted about 100m saying "my little legs, they won't carry me!" It was quite a climb though, I'm glad he didn't try any further. I was buggered before too long and was having major Fuji flashbacks even though it was only about 40 minutes to the top. The view made it worthwhile though: green coastline as far as you can see on one side, brown dry plains as far as you can see on the other. The castle ruins I can't tell you much about historically, haven't been able to wiki it yet.

After that we headed back down to a restaurant next to the 5 finger mountain for "just a small snack" in Tony's words. I think I counted 9 mezze plates and bread, we were so full afterwards but it was mostly healthy. Another Turkish coffee afterwards.

We then wound our way through the forest westward heading up the Antiphonidies monastery. I think we drove past/through about 3 or 4 army areas on the way, they're everywhere on the Turkish side...not so sure about the Greek side. The monastery itself was perched up on a mountain overlooking the coast. The main church is about 800 years old and has survived ok except for people chipping/cutting some of the painted artwork off the walls and some graffiti carved into it too. It kind of added to the charm though, only to be stolen by a group of about 20 khaki wearing German tourists.

When we got home we spent some time picking olives from the trees and then watched Hassan and Tony break them to make chuk estes - salted olives with coriander seeds, lemon juice & garlic.

Dinner was kolakas - Chicken with yam. We had homemade şamişi for dessert which is a pastry with sweet semolina filling using orange blossom water...added a few kilos with these.

We were playing Tavla and then cousin Abdullah came over, so there was more cake and custard. And of course another Turkish coffee!

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