Day 8 - Cyprus

This morning we went to St Hilarion again, where we had been refused entry by the army a few days before. Tony waited at the bottom and had a coffee, probably a good thing as it was a bit of a climb again. St Hilarion is a castle/fort on top of a mountain near the coast. It is very, very old (don't have the dates on me now) and was last used as late as the 1960s by Turkish Cypriots resisting the Greeks. The Turks held the position for 11 years until the threat subsided, but people on both sides died in that time. We walked up and down the rocky mountain, in and out of the old rooms there and up to the top which is 720m above sea level. Quite an impressive view.

We were then headed to Lefke and on the way we stopped for another of Tony's infamous "little snacks". We had lamb cooked in a fırın kebabi (mud oven) literally sitting next to the road, with fried potato, pickled chillis, bread, homous, tzatziki, salad, bread and a chicken mornay type thing. It was still hoody weather and rained a little bit but was ok.

We were staying in a room above a relative's restaurant, his name is Caner (C is pronounced J i.e. Janer) and we dropped off our stuff and had a Turkish coffee next to the water. It's a seafood restaurant and is pretty big, right on the coast in one of the most far north-west parts of Northern Cyprus (the Turkish side). You can see the mountains of Turkey from here.

We went to Tony's sister Düreiye's house which is basically buried in foliage from all sorts of plants and grape vines, right in the middle of an orange orchard. It's also right next to 2 enormous fig trees. I got to meet Andy's other cousin Selma who doesn't really speak much English, but that's ok. We ate grapes, macaroni cheese and coconut cake while everyone spoke in Turkish. It was alright for me, I could sometimes make out what they were talking about and Tony or Andy would fill me in anyway. It's funny how much you can get from one word and body language though.

We were stuffed after eating so much, more Turkish coffee and then watched a bit of the Turkish 'Deal or No Deal'. What, the, fuck. The contestant was half deaf and when he picked the wrong box it was like someone had died in front of them all, it was like watching a tv soap funeral...but worse. Completely over the top.  Started to fall asleep but we went back to the restaurant to sneak in a few beers, some WiFi and a chat with Caner and a drunk guy named Can (Jan)...who finished his beer and drove home. This is a pirate country, after all.

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