My Bags Were Packed - I Was Going To Cyprus!!!
(19 - 23 September 2013)
Oom Bob and Tannie Viv invited me to come visit them and leave some rubber on the Cyprian roads. Not that I have ever met Oom Bob or Tannie Viv (…my dad was thinking of tagging me in the back of the neck), but going to the place where Aphrodite took her first breath… it could only be love at first throttle!
14 September 2013 - Saturday
My trip started with a 3 day stay at Ferncrest Hospital in Rustenburg. Apparently when you’ve been struggling to breathe for 2 months after the last crash – you should think of having it looked at. My fear of needles kept me far away from anything that looked remotely like a doctor!
After day one, they came to change my bedding as it was full of mascara and snot-strepe – I do put up quite a scene when needles are involved.
There was a chance that I had to go into theater, but I made it very clear to Doc Piet… have painkillers, have plane ticket – see you when I get back!
19 September 2013 - Thursday
Lung or no lung… I was ready to fly outa here. Storm met up with me and my Boet at OR Tambo airport and gave me a quick beautifying nail treatment. At least if my lung exploded mid-flight – they would be able to ID me by my multi-coloured nails.
20 September 2013 – Friday
Oom Bob and Tannie Viv picked me up from Larnaka airport the next day and took me straight to a beach front café in Avdimou. They were exactly what I expected and they themselves sighed a breath of relief when they saw I wasn’t some SA-ffer skelm.
Cyprus is the birth place of the god Aphrodite – the goddess of love, beauty and fertility. The rock at the back (Petra tou Romiou) is apparently where she was born. The believe is that her birth was the consequence of a castration: Cronus severed Uranus' genitals and threw them behind him into the sea. The sea foamed and out popped Aphy. Now… Even I would consider having children if that’s how it’s done!!!
They took me to my home-town for the next week – Milia! Milia have exactly eight permanent residents. I guess voting is a time consuming job…
Every town in Cyprus has a church (unlike SA where there’s at least THREE churches per town) and a water fountain.
The house had an amazing view over the valleys.
It’s autumn over there, but the weather is much like SA – never really cold.
21 September 2013- Saturday
The next morning I got up to find Oom Bob elbow deep in grease. He was checking their bikes’ brakes. I jumped right in, hot on his elbows…
Made me think… Aphrodite was the goddess of love. She had no other jobs or duties except to look pretty and have others fall in love with her. Wonder if she gave lessons?!?
I hopped onto the pillion seat and hitched a lift with Oom Bob to Paphos to pick up my bike I was renting from Pentaras Rentals. Michalis was very helpful and even upgraded me from a 250 to an XR400.
The three of us then headed up the west coast. We stopped at Coral Bay, and while they were checking their mail I took a walk on the beach.
I’m so used to the smashing waves here in SA that I was convinced we were parked next to a big dam… something like Barberspan – just blue-er!
We then went onto a dirt road up the Akamas peninsula which looked a lot like Cape point.
It’s really difficult to wear a helmet when your jaw is hanging open the whole time. After a while I felt a bit like that Scream caricature.
About every 3 kms there was a sign like this next to the road. I tried to figure out what they’d hunt, as the only animal I’d seen up to then were cats??? But before I could even voice my concern, it was confirmed… cats are not save during hunting season!
At home we quenched our thirsts before starting to work on the fridge handle.
Anywhere in the world – just give me Jack!
“I come to fix yar fridge”… got a whole new meaning in Cyprus. The handle came off and for a while there we seriously pondered about take-aways for the rest of the week. I wondered if McDonalds were called McDemitri in Cyprus?
We spent quite a bit of time during the week to find someone to help, but in the end our need for food, tjoklits and cold beer outperformed our limited knowledge of anything mechanical. Oom Bob ripped out a few spanners, bolts and nuts and strapped that baby back. Anyone for a cold Leon (which would be the Cyprian version of Lion)???
22 September 2013 - Sunday
On Sunday morning I met the burgermeesteres of Milia, Chrissie. Unlike our incompetent municipalities, she was heading up the agricultural department of Milia… boerbok style!
We met up with friends of Oom Bob and Tannie Viv in Paphos; Terry, Toni and Nigel. We had a wake-up coffee at Terry’s house before we headed out into the country-side to the other side of the island.
We stopped to have a look at a monastery in Chrysorrogiatissa…, and if we had enough space we would have stocked up at the Greek-kêffie on the corner.
Tony’s bike was slurping up petrol and he quickly jumped in and took the filter out before we went in search for more juice.
We found petrol in Panagia where the shop owner measured out liters in a milk can. BTW… we decided not to buy milk!
From here we went up and over the mountain through the forests.
When we got to Pomos for lunch, we found that the HD gang beat us there!
This is a well-known harbour where the other gods… the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were born. Okay… maybe not THOSE 3, but a hell of a lot of other turtles.
A long trip through the mountains and ending it off with beer at the beach… DON’T PINCH ME!
With a fried fish swimming in our beer filled tummies, we headed off along the beach front to Polis.
At Pano Akourdaleia we stopped at a magical herb garden to fill up with PINK lemonade. The herbs were all above board…
We received some instructions and I know we at least ticked one of them!
That evening I met Joanne, their neighbour. She lives in Johannesburg, but has a holiday home in Milia. While we were still having coffee and meze, another neighbour joined us. Kiriakos owns the house down the road with the kudu and buffalo horns on the wall.
Kiri smiled and asked… “Vir hoe lank is jy hier?”
It took me a good few seconds to realize he was speaking Afrikaans…
Next moment Joanne asks Kiri, “Soek jy koffie of tee?”
Here I’m sitting in an 8-people dorpie on an island in the Middellandse see, speaking Afrikaans. All that was missing was the Blue-Bulls logo.
23 September 2013 - Monday
Aphrodite came back to Cyprus every year to swim in the sea for good luck and to refresh herself. Good luck…?!? Make way – I’m coming through! We went for a dip at the Baths of Aphrodite.
One comment about me in a FULL bathing suit and I’ll swim in my undies next time!!!
After lunch Oom Bob decided to show me some of the dirt roads through the forests. Tannie Viv decided to sit this one out and wished us luck (…as if the swimming wasn’t enough).
Somewhere in the forest we came across this small church.
Maybe this was the church for single people, as it was definitely not big enough for a bride and a groom…
The forest twist and turns, and every now and then I dared to look down a steep side of the road. I won’t be wearing those panties again…
We came across quite a few rock slides and boulders in the road. I was hoping that Aphrodite didn’t feel like punishing us…
Although Aphrodite was the goddess of love, she could be quite angry and vicious at times. For example, when a man called Glaucus insulted Aphrodite, she decided to punish him. She fed his horses magic water so that when he used them in a chariot race they went mad and crushed him to death. They then ate him…!
After coffee in Stavros, Oom Bob took me back on one of the best twisty roads I’ve ever ridden. The 22 holds nothing to it!!!
On the way home, I saw an ancient Aphrodite riding her stead.
Stay tjuned next month for more of my Greek huig-roman…
If you're familiar with the rural concept of the honesty bar, this honesty newsletter ain't much different... I'm a completely un-paid journalist, relying instead on readers using the honour system. You read the newsletter and then leave an amount you see fit for the entertainment you've received.
If you don't find it particularly amusing, then you fork out NO dosh. I won't stop sending you the letter – it is still mahala to those that count their coins and... I love sharing my stories.
As requested by my overseas readers, you can donate to this newsletter on my PayPal account: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can do an EFT transfer to the account below.
YouTube: Skinny van Schalkwyk