I flew with the budget of all budget operators, Ryan Air to Paphos in Cyprus. For anyone that hasn’t had the pleasure, you can generally get quite a cheap ticket, but you should factor in the cost of getting to the airports that Ryan Air typically fly from – as they are often far out of the city or as we would say at home, “out in the boon docks!”
In Paphos, I reunited with Jase after 10 weeks! It was so exciting to catch up with him again, and start our trip together 🙂 🙂 🙂
Paphos was a flying visit however. We stayed one night and made our way to Ayia Napa using the green ‘Intercity’ local buses, where we stayed for four nights. I’d describe Ayia Napa as a jazzed up version of Noosa in Queensland, Australia. It was beautiful and scenic and had a good vibe to it. However what set it apart from Noosa was the overflow of Brits – the place was packed with them, mostly of the adolescent to early twenties variety. I reckon 99% of them at any one time could be sighted fanging around the streets at top speed on quad bikes or those futuristic two wheeler segway thingeys. If you imagined the segways to have an upper limit speed of around 10km/hr you’d be wrong. These bad boys seemingly were being revved to speeds of up to 50-60km/hr! There was even a separate lane just for them next to the main road where the cars drove along.
Much of the food in the tourist area really catered to the tourists. It seemed almost impossible to get what we thought would be traditional Cypriot food. The best food I had there was at the Zaatar Lebanese and Syrian Restaurant. Currently one of the best rated restaurants inAyia Napa. For 11 Euro’s each we had a vegetarian feast that was so huge we were able to take some with us for lunch the next day. Good for making the Backpacker Dollars (BPD’s) go further.
At one of the waterfront restaurants we had a nice meal and asked for the bill – the waiter came over to the table and grimaced inquiring as to where our toothpicks were? We said “oh we didn’t get any”, but shrugged it off – no biggie. His brow furrowed further and he was like “no toothpicks?!!?!” Us – “Na mate, no toothpicks.” “Oh, well.. hmph!” He marches away and we think he’s off to get the bill, and our toothpicks. A few minutes pass, and we ask someone else for the bill, and then we see old mate smashing a glass behind us and fumbling around trying to pick it up before disappearing altogether. Still no toothpicks.. we brushed our teeth at home instead! Ha.
The highlight of my time in Cyprus was doing my first dive with Olympian Divers – currently rated number 1 on Trip Adviser. There was limited marine life but the visibility and conditions on the day were perfect for a first time diver, including the calm attitude of the instructor Mike. This is especially so given I was able to walk down into the water at my own pace – Jase had said that the alternative is usually starting your dive by being tossed off the back of a boat into the ocean so I felt grateful that all things were on my side to make for an enjoyable first dive!
Eeek… I’m unda da sea!
Second to diving, was our bike ride out to Cape Greco National Park. While every man and his dog were on quad bikes hooning up and around the hills to get there, we cycled out there and back – the whole 18km! The quad bikes finally seemed like a good idea.
Here are some photos of the sunset that awaited us when we got to the top.
And here is a pic of a watermelon I borrowed on our way back home. And a snap of Jase cutting it up!
Lastly, here are some snaps of Ayia Napa generally. All in all, a pretty nice place to reunite with Jase 🙂
Stay tuned for more, D x