Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On the wall

Northern coast of Cyprus
On our final day with this first rental car we opted to drive west along the northern side of Cyprus towards Girne.  The map indicated a road following the coastline but others had warned us that the road is not marked.  Sure enough, there was no road sign for this road; but it was easy enough to find.  At the first roundabout we encountered we turned north rather than taking the road to Famagusta on the southern side.  This put us on what appeared to be a brand-spanking-new very nice road across the mountains.  It appeared that work was still in progress; there were no side barriers on steep drop-off curves and no lines painted down the center of this road.  And no road signs whatsoever.

Northern coast of Cyprus (lots of large caves)
 Soon we could see the sea on the northern side.

We followed that for an hour or so and then turned around because I was nervous about how much fuel remained in the gas tank.  There was absolutely nothing on that new road and it was not an area where one would want to run out of gas.  We saw only 3 other cars.  The scenery was beautiful and we will drive that route again in the future.

"Fun Park" (Campground?)

At one very isolated spot there was a collection of shacks on stilts built out right on the cliffs of the shoreline.  A sign called this a "fun park" and it looked like places for basic camping -- raised up off the ground.  Not sure why it is called a fun park rather than a campground.  (But then why are fried shrimp  called fish stew?)   Gorgeous views, but I am not into camping without shower facilities.  And Bill doesn't believe in camping without an RV complete with air-conditioning and heat,  microwave oven and television, as well as hot showers.  So don't think we will be utilizing any of the fun parks on Cyprus.

Fun Park

Then we decided to turn in the rental car early because we knew we would not be getting out again that evening.  This worked well as the marina receptionist could drive the car back to her village and return it for us when she finished her work day.  All in all, renting a car for 3 days every month or so would work well during our stay here for the winter.

However, the next day another cruiser dropped by and inquired if we would be interested in sharing a full-time rental car.  The car rental company will allow 3 named drivers on a contract, and 1 of the current partners in their rental agreement was leaving for at least 6 months for medical reasons; so they were looking for a replacement partner to share in the rental agreement.  We understand that this rental agreement includes the special insurance to allow us to drive the car in both Northern Cyprus and Southern Cyprus.  Count us in!!  This sounds like a great arrangement.  We don't know how frequently we will want to use the rental car, but this affords us an opportunity for wheels more often than only 3 days per month.  With the bonus of allowing us to also visit Southern Cyprus if we want to.  We will know later this week if this arrangement will happen or not.

Karpaz Gate Marina
On Monday a sister-ship Amel moved off the breakwater wall where they were connected to electricity and water and returned to their normal assigned berth.  The owners are returning to Chile until next March or April.  Bill and I think that power will not be restored to the docks for at least another month, so we moved out to the breakwater wall to enjoy the luxury of electricity and air-conditioning until that happens.   We are now docked on that long wall, down near the entrance which is on the left side and out of view in this photo. The marina anticipates restoring power to the docks in about 2 weeks, but for a number of reasons we believe the actual time period will be at least a month or more.  

Karpaz Gate Marina
They are re-routing the water supply from the conduit channel to run down the center beneath the docks.  A type of sheathing has been ordered to shield the electric and TV cables that will remain inside the conduit channels along the edges of the docks.  The sheathing will protect the cables from abrasion caused by the aluminum panels that cover the conduit channels.  Until that sheathing arrives, the job cannot be completed.  Government approval of the repair solution is still pending.  I am certain that power will not be restored to the docks until all the repairs are effected and the governmental authorities sign off on it.  Governmental authorities are the same everywhere; delays will happen.  In the meantime, we can enjoy air-conditioning when wanted and will not have to run the generator twice daily to charge the batteries.  The trade-off is the long walk around to the toilets and showers and restaurant/bar.

BeBe in her assigned berth
BTW, Bill sent a photo of how the electrical cables are routed through the conduit on these docks to a friend who has built 7 marinas in SE Asia.  He responded and said that they also build the docks exactly the same way.  To me, this still does not excuse not grounding the docks in the first place; something that any electrician at home would certainly have done.  And absolutely something that any building inspector at home would have checked before allowing anyone on the docks and signing off on the job.  

On a positive note, however, the laundry facilities are now operational and open for use.  Nice, new machines and not outrageously priced at only 2 Euro per load.  Now I won't be polluting the marina water by doing laundry aboard and discharging all that soapy water into the ultra-clear waters of this new marina.  I hope that the toilets and showers right next to the new laundry room will open soon.  That will cut our walk by more than half the distance.  I very much prefer to shower on our boat, but that discharges soap and shampoo directly into the marina waters; so we both normally use the marina showers to do our part to keep the marina waters clean.

Fish and chips for the third consecutive Friday night were delicious yet again.  This time I paid more attention to the batter since a friend had asked about it.  Silly me!!  They use a regular beer batter, just like I use when we catch Spanish mackerel and fry it on the boat.  Only difference is that I add a very generous dollop of Old Bay Seafood Seasoning and a half-teaspoon of cayenne pepper to "kick it up" as Cajun chef Emeril Lagasse would say.   Mix flour and Old Bay Seasoning (or Zatarain's if you prefer).  Beat eggs and add to the flour mixture; mix well.  Add beer until medium-thin batter results.  Toss in fish fillets which are at room temperature, not cold from the fridge.  Coat well with batter.   Remove each fillet with a fork and let excess batter drip off.  Drop into hot oil, enough oil to cover the fish.  Don't crowd and cause the oil to drop too much in temperature or the fish and batter will absorb too much oil and be greasy.  Doesn't get any better.  (Okay, Candy; now you know how to cook British Fish and Chips.  Their chips are nothing but plain ole French fries.)

Tomorrow night we plan to try the 'barbeque' at the marina restaurant.  We know this will not be real barbeque.  It will be a selection of grilled meats.  Very definitely not what we Texans know as barbeque.  Last Wednesday there was a guy playing guitar during the barbeque special.  We were walking back from the showers just as he started to play.   He sounded nice and the evening weather was perfect and most diners were sitting outside.  We are hoping for the same experience tomorrow night.

Veggie delivery
While visiting the Old Venetian Walled Town in Famagusta the other day we saw several produce vendors driving around the city.  They would drive a block or so and stop for about 15 minutes, allowing local residents to make their fresh produce purchases without having to go to a market.  Very nice and convenient.  I wish a produce vendor from the nearby village of Yenierenkoy would visit our marina once per week.   But there are not nearly enough people berthed here yet to warrant such a thing.  Maybe as more people arrive it will provide incentive to some enterprising vendor to attempt visiting the marina once weekly.

We have heard from 2 separate  friends who might come visit in the next 2 months.  Hope 1 or both makes it here.  They probably will be bored but hopefully we can at least go sailing for a couple of days during each of their visits.

1 comment:

  1. Northern Cyprus is beautiful! I doubt your visitors will be bored in such a beautiful setting. I'd gladly take a walk to the bathroom in return for a/c! LOL!


Your comment will be posted after we confirm that you are not a cyber stalker.