Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hail!! Followed by rainbows

Fellow Americans, Ruth and Randal on M/V DORA MAC, returned last week after a 3-month visit home to the States.  They had left Cyprus a week before we arrived in August.  We first met Ruth and Randal in Malaysia; they also were part of the group of yachts that transported aboard the BBC EVEREST with us from Maldives to Marmaris last April.  We had been looking forward to meeting up with them again.

We drove down to the airport to meet them.  Unfortunately, their flight arrived 20 minutes early while we were sitting in the coffee shop.  By the time we walked to the arrival meeting area, they had already hailed a taxi to the marina.  Not to make it an entirely wasted trip, we drove to the south side and purchased another month of insurance allowing us to drive the rental car across the border.  Now we are set with the rental car through the date of our departure for our trip home in December.   Later, back at the marina we hooked up with Ruth and Randal and offered to drive them to the supermarket so they could stock up on the things one always empties from the boat when leaving for any extended period of time.

Hail several inches deep
It rained buckets during our drive to the supermarket.  As we pulled into the supermarket parking lot tiny pieces of hail were pelting the car.  Later, on the drive back to the marina we encountered large deposits of marble-sized hail.  The little pellets of ice covered the fields and looked like snow.  The road was covered by hail at least 3-inches deep.  None of us had a camera, so Bill used his cell phone to take photos.  Hence the crappy quality of these photos.


There were skid marks all through the hail.  And one car was resting in a field about 4 feet below the road level.  It did not appear that anyone was injured and several people already were attempting to assist, so we continued on our way.  Not like our little car would be capable of towing another vehicle up from down there anyway.  This is the third time we have seen hail in the past 2 weeks.  A guy who has lived here several years said he had never seen hail here until 2 weeks ago.  Weird.  The brief heavy rain also had caused many mud patches across the road.  Some of the fields looks like small lakes.  It has been raining almost daily for a few weeks and I guess the ground is so saturated that it could not absorb this downpour.  Farmers have a hard time on this island.  For 8 months it does not rain a drop; then it rains very frequently for 4 months.  Rainy season starts in November.  Looks like we will have a wet cold winter.

Not long after passing the accumulated hailstones we were startled to see the brightest rainbow any of us had ever seen!  It was actually a full double rainbow, but the outer rainbow was very dim -- especially compared to the brilliant inner rainbow.

The crappy low-quality camera in our cell phone captured these images of the rainbow.  These photos do not do justice to just how bright this rainbow really appeared.  I have not edited these images other than to crop them.  The colors were remarkably brilliant.

Wish we had brought a camera so we could have gotten decent photos.

 The ends of the rainbow were so bright they appeared to be glowing.  Most amazing rainbow I have ever seen.

Eastern tip of Cyprus looking south
One day last week we got stir-crazy and felt compelled to get off the boat and out of the marina for a few hours.  Since we had not yet been to the eastern end of the island, we opted to drive that direction.  Others had told us about high white sand dunes that they have walked on the beaches on the eastern tip of Cyprus.  We followed the tourism signs for a monastery supposedly located there.  Never found the monastery; the signs just ended.  Also never found those high white sand dunes.  We did see beaches filled with huge flat stones extending many hundreds of feet out into the sea.  Very definitely not an area for yachts to anchor, assuming the sea is ever calm enough for anchoring.  The sea was roiling the day we visited this area; strong winds and surging seas.

Wild donkey in valley
We drove past the first fee entrance to the wildlife preserve area (no attendant present, so no entrance fee paid).   The road past that entrance was very narrow and not well maintained; driving was slow.  About an hour later we arrived at the second fee entrance to the wild donkey preserve area (again, no attendant present).

By this time we were tired of driving.  We stopped to stretch our legs; realized how cold it was in the wind on the hillside right on the sea; and quickly got back into the car for the long ride back.  As usual, we had forgotten to bring the camera and only had the cell phone to snap crappy photos of the beach a few of the wild donkeys seen alongside the road.  There was a large valley through part of the area that looked like the most fertile earth we have seen on this island....surrounded by mountains on all sides and very protected from the wind in all directions.

Turkish type of zucchini
Recently Bill mentioned on Facebook that we had tried a strange vegetable that turned out to be something like zucchini.  It has a large bulbous end and a very long neck.  The one in this photo does not have nearly as large of bulbous end as most of these do.  The inside flesh is sort of a pinkish-yellowish color rather than the typical white of normal zucchini.  I cooked it with garlic and onion with a bit of bacon grease for seasoning and it was quite tasty.  We asked the manager of the marina restaurant and he explained that all types of squashes translate from Turkish to English as simply 'zucchini.'  He told us the Turkish name for this vegetable, but I could not understand well enough to try to look it up online.  Just accept that all squash in Turkey are zucchini.  He said that in Turkey this type of zucchini is cooked with black-eyed peas.  And, of course, they never use bacon or bacon grease because Muslims do not eat pork in any form.  So, I tried cooking the next one of these with black-eyed peas.  Nope; didn't care for that.  It is fine cooked my way with garlic, onions and bacon or bacon grease.  But squash in black-eyed peas wasn't so good.

Diet Coke
And while on the topic of food, I must mention Scrack.  Bill has become a Scrack-head.  He eats this Italian snack by the handful.  It looks just like the image on the package, except each piece is very small.  So he can eat it by the handful and never fill up.

Diet Coke is a thing just for the United States.  Almost everywhere else in the world this beverage is called Coca-Cola Light.  Other countries object to the term "diet" being applied to any foods or beverages.  They seem to think "diet" means something for diabetics.  Notice that cans of Diet Coke look much different in Turkey and Cyprus than these cans appear back home.

One day Bill walked over to the laundry room to help me carry back the heavy laundry bag.  He cracked up laughing when we saw how a worker had plugged his electric sander into the electrical wall outlet.

Wouldn't OSHA have a ball with this!!! 

My hubby's freezing!!
And, last but not least, Bill is freezing much of the time -- and it is not even winter yet!  He is really.... really.... really going to freeze when the temperatures drop another 20 degrees (Fahrenheit).  This is how he bundles up while drinking hot tea when the temperature inside the boat drops to about 68F.  Can you imagine what he will be like when the temperature inside the boat get down to 55F?  Thanks again to Bruce and Donna Rill for giving us these blankets/snuggle things when we were in New Zealand.  These furry-lined silky-textured 'blankets' are ever-so-warm and snuggly.  We love them.  Although I have never zipped up into one like Bill is in this photo.  Just laying one across my lap and tucking my feet beneath is comfortable enough for me.

BTW, he did not stay like this for long.  He warmed up quickly all wrapped up into a cocoon like that.

1 comment:

  1. Hey now, I can't think of many foods that are not enhanced by adding garlic, onion, and bacon grease!


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