on our first day in cyprus, we met stellios at a bus stop. he proceeded to give us an overview of the history of the island from ancient greek times, through the byzantine era and the rule of the turks up until the present day. turns out he is a teacher. although he is almost 80, he has recently taken up studying the scottish poets. we ran into him again the next day (also at a bus stop).
we have stayed in polis b/c we really like the village (pop 1000) and the people, and also because it is situated on a great part of the island. polis is on the western edge of cyprus. south of it lies the akama peninsula, a wilderness reserve we hiked through on our first day here. north of it is the tylleria mountains, another wilderness area. surrounding it is the beautiful mediterranean sea.
to make the most of our time here we rented a little honda 250 to get around. yesterday we took it up over the peninsula to the coast on the other side and explored the backroads of cyprus
as well as lara beach (the summit of the hill at the top is where the above picture was taken)
and some prime goat pasture.
after that we ate some salmon at a local restaurant
and explored a hidden canyon
then zigzagged back up over the peninsula to watch the sunset before heading home.
today we went north into the mountains. we started along a beautiful coastal road and then turned inland onto a dirt road up into the mountains. the landscape reminded us a lot of BC.
after gaining a lot of altitude we came out on an amazing tarmac road up in the highlands. roads like this are why people buy motorbikes (dont worry mom, kylie won't let me!). cruising along with beautiful views on either side and constantly leaning one way or the other to navigate the mountain passes makes quite an arguement though. the entire time we were in the highlands we only saw 3 other vehicles. it is tourist low season and the locals think it is freezing now, so they stay well away from the mountains.
we did a quick hike and then after another hour of lovely turns on lush tarmac we ventured onto a new dirt road which took us back down to the coast and on our way home.
tomorrow we might head to a new area of cyprus, or we might not since polis is so nice. did i mention that we have a little studio apartment with a full kitchen? that helps us feel at home. for those of you disgusted with our flagrant and continuous vacation, you will be happy to know that i have already booked an entire month of work when we get home! that's right a month!! i think i might need a vacation after that.
i hope you are all having a good time. we are thinking of you in canada, kenya and holland.