Paphos – turtles, nymphs and an old 4wd
There is much of Paphos that cannot be explored with dodgy 4 cylinder hire cars. A 4wd is a must.
So we did as tourists do and we joined a 4wd tour of the cape.
The day started on a high of anticipation, which was quickly diluted by the realisation that we had to share our 4wd with a group of 5 extremely large Brits who had already pretty much filled the car with hot sweaty flesh.
They were very lovely and straight away got out to do some reshuffling an introductions so that everyone could fit in comfortably and it was with car packed to the rafters that we headed for the dunes.
I was a little concerned how we were going to make it up some of the hills on the trip but the torque of the 4wd engine did not seem about to let us down, even if the suspension and seat cushioning might!
It’s off to see the Turtles – for a second…
After a bit of road driving, we headed off onto the trail towards the turtle sanctuary to see the newly hatched baby turtles.
the new babies
We were allowed exactly 15 minutes to enjoy the turtles which consisted of 5 mins hike down to the beach and a 7 minute walk back which gave us a whole 3 mins of turtle watching to enjoy before we were completely off-schedule for our boat ride happening later.
I was suddenly reminded why we don’t join organised tour groups but decided that we were here now and we had to make the best of it.
And the Chubs and Miss Sparky were not the slightest bit interested in the turtles anyway – in fact, the Chubs spent our 3 minutes of turtle watching time eating sand and covering himself in as much mud as he possibly could to ensure our drive to the next stop would be as dirty and uncomfortable as possible!
The beach where the turtles choose to deposit their babies is truly special though. Windswept and rugged, we were dying to hop into the waves and do some bodysurfing on the first surf beach we had encountered so far on the trip. But alas, we had to head back up the hill – note to anyone looking to do this. Make sure you schedule a decent break at the turtle beach if you want to enjoy this beautiful place!
Next stop was the harbour to join our cruise out to see one of the world-famous Blue Lagoons. It was so nice to be on a boat out on this spectacularly blue water enjoying the breeze and surrounded by stunning scenery as we headed down the coast. The coastline of Cyprus is really beautiful and the water is an amazing colour – definitely a place to add to the list for those coast lovers out there.
The Nymphs of the Blue Lagoon
We pulled into a couple of bays to see some sites before we finally hit the Lagoon which was the most incredible shade of blue.
Lovely Hubby’s eyes nearly dropped out of his head as we took in the scene of the lagoon. Masses of boats moored in the bay with nubile Grecian Nymphs of all different shades of brown diving into the crystal clear water with their long dark hair flowing behind them.
We had a quick swim together enjoying the warm clear water and sandy beach before I took the kids back to the boat for melon and juice and let Lovely Hubby indulge in the ultimate fantasy of a once-single man. I’ve never known him to be out swimming for so long as the endless parade of beauties in varying brevity of swimsuit frolicked together.
The boat horn shrieked and the engine started – I was immediately worried. Had this middle-aged fantasy ended in Hubby being stranded in this lagoon of nymphs or had he somehow snuck back on board. I frantically searched the boat and as I was about to give up and call the captain, there he was, around the last corner, deeply ensconced in conversation with – our lovely co-family of 4wding Brits.
He looked completely exhausted as returned to our seats, blissfully unaware of the drama that had just unfolded, as Miss Sparky innocently proclaimed that “mummy was looking for you!”
And so we arrived back at port and re-boarded our little 4wd full off flesh to head for lunch on the hill overlooking paradise.
Lunch with a view
Our lunch spot was a family restaurant high on the hill overlooking the expansive Cypriot coastline. It was a little hard to eat as it was tempting to simply fill up the a class with the local icy cold vino and sit and daydream the afternoon away. The local food is just too good to pass up though.
We enjoyed roast pork – an indulgence for us poor pig deprived Dubiaans, with delicious vegetable dishes of zucchini, potatoes and carrots, all washed down with fresh stone fruit off the local trees and local wines.
It was with much reluctance that we packed back into our 4wd to head for the next stop which was the Aphrodite Bathing Pool. This place was pretty and the cave where Aphrodite used to meet her Adonis was cool and sweet, but not a patch on the local dried fruit seller situated at the front of this attraction. Homemade dried fruit of every type you can think of from peaches to apricots, kiwi, apple, dragon fruit, pomegranate, This place was magic and she had sampling plates so you could select your favorite option before purchasing. My only regret was that we didn’t get enough from this sublime place!
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at a couple of places including an underground museum and an old church. They were interesting enough, but we would have much preferred to have chilled out more over lunch or spent more time with the nymphs at the lagoon I think. And whilst I love bumping around town in old 4wds and the rugged nature of no aircon and the smell of diesel, I don’t know that everyone on our tour shared that sentiment.
If you find yourself in Cyprus, it’s definitely worth seeing all of the places that can only be accessed by 4wd. IF you can though, rent your own car as the driving is not dangerous. Or better still, pay someone to take you in their 4wd and spend as much time at all the places you love as you can. I guess the thing with organised tours is always that you have to run to someone else’s schedule and when it’s possible that you might never get the chance to come back to some of these places, you don’t want to miss out on one second of things you love!
Most importantly, get away from the major tourist areas if you can as the true magic of Cyprus lies in the far-flung corners of the beaches and mountains where the spirit of this island exists. This place has really struggled the last few years and you can really see it in the buildings and infrastructure. But don’t let that put you off.
The people are beautiful, the landscape extraordinary and the food sublime. There really is something for everyone and kids are welcome literally everywhere. The Chubs maintained the celebrity status he enjoys in Dubai throughout this part of the trip much to his delight and it makes for a very relaxing holiday for the whole family as well.
It’s official.. we are in love – again!
Off to Athens next so join us for the next leg of our Cypriot/Greek Odyssey if you can.