North Cyprus Holiday Journal - Newbies in North Cyprus - Day 3
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Newbies in North Cyprus, Day 3

Day 3: Thursday

At home in the UK, I'm usually woken by my alarm clock, the bin men, the dog next door, or my neighbour slamming his front door. In our North Cyprus villa, the only thing that woke me was the bright sunlight streaming through the one gap in the curtains I had left the night before, inviting me out into another glorious day of North Cyprus sunshine. Only when had strolled round the pool, glass of orange juice in hand, and pulled up a chair onto the balcony to admire the scenery, did I glance at my watch and realised it was only 7:20!

Esentepe North Cyprus

The nearest village to our North Cyprus rental villa is Esentepe, reached by a road that gently winds up from Kyrenia. In view of the number of classy villas we passed on the way up to the village, I expected the village centre to be somehow touristy and overdeveloped. It was neither; the central square with its mosque and small public park was surrounded by the hustle and bustle of Turkish Cypriot life. Locals came to shop at the small supermarket or the hardware store next door, while in another corner, a mechanic coaxed an old Renault car back into life despite its years of climbing mountain roads. Already the restaurants and cafes were filled with people chatting over a cup of Turkish coffee, sipped slowly over superb views down the mountainside to the shimmering coastline beyond.

By the afternoon, the lure of the sea was proving too much, so we took the hire car down to track down the local beaches. Quite by accident, we discovered the old coast road that originally ran from Kyrenia through to the Karpaz Peninsula. The new coast road may be smooth and straight, but the old coast road was as bumpy, twisty, and rocky as the coastline itself. This single track road still hogs the contours of the coastline, turning round 90 degree blind bends, dipping into small coves, then gently meandering round to the headlands and on to the next growth of palm trees or forest of bamboo. Sometimes, you have to leave the main road to discover what lies behind the skin of the country, although the results may not be terribly good for your North Cyprus hire car suspension!

Our North Cyprus villa visitors’ book was an excellent source of suggestions for places to see and restaurants to visit, so we headed to just a kilometre down the road to try out "Bar B". Quite by chance, we arrived on the quietest night of the season so far, so were able to sit at a table under the banana tree, and enjoy some of the best food we ate on our entire North Cyprus holiday. (The next time, we had to book for two nights ahead.) It was hard to choose our favourite dish of the evening; my partner's sizzling garlic king prawns were pronounced “dangerous” by the grinning waiter and proved to be certainly dangerously tasty! I adored the fresh fish and the organic home-grown vegetables, simple but superb. This modest bar certainly knows how to produce entertaining food; a balloon glass of brandy was served warmed by a plate of leaping flames, so the whole restaurant got to enjoy the aroma!