Saturday 12th July 2014
A very lazy day. Some people didn’t get out of bed until nearly 2 in the afternoon. Some washing was done, but most of the day was spent in or around the pool. That evening we went out to Molos restaurant again. The food here is pretty amazing. It was so good we forgot to take pictures of the main course.
Home Made Pate
Sunday 13th July 2014
The final day. A run into Latchi for breakfast at Debbie’s of Latchi. Frys and omelettes all round. A day spent slowly packing and lounging around the pool. We even found time to play family games (Cards against Humanity). Packing completed, we were starting to get hungry so decided to go back to Molos restaurant one more time. Another excellent meal as shown below.
Dan’s Chicken Kebab
Dad’s Fillet Steak
Mum’s Fish Pie
Ben’s Spinach Pie
Monday 14th July 2104
A difficult day as we had to be out of the villa by 10 in the morning. Dad was up at half six into the pool for a final swim. To make sure his suit didn’t get wet he just didn’t wear it… Everybody was up and showered by 8, and by half past nine we were ready to lock up and depart.
To try and make the most of all the time we had (The flight wasn’t until half 8 in the evening) we went for a breakfast at Debbie’s. We then drove to a small vineyard in the hills overlooking Paphos. An interesting place but they possibly don’t get that many visitors. We spent about an hour there trying wine, relaxing and shopping for more touristy items.
We couldn’t drag time out to much longer so the last drive was made to Paphos Airport. We arrived there just after one in the afternoon with 5 hours to wait until we could check our bags in. The wait wasn’t to bad as we managed to secure some seats in Costa Coffee in the airport and read books until the flight was ready to book in. From there through security, through duty free to the Premier Lounge where we are now waiting to board our flight.
Akamas Coast Map
The last adventure day of the holiday. We had hired a speed boat from Latchi Watersports. The boat which was called Dave the Knave was a 6.8m 150HP beast, complete with ice box and snorkelling gear. After a thorough briefing by the staff we were taken outside of the harbour and let loose. Our first stop of the day was the blue lagoon. A fantastic cove with crystal clear blue water. After anchoring off the boys made their way into the water, snorkels and masks on. Mum was left on board as anchor supervisor and lookout of which she did a great job. The boys spent about 20 minutes snorkelling around before making their way back to the boat for a drink of water and a few minutes relaxation.
For the next part of the move Daniel was in charge of driving the boat. Having been shown the controls and the location of the next cove (Manolis Bay)
we set off. Dan soon realised that driving a boat isn’t as simple as it seems. It took a few minutes for Dan to get the hang of keeping in a straightish line as he kept looking behind him, before the task of turning in towards the bay was on him. This showed Dan that boat driving is definitely a skill that takes time to learn, but he managed to put us onsite before we anchored off. Manolis Bay had a rocky bottom with plenty of fish to see. Mum stayed aboard as anchor manager and lookout. The boys spent a good 30 minutes swimming and snorkelling around the caverns at the edge before getting back on board.
From Manolis bay we made our way to the Amphitheatre Bay. We were planning on anchoring here, but there were quite a few people in the water with a large boat making its way to the same location. We loitered in the area for a while and then motored up the coast for our last stop at a site called the beach.
This was very quiet with only the sound of goats bells disturbing the quiet. Everybody took a dip in the beautifully clear water. This was a very relaxed spot where we had Les Miserables playing on the MP3 player and a few tins of ice cold Keo on the go.
Time was unfortunately against us as we had to head back to the port. On the drive back Ben took a short turn at driving the boat and also soon realised that it isn’t an easy task. The final drive back took just a few minutes and the boat was handed back. A quick trip into Debbies for some rolls and then a lie down for the older members of the family. That evening we had takeaway kebabs.
Thursday 10th July 2014
An early start for Dad and Ben as Ben was of for a morning of diving. After dropping Ben off at half eight in the morning he now takes over the blog…
I was going to be diving with Steve who had been my instructor for previous dives and lessons. Once kit had been issued we made our way to the boat and met the rest of the divers who were a family from Scotland. They were diving with another instructor. The boat journey to St Georges Island only took a few minutes. Kit on we rolled over the side and descended down to 30m. The fish life was fantastic as we saw Blue Fin Tuna, Barracuda and a very large Grouper along with the normal Damsel fish etc. The thermoclines were very evident with a clear definition of where the different temperatures of water were. The surface temperature was 28º dropping to 19º at 30m. The second dive was round to caves and caverns at 30m. There wasn’t enough time to explore the caverns as we had taken our time getting to them. The dives finished we made our way back to Latchi where the rest of the family were waiting for me. Dad now takes up the blog.
After dropping Ben off Dad drove back to the villa to pick up mum and Dan to take them out for breakfast at Debbie’s of Latchi. It is a part of the UK tucked away in a side street in Latchi offering a traditional UK breakfast and sandwich menu. Dan had the English breakfast, mum had the traditional and dad had the works which is a massive plate of food. We picked Ben up at about half one in the afternoon. From there we drove into Polis to sort out dropping off the hire car at the end of the holiday. We then walked into Polis town centre and made our way to Savvas Bar for a small snack. Bens small snack was Pitta filled with chicken mayo and salad with a side order of chips. Dad had waffle with Nutella, mum had Caramel magic waffle and Dan had a banana split.
That evening we made our way into Latchi for a meal at Molos. Excellent food and service with a great range of starters, mains and puddings.
Dolmades – Stuffed Vine Leaves
Scallops in a cream sauce
Tuesday 8th July 2014
Tuesday was supposed to be a rest day. The plan was to just do some washing, get some shopping in and just laze around the pool. Dad had different ideas though. After an hour spent checking timings and routes he announced that we were heading into the Troodos mountains to visit the Kykkos Monastery and partake in the views. Initially the family were a bit hesitant as we didn’t have the speediest of hire cars and it seemed to be a long journey. However dad persuaded us otherwise so off we set. The initial run through Polis and onto the Troodos road went uneventfully but as we got higher into the mountains the roads through the villages narrowed. The climbs got steeper and the bends sharper. The car managed extremely well and coped with everything that it had to.
The trip to the Monastery didn’t take long; Ninety minutes of spectacular views and scary roads and precipices. The Kykkos Monastery is placed in possibly the only flat piece of land in the Troodos mountains. The architecture is stunning and the museum is definitely worth paying for. There were some excellent shops run by the Monastery selling very nice wine and a local restaurant that was also run by the Monastery. Of interest is the audio guide for the Monastery which is available here [The Monastery at Kykkos Audio Tour]. The drive down from the mountains was just as challenging as the drive up with low gear used most of the way down. Tea that night was Spaghetti Bolognese (Dad Style).
Wednesday 9th July 2014
This was a very lazy day. A long lie in followed by time in and around the pool. Dad and Dan went into town and did some shopping and picking up some swimming goggles for Dan.
Tea that night was a meat Meze at a local restaurant in Neo Chorio. About 13 various courses consisting of the best of Cypriot cuisine.
Well, day 3 hit us with a high of 38 degrees… A very lazy day spent lazing around the pool with dad doing a bit of exploration (more on that later). The Villa’s gardeners made an appearance tidying up and generally making everything look good.
Ben spent most of the day revising all of his previous diving lessons and learning the new ones for his PADI Advanced Open Water course. A fun time was spent with dad working out the vagaries of PADI dive tables.
Dan spent most of the day in the pool occasionally venturing out to have something to drink.
Mum spent most of the day catching up on washing and cleaning… in between lazing by the pool reading books.
In the afternoon dad decided that enough was enough and that he was going to investigate the local beach. Following signs he made his way down to the local bar on the beach and had a coke. From there he thought it would be a good idea to have a walk on the shingle along the beach to the next set of steps up to the villa. Obviously drink must have been partaken as he removed his sandals and stepped out onto the shingle that had been baking in the sun for about 8 hours. Well, the crackling sound as his feet started to burn should have been the first warning sign, but he continued walking towards the sea braving out the sheer stupidity of walking on roasting stones. Later that day blisters could be found on all of his toes.
That evening we had takeaway chicken wings and ribs from Yialos Beach Restaurant.
Friday was the start of Ben’s diving. Ben and dad arrived at Latchi Watersports at 0830. with an instructor allocated (Steve from Cork) and a boat to ride in we were off to St Georges Rock for Ben’s first dive. Dad was there just for the fun of it. The first dive went well with Ben completing all of his skills and drills. The second dive was a fun dive involving underwater scooters. A fantastic 45 minutes underwater being towed by scooters looking at the scenery was awesome. At the end of the dives Ben stayed at the dive centre ready for his navigation dive. Dad went home to shower and relax before taking mum and Dan to Aphrodite’s pool to see Ben go diving and also to view the local scenery.
Aphrodites pool wasn’t as spectacular as you might think, but it killed time while we all waited for Ben to finish diving. Coming back from the pool we were accosted by a local fruit seller who sold us a stack of fruit Unfortunately the path down to the dive site was a bit steep so mum decided to stay by the car. Dad and Dan walked down to the beach leaving mum with no money or water for about 45 minutes… Dan and dad returned to a very pink looking mum who was leaking from every orifice known to man and some that aren’t. Ben successfully completed the dive and then drove back to Latchi to complete some knowledge reviews.
The diving so far had been to get Ben prepared to dive on the Zenobia Wreck just off the coast from Larnaca. The day started early with dad and Ben up at 5 in the morning to get themselves over to Latchi to catch the transport to Larnaca. The dive guide and Ben’s instructor for the day was Steve (a young lad from Cork) drove us over to Larnaca via McDonalds for breakfast. The dive boat was fairly busy with about 50 divers in total onboard from various dive schools and shops. We were allocated a spot at the front of the boat where we stored all of our equipment and started to kit up for the first dive. Another first for Ben was diving in a full wetsuit and a hood. Soon enough we were all kitted up and entered the water. Dad was in first and took some time to cool down while waiting for Ben and Steve. The start of the first dive was nerve wracking as the water was crystal clear and the side of the wreck could be clearly seen from the surface. The first part of the dive was to check buoyancy on the side of the wreck. That completed we made our way over the side and started to fin towards the rear of the wreck. Slowly Steve took us down to Ben’s target depth of 30m. From there we made our way around to the props for a photo shot. From there it was back to the side of the wreck and up to 6m for a safety stop. From there back to the surface and back on board. The second dive took place about 90 minutes later. This time Steve took us around the front of the wreck where there was far more fish life, large grouper and barracuda everywhere. This part of the dive was quite disconcerting as we could see stairs and ladders but in the wrong position. This did cause a bit of vertigo at one point. From there it was back to the surface and get ready for the onboard BBQ. Luckily enough we were at the start of the queue and were able to get decent platefuls of BBQ chicken, salad and other local dishes. Soon enough the day finished with a 2 hour drive back home and dinner that night was takeaway BBQ ribs and chicken wings from Yialos Beach Restaurant.
Sunday was spent relaxing. dad and Ben were very tired after their diving the day before so not much was done at all. Dinner was Spaghetti Bolognese.
Well, after a very warm nights sleep dad was the first of the grown ups to try the swimming pool. But, we couldn’t relax as we had the villa’s agents coming around to go through the villa’s facilities and what to do in the local area. This was followed by the Car Hire company sending around a rep to go over the paperwork for the hire car.
Then the first adventure of the day… driving the hire car all the way to Polis to do some shopping; all done with the aid of diagrams on the back of a piece of paper. We found the supermarket and managed to get everything on the list plus Dan slipped in some extra chocolate biscuits. On the way back from Polis we stopped at the local water sports centre to book some diving for dad and Ben. They are quite happy as they have two days of diving including the Zenobia to look forward to.
By this time we were ready for lunch. Fresh pitta, salad and cold meats washed down with ice cold water and coke. The rest of the afternoon was spent lounging around the pool with the occasional swim. Later that afternoon dad and Ben ventured out to see if they could find somewhere to get some takeaway food. Needless to say they did well and came back with a pile of mixed kebabs and starters. This was washed down with vast quantities of the local wine and several Keo beers.
Day two started very slowly with mum and dad hitting the pool at 9 in the morning. Breakfast was served and a start was made in to a very lazy day. Dad and Daniel ventured out into Latchi to get some groceries including a watermelon that weighed over 10kgs. While they were out they also booked a table at Y and P for that night’s evening meal. The meal itself was fantastic. Dad had 4 large prawns grilled and served with salt and lemon. He was only slightly embarrassed by the waiter showing him how to peel his first prawn. His excuse was that it still had a head, tail and lots of legs. The main courses were excellent with mum and Daniel having Red Snapper and Ben having a whole sea bass (including head and tail). Ben originally asked for Grouper but was informed that it was normally served for 3 -4 people. The evening finished with fresh melon, brandy and liqueurs. Very pleasant indeed.
Well, what can we say. The journey should have started uneventfully but the first hurdle was the pre-booked parking automated barrier not recognising the number of the car… 5 minutes with a queue of beeping cars building up behind us.
The next thing was the Aer Lingus desk staff wanting us to change our flight and fly to Heathrow instead of Gatwick – No way…
A very uneventful flight to Gatwick and then a trip to the BA desks to check in our bags. The poor girl couldn’t find our flights and thought that we had missed the Paphos flight that had left a few hours earlier. Once we had explained that we were leaving the next day the bags were taken in to the Gatwick baggage system…
Onwards to the Premier Inn for a meal, drinks and an overnight before the main flight. The rooms weren’t to bad, the drink was fine and the meal acceptable.
Breakfast was OK. WIth our bags packed we vacated the Premier Inn and made our way to the Fast Track security gate. Through security in no time we then hit the shops for perfume and aftershave. This was followed by last minute shopping at Boots. While mum and dad were in Boots, Ben and Daniel were in the middle of an altercation between an alleged shoplifter and Gatwick security. Shopping finished we met up with one of dad’s old work colleagues who joined us for coffee in the BA lounge.
Eventually the flight was called. We had the normal wait to board but got to our seats to find we were on one of the oldest planes in the BA fleet… No in flight TV or entertainment system; just as well we had all charged our Ipads etc (Not). Plenty of food and drink aboard and the the actual flight seemed to take no time.
Getting off the plane at Paphos we felt a blast of heat before going in to the terminal, through a very fast passport control and picking up our bags. The transfer to the villa was waiting and whisked us away to the villa on a journey that seemed to last for hours but was only about 45 minutes. There was a mild panic as dad found the security code for the villa on his Ipad that had 2% battery power left.
The last full day in France. A bit of a lazy day. Everybody was up fairly early (before midday). There was some shopping done so we could get the makings of a BBQ. Simon came along and helped while buying a stack of stuff to take home with him.
The rest of the day was spent with the boys playing board games and cards. Nicki was reading and Bruce managed to slip away for a bike ride. When Bruce was back from the ride the boys and Bruce went for a final swim.
A very early start with Bruce being surprised by the boys being up and showered. Even more surprising was when the boys offerred to start getting breakfast ready…
You can probably tell that Ben and Simon were off on a boys trip out. Even better the trip was a return visit to the Tree Tops Course. With breakfast out of the way everybody set out for the forest. The idea was that Ben and Simon would spend the day on their own while Bruce, Nicki and Daniel went to Dol-de-Bretagne. That all changed when Nicki saw how high the boys were on the course.
The day didn’t start well as when we turned up there was a bus load of kids in front. Bruce however managed to get Ben and Simon put to the front of the queue as they had already been through the training course. Unfortunately Ben didn’t do his harness up correctly and both him and Simon had to go through the basic training all over again. Training out of the way they went around route one as a warm up followed by route three as the pre-cursor to the main event. Route 4 and time and bravery permitting route five and six.
Route three went well with Ben and Simon working well over the obstacles. Previously due to time constraints they had been unable to complete route three so this was good practice.
Finishing the third route they moved to the start of Route four. The start of route four was a vertical climb up 20m of rough cut ladders. There was an issue here as Simon has size 12 feet and the ladders had not been built to accommodate such impressively sized feet. After much discussion with the course safety staff, much to Simon’s disappointment he was asked not to continue with the course as they were unable to suggest a way for him to climb the ladders.
Ben continued on the route and successfully completed the route.
After a large lunch at the local bistro Ben and Simon were left to complete a couple of routes while everybody else went back to the Gite or went shopping.
With the tree courses all finished it was back to the Gite were everybody went swimming, although Bruce managed to fit in a short cycle ride (shortened due to a puncture).
The rest of the evening was spent playing cards or updating the blog.