On the ferry from Tasucu to Girne I met Alexander. He started his journey from Russia and will spend a few weeks in Cyprus. The ferry was scheduled to depart at midnight. But here in Turkey it can take a while. Only at 4 o'clock in the morning we left the harbor. This is a record of the delay! After the passage we have to wait another two hours at the border.
Left! That was the first, I was realized. In the beginning it was not easy to navigate in traffic. But after a while you get used to it. We decide to cycle along the coast and visited a war memorial to commemorate the Cyprus dispute.
The Cyprus dispute is a recurring theme that is located on the Mediterranean island. Since then it has been present in various forms. In its present phase, it is primarily a military invasion and the continued Turkish occupation of the northern third of the island (since 1974). In recent years relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots have warmed up, and officially reunited talks began in early 2014
We set up our tents directly on a cliff. The sun while eating in the sea. Moments like these - priceless! Also here on the island the hospitality is just incredible. The people (on both sides) invited us to tea or coffee many times. Two days later I said goodbye to Alexander. As a Russian passport holder you are not allowed to enter the greek side.
The Turkish side does not have many mountains. They start a few kilometers directly after the border. I've found almost everything here, I was like a bike ride. Mountain roads with less traffic and fantastic campsites. My budget is definitely a nap for the hostel prices here on the island. Also, I decided in the next few weeks for my tent. In one day I had almost no food. Fortunately, a family in the first village invited me for breakfast. In the end, the big mother prepared a huge lunch bag. That's how my day was saved.
One of my main goals is to orbit Africa without an airplane. I intended to bring a commercial boat from the port in Limassol to Haifa in Israel. The officers sent me to the Salamis office, where I received my first bad news. The boat was already finished and they sent me to the airport in Larnaca. I was totally depressed. Luckily I met a local on the way. Vakis is a passionate cyclist.
He tried to help me as much as possible. My mood, however, was at Nadir. I left Limassol the next morning. At the airport I was told that I have to pay 200 Euros extra for the transport of my bike and I need a return ticket if I want to enter Israel. The next bad news followed the next morning. I go back to another Salamis office where I told myself that I would not leave Cyprus over land because I have it on the Turkish side. What an incredible idiocy!
My self-confidence faded slowly. I decided to visit Lefkosia (the capital) and talk to the frontier guards. Lefkosia has been continuously inhabited for over 4,500 years and has been the capital of Cyprus since the 10th century. Nicosia was subdivided into the southern Greek Cypriots and the northern Turkish Cypriot sections in 1963, after urban violence broke out in the city. Today, the north of the city is the capital of Northern Cyprus, a de facto state, occupied by the international community as Cypriot territory.
Nicosia established as the financial capital of the island and as the most important international business location.
The border guard told me that the information from Salamis is wrong and I should return to Limassol. Finally a bright spot! But I had another chance to see the mountains again.
Back in Limassol at the port, the police sendet me to another Salamis office. This time they told me i should come back in 4 days and probably there will be a cabine left for me. That was a good information. Since nearly 3 weeks i cycled now non- stop without any brake. After 4 relaxing days i vent back to the office. But there was no place left for me and they told me again, that i’m not allowed to leave the country at the port. Why couldn’t they tell me this 4 days ago?! I left the office completely angry with a loud “Fuck you all“. The Greeks are world champions when it comes to incompetence.
On the Internet i heard about the conflicts in Jerusalem between the Palestinian population and the Israeli security forces. After a long talk with my Mother over Skype we decided not to visit Israel at the moment. Safety first! I cycled completely dejected to the Airport in Larnaca. My plane was leaving the next day.
The hospitality of the people from both sides of the island and the stunning mountain landscape surprised me a lot. But Cyprus is still bisected, especially in the minds of many islanders. At the departing i have to think about a Quote from Mahatma Gandhi: “There’s no way to Peace, because Peace is the way“.