Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Ride Five - Akova

At 5am a bloke (and his goat?) started yelling down a PA system from a Mosque somewhere, the call to prayer was being issued as it has been for centuries. Although it woke me up it was actually a nice thing, it sounds very haunting and way better than the hellish squawking of the seagulls back in Worthing!

                                                                    GOAT VIDEO!!

 I wanted to ride earlier because I thought the weather may shut down again like it did yesterday. The clouds rose up over the mountains behind me and threatened hellfire and brimstone but thankfully the Sun won this particular battle and all was well.

I headed out about 9am (having fallen back into a trance for a few hours) and followed a flat route out via Iskele, and headed towards the village of Akova. Apparently this tiny village, and some of the others nearby, was the scene of some horrendous massacres during the invasion of Cyprus in 1974 which I believe involved the brutal shooting of young kids in their classroom. Today the village was like a ghost town, I saw just three old men sitting outside a café playing what looked like backgammon and smoking foul smelling cigarettes.


I rode on through and onto the villages of Yildirim and Alanici, both of which were equally deserted. The trees in the gardens had lemons on them; I have seen these everywhere I go on the rides here.

The villages are run down and unkempt for the most part, but still retain a certain charm, each with its small store or market and almost zero traffic.

Along the way were the usual goat herders and tractors, and the few drivers there were all waved and yelled hello as the passed wide and safe. I wish the UK drivers would do the same instead of committing attempted murder every time they pass me within millimetres.

I rode on down towards the coast again into the Town of Famagusta. Here, like all Towns, is where the drivers metomophisize into deranged maniacs as I dodged around potholes and broken glass. I dislike big towns with a vengeance and this one, although safer than most UK towns for a cyclist, is no different.
So it was head down on the aero bars and blast along the coast road back all the time checking the sky for those big clouds and the possible repeat of yesterdays hail stone deluge, but it never came.

On arrival back I was greeted with joyous tidings, the power supply was out across the region, no wi fi, no nothing, including no lift! So ‘twas with much happiness that I lugged the bike up nine flights of stairs to the apartment, all of which was good news in my war against yesterdays Pizza overdose!

So it was down to the café for a cold lunch in the acoustic disaster zone, the place has such live acoustics it’s impossible to hear yourself think in there, time for whoever runs it to take a trip down to the carpet and curtain shop or get some professional acoustic foam treatment up on the walls, won’t take much, that way people will stay and eat more because they won’t die a long and painful death from ear drum damage.  I shall move on having made my point me thinketh!

After lunch the sky did cloud over and there are a few more showers to come I feel. So my decision to delay the ride across the Green line by a day was the correct one for me. Ths is something cycling lot's has taught me, go with my gut feelings, make and take the right decisions for me and forget about what others think, because they are not me, and they are usually wrong!

Luckily the electricity came back on and life here has gone back to it’s timeless and charming laid back chaos!

Here are some stats from the very short ride today, because I am in a statty mood!

33 miles
Moving average speed 17 mph
Max speed 25 mph
Total ascent 233m

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