May 31, 2023

The Suffolk Regiment “Old Boys”

in Cyprus – 56 years on


By Margaret Sheard…..

We catch up with some of the Suffolk Regiment “old boys” when they come to Kyrenia for the Remembrance event and one of our annual excursions is a visit to Wayne’s Keep which this year we made on the 10th November.  To see the review of this trip click here

For another day we had suggested a visit to the Geçitköy Dam to see the “Project of the Century” and the water now flowing into the Dam from Turkey, which they were interested in seeing.  We set off early and on the way made a few detours to see some of the things Chris had discovered whilst doing his inevitable “exploring”.   One of these was an old hotel right on the water’s edge in Lapta, it was probably a very nice hotel in its day but now it is a crumbling ruin, such a shame as it is in a beautiful location.

Our next stop was the Pumping Station at Guzelyali which is the entry point of the pipe under the sea from Turkey and we wandered around for a while looking at the huge pipes still in the area.

Guzelyali Pumping Station

Then we made our way to the Dam itself.  The water is flowing but has a long way to go before the Dam is filled but that day it looked very serene.

Gecitkoy Dam

Since I last visited the Dam which was before the water started to flow there has been much work carried out around the area and there is now a visitors’ look-out area with seating to be able to sit and look out over the Dam in such peaceful surroundings.  We weren’t able to go as far as the Pumping Station at this point as the track was very muddy and impassable.

Viewing point at the Dam

From the Dam we made our way to the Treatment Plant at Çamlibel and were able to drive around the complex and see the vast amount of work which has been done constructing buildings to house the various equipment and administration.   This is where President Erdoğan visited recently to officially “switch on” the water project.  To see the article and video about this visit click here

We had a drive around Çamlibel and stopped off at the lovely little park in the village where a couple of us decided to sit and enjoy the sun and the others wandered off to look at the restored viaduct and the Ayios Panteleimon Monastery which is to be renovated at some time in the future and when the adventurous trio returned they said it looks as if work is getting ready to start.

The Monastery at Camlibel

This will be a wonderful tourist attraction when the restoration is done.   On the way back Terry couldn’t resist the slide in the children’s playground.

Terry on the slide

Now it was around lunchtime and everyone was getting peckish so we started to make our way back and have some lunch en-route.   One last detour was to show the lads the refurbished Le Chateau Lambousa Hotel in Lapta, where they had joined in a gala evening last year but hadn’t seen the hotel in daylight.   They all agreed what an impressive building it is.

Le Chateau 450

We also went to the Saturday market area which is in the process of major re-development with covered stall areas and is looking very impressive.  We also looked in at the Auction House and viewed the many items which would be available for the next auction, all very tastefully displayed.

Lambousa Market

Time to eat, so we stopped off at Freddie’s Bar in Lapta and had a really nice lunch, outside in the sun I may add.  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed what they had ordered, which was 2 for home-made steak pie with gravy, ham and eggs, gammon and eggs, and prawn salad, and we were all feeling very satisfied with some good food inside us.

We dropped the lads off at the Pia Bella Hotel where they were staying and said our goodbyes as they were returning to the UK in a couple of days.   So, see you again next year.

It was a nice day out and the lads were pleased to be able to see some of the places of interest they would not normally have the opportunity to visit.

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