kathy-newBy Kathy Martin…

Spotted this talk being advertised on both Facebook and in the online newspaper Cyprusscene. This is a journey my late husband, Alistair and I would have loved to have done, so just had to attend!

Drove to the Eziç Premium Restaurant, in plenty of time for the 11.00 start on the bypass around Girne/Kyrenia in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. As a non-member I paid 25tl (about £6.40) with members paying 20tl (about £5.10).

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Angela Brooks and the map showing the four different routes taken

Angela Brooks entitled her talk: “Heading Home – Adventures in a camper van between homes in North Cyprus and the UK” and it was fascinating. Angela started by apologising that it was a very low tech talk and handed out maps of the routes she and her husband travelled. Their first trip was in 2010 with the criteria including her husband’s love of fly-fishing, having time to visit interesting places on the way etc. Their shortest route was 3,200 miles

Angela said that rather than describing each of the journeys in detail she would pick out highlights, starting with:

Roads

The best being the A111 through Austria, the most interesting being the road in Slovenia where all the hairpin bends were numbered 47 up and 51 down (or was it the other way round my notes are not clear!). Each hairpin had cobbled stones to help the car tyres grip the road! Also, motorway 69 across North Greece.

The worst being SS16 down the Adriatic coast of Italy with either crossroads or traffic lights every two miles or so, built up areas between the road and the sea. Angela said that on the map it had looked so attractive!

2-ata-groupRoad Signs

Finding the borders between some countries became a challenge with, for one example, Greece hiding Macedonia.

Crossing the Border

Turkey to Greece in 2012 being the most exciting, as they were suspected of being Drug Smugglers, which raised a giggle!

Refugees

Some of these trips were carried out when the refugee crisis was at its height and they found that they didn’t see as many as they expected.

Temporary Road tax

Apparently when you cross certain borders you need a special road tax Angela related an amusing tale from Bulgaria!

Police

A couple of interesting tales, but I do not want to spoil Angela’s story by giving all her secrets away!

Camping

Interesting, as they could not always find designated sites.

Hazards on the Roads

Pigs, Donkeys, feral dogs, tortoises, un-tethered horse BUT the most interesting was a toddler!

Kindness of total strangers

Several experiences in Turkey, Albania and Serbia to mention just three countries.

Angela ended by telling us they tended to leave here in May and return in September as the weather was better then. They probably travelled about 24,000 miles in total.

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Pearl Mitchell thanking Angela Brooks

At the end Pearl thanks Angela for her fascinating talk and we all showed our appreciation with a loud round of applause! Angela answered a few questions including what type of camper van did they own, apparently a Renault Master using diesel, getting 33 m.p.g.

4-my-view-from-restaurant-in-ezic-premium-can-that-be-the-long-awaited-rainQuite a few of us stayed for lunch, We started outside on their terrace but as the photo of the view shows the long-awaited and much needed rain arrived making for a rapid move inside.

Sat with Pearl Mitchell, ATA (Anglo Turkish Association), chairwoman (or is that chairperson these days?) and Jewel Pearce the ATA secretary. Fascinating chat as we discovered what had brought us all to live here in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, amongst other things!

Before I finish would like to apologise if you read this thinking you would have a full rendition of Angela’s talk, but as I was writing this I made a decision. That was the fact that this was Angela Brooks tale and I would NOT presume to write it here.

Can I suggest if you want to know more you look out for any future occasions that Angela may be persuaded to repeat her talk!

If anyone would like to contact the ATA their email address is atamail13@gmail.com