By Margaret Sheard ….

Saturday 8th April was the 3rd Yeşilirmak Strawberry Trek and Nature Walk to herald the start of the strawberry season for which the area is so well known.

I was told there were about 60 walkers who set off from Vouni Palace after some speeches of welcome.   The morning was a bit overcast but there was no rain and probably better for the walkers than the sun beating down on them.

As it is a fair distance to travel from Ozankoy to Yeşilirmak, we didn’t join the walk and when we arrived at the Vouni King Restaurant, the walkers were all starting to enjoy an early lunch.   We have visited the Restaurant on a few occasions and stayed at the hotel in which we think is a lovely part of the island and so have become firm friends with the family – Cemal and Bilgen Yorulmaz, their son Kaya and daughter Havva and her family.

We were pleased to see Hasan Karlitas who led the walk with Cemal and also met a group of British people who live in Karşiyaka and Tatlisu who had also participated in the walk.

Later a coach arrived to take some of the walkers back to Vouni to collect their vehicles.  We had invited my sister to join us for a day out as she hadn’t visited that part of the island before and we took the opportunity of showing her the famous vine near to Vouni King Restaurant which is mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records and we also showed her the Vouni King Hotel near to the restaurant.

As is usual when travelling with Chris there were one or two detours on our return journey so after a quick tour around Yeşilirmak we next looked at the village of Lefke and visited the home of the now deceased Naqshbandi-Haqqani Order spiritual leader, Muhammad Nazim Adil al- Qubrusi al-Haqqani.  Chris went to the men’s section and spent some time chatting to a Pakistani young man who had come all the way from Manchester in the UK to pay homage and respect to what he referred to as his Saint.  Brenda and I were given headscarves to enter the women’s section and we sat in the lovely garden for a short while.    Chris has written about seeing this spiritual leader in a previous article about his walk around Lefke, to view click here

Next we stopped at the CMC Golf Club and had coffee/tea at the Hidden Garden Cafe/Restaurant next to the clubhouse, which we had visited recently and produced an article about the CMC Golf Club.    Time was moving on so we continued our journey home, taking the Camlibel/Lapta route this time.

We had intended to purchase some strawberries as we left Yeşilirmak but Bilgen had very kindly given us a gift of a punnet of strawberries for each of us.  Such a nice gesture and we will all really enjoy them.

We were all feeling very tired after a long day of travelling, but the journey is well worth it to visit this side of the island.   Of course there is the Strawberry Festival to look forward to in May and as soon as we have some further details these will be published for our readers.

Pictures of the walk are courtesy of Hasan Karlitas.