It was overcast in Larnaca this morning, feeling fresh but otherwise dry.
After a late breakfast and a walk along the sea front and through the market, I went to inspect my car in daylight. I figured out how to use the climate control – Clearly the car had been used by a Greek most recently, so I turned the temperature right down.
If you look closely at Cypriot number plates – or at least the newer ones – they now show in small print the month and year of registration. My car is 4 years old (dated 02/15), and is quite a good car for a hire car. 6 gears, got quite a bit of power, not that you need a fast car out here though, in a country where the national speed limit is 100km/h – just 60mph!
Today involved quite a bit of driving, but relatively easy – motorway all the way from Λάρνακα-Larnaca to Πάφος-Pafos and then back again this evening – a journey of 140km (86 miles) in each direction.
In a windy Pafos I met up with Will, a friend from Cirencester who has been here since the beginning of January. We spent some time walking around the various archaeological sites in Pafos and drove the short distance to a local restaurant where we had a 3 course meal for €12,50 each. (The στιφάδο-stifado was very good)
It was dark for most of the journey back, as I didn’t leave Pafos until after 5. My observations of the Cypriot roads are that
- Absolutely no one pays any attention at all to the speed limits.
- No one, that is, apart from the Cypriot police car who trundled along in the slow lane at 100km/h with his blue lights on – but it didn’t seem to bother him that just about everyone overtook him at 120km/h*.
- *Unofficially, there is a 20km/h tolerance above National Speed Limit.
- High-end BMWs and Mercs seem to make up a large proportion of the vehicles on the roads here.
- Tailgating seems common. Some drivers get far too close for comfort.
- When an unmarked police car (a very fast Audi) with blue lights on came up behind me on the way back in to Larnaca, I thought for a minute he was about to pull me over. He didn’t.
Back in Larnaca, I strolled down to the sea front and had a light meal in a relatively busy restaurant overlooking the promenade.
Tomorrow not so much driving but I won’t have sat nav available – I’m heading to Northern Cyprus and while I will be able to use sat nav to see my GPS position, it won’t calculate directions from A to B once I cross the border.
That means I’ll be relying completely on Turkish road signs to find my way around (easier said than done)! I’ll try not to do what I did last year, which was to take a wrong turn and end up going down a dirt track for several miles, then driving down a half built (unfinished) motorway in a bid to find my way back to an actual road…
I will update tomorrow on the outcome of that, assuming I can find my way back to the border.