Day One, Night One, I Give Up
Of course I hadn’t really prepared for sleeping outdoors, though I thought summer nights on beaches in Cyprus would be pleasant. You know, stargazing on a beach on a Mediterranean island as I fall asleep and all that.
Yves, of course, a 28 year veteran of cycling the world, was ready for camping with everything from a tent to a metal teapot he’d been travelling with for 15 years, one that had been given to him and that he seemed quite fond of.
Yves made short work of setting himself up for a luvly jubly night’s sleep while I was still looking forward to stargazing and falling sleeping on the beach.
I know the feeling when things last with me for ages and come in more handy than they’d ever been designed to do.
So he stayed up at the camping site of Governors beach while I went down the hill to sleep on the one of the sun beds used for day visitors.
Looking down at the beach from the hill above it did seem like a good idea at the time.
Sleepless in Cyprus
That night I was kept up and cold by a very strange cold breeze that seemed to be flowing down the river valley towards the sea passing right through my bones.
The night before I’d bought a half bottle of whiskey from the restaurant up the hill, thinking it would be have a drink as I dozed off under the stars and all that crap.
I ended up drinking the whole thing to try and keep warm, or was it to stave off the misery that I’d made a bad mistake thinking I could just crash on the beach, or was it in an attempt to knock myself out for some sleep, cold wind or no cold wind.
As dawn came, I was half drunk and sensing the onset of an evil hangover coming on.
I gave up all hope of sleep, with the morning sun starting to shine on the beach.
I had been kept up by the cold all night, now I was being kept from sleeping by the heat of the morning sun. I was exhausted and miserable and I had a hangover the size of Pluto.
I was also very very thirsty, hungry and dying for a coffee. And after the thirty kilometer ride in the afternoon heat we’d done the day before I was worn out and my mood was frayed.
Eventually I gathered my wits and went in search of anything that would make me less miserable.
Mind you this was a Sunday morning, in an area dependant on day visitors and everything was closed.
Eventually I found a hotel a few kilometers away but there was nobody there to book me in. I tried to buy a bottle of water from the cleaning lady in the kitchen but all she could come up with was a lukewarm small bottle. Everything was locked until their guests start waking up for breakfast. And so my misery was continued.
Make a long story short I eventually booked a room and rode back to get my stuff.
Back at the Camp
Yves was up by then, and making coffee in his twenty year old pot.
Here’s him below, well, chuffed with his little old kettle while I could hardly get myself to raise the phone to take a picture.
But it was just dawning on me that I should take pictures and document this trip – or what was left of it. So barely able to maintain my manners with in my frayed and delicate condition, head pounding, wishing the whole world would just go away, I took some pictures.
And listened with as much feigned interest as I could, asking the appropriate questions and making the appropriate noises when all I wanted was to get to an air conditioned room and a bed with covers big enough to blot out life as we know it.
Even coffee, cigarettes and food did not make me feel any better. I was determined to feel wretched.
I told Yves that I’ll be abandoning plans to head out with him to Nicosia that morning and, given the way I was feeling, I might or might not follow him, in fact I might or not ever go anywhere again on a bicycle.
And I’m never going to have a drink again. OK, maybe one or two on special occasions only.
I was wretched. I couldn’t face the three kilometer ride back to the hotel, never mind 45 km (uphill) to Nicosia.
It looked like my first cycling adventure had ended on my first day of cycling.