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Boxing Day – Scattering the Ashes

On Boxing Day we were taken on a mini-bus tour of the Karpas Peninsular, the “pan-handle” in the north-east of Cyprus. We were heading for the old Greek Orthodox monastery of Apostolos Andreas right at the very far tip of the peninsular. But when we got there after a three-hour drive through admittedly beautiful and largely unspoiled scenery, it was closed for renovations! It was fenced off and covered in scaffolding¬† in the middle of a building site. The guide tried her best to save the day by saying “Look – wild donkeys!” as we were mugged by four very woolly creatures looking for carrots. The donkeys are the descendants of the animals abandoned by the Greek Cypriot farmers during the exchange of populations in the seventies when Cyprus was divided in two. They have all been rounded up and housed in a nature reserve on the Karpas peninsular, where they seem to have got very used to cadging treats off tourists. After five minutes looking at the donkeys, we got back in the mini-bus and drove back down the peninsular to lunch. I heard one of the chaps seated behind me grumbling “Do you think the person who put this tour together has actually been on it?” They certainly didn’t bother to check that the monastery was actually open…..

Scattering the ashes

Scattering the ashes

Lunch was at a very pleasant fish restaurant on the north coast of the peninsular, next to a lovely little bay with a sandy beach.¬† I went for a quiet stroll on the beach while the others were finishing their lunch, and scattered some of Christopher’s ashes into the sea just by the little rocks at the middle right of the picture above. It was very peaceful, with just the sound of the waves, and I think he would have approved.