|Wiki Info Gazimagusa
Today we take off for the wild blue i.e. the unknown of Karpaz peninsula...caught the 9am minibus to Gazimagusa where we hunted around for information. On the minibus there was also a French woman travelling by herself and looking for the same information so we kind of teamed up. After asking several places near the bus station we finally found someone who could give us the straight skinny on transport out to the end of the peninsula. Turns out there's a minibus leaving at 1pm to Dipkarpaz but there are only two minibuses a day leaving at 6 & 7am to return to Gazimagusa from Dipkarpaz. Also, Dipkarpaz is still 23 km from the end of the peninsula which can only be reached via hired taxi! Once again foiled by lack of public transport. The one exception to the 6 & 7am return bus happens to be Sundays, tomorrow when the bus returns at 5pm! Yes!
At this point a lady stopped by and asked (in very good English) if she could help. At first we declined until we mentioned where we were heading. This began a nice conversation in which she eventually explained more to the driver for us in Turkish which ended with her arranging for us to be taken to Arches Houses where we could stay "cheaply" and the driver was told to pick us up there at 5pm tomorrow. The driver spoke/understood very little English. The lady gave us her name, email, and phone # just in case. Her husband is a doctor, Dr. Ahmet, her name Semay. She also said she would call ahead for us when she got home to make sure they would give us a good price too much (apparently these are friends). The folks at q minibus place directed us to a place where we could store our packs while we explored Gazimagusa for next 2 hours when the bus leaves. Hasan, who runs/owns the barbershop down the way, very hospitably locked our stuff up for us. He also gave us his #05338298940 so we can contact him for a cheap place to stay on our return to 'Magusa on Sunday. Had a nice walk around 'old town' with French gal, Valerie, who got an ear full of our "group", like a mini-lesson of B-M-&T travel/opinions & political ideas, ha! Poor gal, I think she was glad when we went on our way since she had only come for the day and was returning to Girne this eve. Our driver took us first to a place called Farm House Pencion which was quite a ways away from the center of town AND cost $50 euro per person! We think these were friends of the driver who we eventually got to call/talk to Semay, the woman who supposedly had arranged for us to be in this place called Arches House. Bon and the driver spoke to her with the final result that we returned to town center and Arches House just a block from where the bus driver said he would leave from at 5pm tomorrow! At Arches House we talked with the fellow behind the counter who said he did not have room for us (it was full with a group of 21 Germans) but just 20 meters away we could stay for same price. There at Cyprus Guest House we discovered the "cheap" price was $67.50 euro for all 3 of us. Still, to our way of thinking not cheap at all! Tried to negotiate to no avail but this did include breakfast. So here we are, spending a lot more than anticipated and still not sure if we'll get to the end of the peninsula tomorrow. One of those times when we realize how cheap we really are...I guess Semay was a bit taken aback when Bon told her we have been staying in places for $50 lira for all 3 of us! A lira = $1.80 US vs $1 euro = .76 US i.e. we're paying over 3 times what we usually do! Well, she's married to a doctor which should have clued us in to where she was coming from in the first place, ha! I relate all this to give an idea of how we fill our day with travel. As independent travellers who speak none of the language, we spend quite a bit of time gathering information and then sorting it out for what's 'real', and finally, debating/acting on it with the consequences being totally open ended. If we'd been in some other place eg. larger town (this is a small village), most likely we would have gone out and hunted down a different accommodation or possibly even found transport back/onward. Here was a dead end, no other good options left - we've never tried sleeping on the street or hitching a ride on this trip, that would make it too much of an 'adventure', ha!