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...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

19 November 2022

Free figs and the sea

Tuesday 1 November

Today we started the morning with a long walk through the agricultural hills from the village of Miliou, not far from Kathikas. We saw lemons and oranges, grape vines, olive trees and almond trees, walnut trees and fig trees. We saw huge bright red pomegranates, bergamots, prickly pears, crab apples and medlars. It was a wonderful three hours, we didn’t see anyone except for a couple of farmers, the sun shone and occasionally a merciful breeze blew over the terraced hills and deep gorges. There was overgrown reeds to duck under in the very bottom of the valley and mysterious outcrops of calcite crystals among the chalky slopes. The halfway destination was the deserted village of Kato Thelatras, whose ruined houses without doors or windows were just a bit too ruined to be picturesque.

Countryside around Miliou

At the end of the walk we drove the wrong way to leave Miliou and an old fella picking figs directed us how to find the right route. He also gave us a handful of fresh figs from his bag and they were absolutely amazing. The fig trees were heaving with fruit, and what with all the other produce, most of them my favourite things, I could imagine living here being quite heavenly. Back home you can pay 80p for a single fig. Bonkers.

Pomegranates hanging on the trees of Miliou

Later on we drove down to the west coast to dip ourselves in the sea at Toxeftra Beach. It would be odd to come to Cyprus and not jump in the sea, and the water is crystal clear and plenty warm enough even at the start of November. Still, twenty minutes of laughing and falling over in the rather strong and feisty waves is probably about our limit! And then drying off and getting sand off toes and trying to get changed in the car without anyone seeing you… sometimes its just the faff that makes the sea a bit off-putting! I suppose if we had organised ourselves for an entire day at the beach it would be easier.

Sea otter!

On the way home we stopped at a Donkey Farm, mainly for a drink but the donkeys were amiable and the views down to Paphos were huge. In the evening we drove all the way back to Kathikas (okay, 25 minutes, Cyprus isn’t huge) to have dinner at a proper country taverna: To Stekki Tou Panai. This involved a much better moussaka, some more good sausages and a lovely simply dish of thin fried slices of courgette scrambled up with egg and dried mint. You’ll be surprised to hear that the portions were way too huge and we waddled out stuffed, with half a bottle of wine to enjoy back at our hotel.

Visiting the donkeys

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