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Dolores the Karpas donkey

This goes back to 2010 when my life in Karsiyaka was being turned into a nightmare by Akfinans Bank Limited. It demonstrates that the British sense of humour in me was and still is alive and well

“Having spent a week, looking out at every noise, expecting a knock on the door any minute, I decided, enough is enough, and we would take a trip out for the day, the obvious choice and one of our favourite places, the Karpas.

We took the by-pass up to Girne and then headed out on the Tatlisu road. Tatalisu is where you will find many villas built by Kulaksiz and a particularly large unfinished site of theirs. There was no sign of work going on as we passed this site. We had not been out that way for nearly a year and were surprised at the amount of roadwork that has been finished since our last trip. We attempted to keep on the coast road for as long as we could, but diversions were carrying us back to the new road.

Chris was particularly struck by the number of unfinished, and it would appear unsold, properties and we both remarked how sad it was that this wonderful God given resource had not been developed more sensitively and with Eco tourism targeted.

There is a fairly long stretch of dirt road being worked on at the moment so if you are thinking of taking the same journey, be aware of this. Eventually we came to my favourite part, the miles of unspoiled beaches where the sand looks pink and the sea looks magnificent, truly a ‘feast for the eyes’. By this time we were beginning to wonder where all the donkeys were hiding. On our last visit we had seen at least thirty before we crossed the grid that heralds the start of the donkey sanctuary.

We travelled a short distance within the sanctuary when we saw a donkey on the side of the road. Naturally we drove very slowly past and then realised the donkey had moved to the middle of the road and was looking at the car, so we reversed back to say hello. As we reversed, we noticed the donkey was walking towards us and when she got near she shouted ‘ola!’

We were not surprised she spoke to us, we find that most animals do. We were more surprised she spoke Spanish. Chris tried a little ‘Spanglish’ but she laughed and said it was okay, she also spoke English. We introduced ourselves and she told us her name was Dolores. She was obviously very pregnant or as Chris says, she had a belly full of arms and legs or, in Dolores’s case, legs and legs.

She also informed us she was the official tour guide donkey and that during peak season she wore a red donkey jacket so that the tourists would be able to single her out if they needed information. We asked her politely when the baby was due, and she replied any time now. I enquired about the father and she said her husband Donkeyote was still in Spain, apparently he has a fetish about windmills.

Dolores asked us if we had any carats and Chris thought she might be doubling as a customs officer, then the penny (kurus) dropped, CARROTS, after all she was eating for two. With an asinine smile she bid us farewell and we carried on as she shouted a pleasant “y’all come back now’” – she must be very well travelled. As we went on our way, it suddenly dawned on me that unless we were in an amphibious vehicle we had no choice to come back her way. That Dolores, a laugh a minute.

We stopped at the he sign for the restaurant/ bar by the monastery where a notice has been sign written by a dyslexic or Irish sign writer, it reads WIEV HOTEL AND RESTAURANT.

We stopped at the Sea Bird Restaurant and Bungalows and had a much need Efes. Talking with Dolores had made us thirsty. Huseyin took a while to come out, I am not surprised, he was rushed off his feet, he had five customers. I thought 5 TL for his beer fair enough, considering the location. We enquired about the accommodation which was 120 TL for room, dinner and breakfast for two people, which again, seemed fair because once it got dark I doubt you would want to venture far. On one visit to Huseyin’s we had been fortunate to see a fleet of Tuna fishing boats from Turkey in the bay.

On our way back we saw Dolores again and she started laughing and braying, it wasn’t that funny, and it must be a much told joke. A little further down the road we met her son Del, we remarked on his name and he said, wait till his brother or sister is born, she plans to call him/her Rio, she really is very Spanish. He had to leave us then to play to the crowd, a car with two adults and two children had stopped, it doesn’t take much to constitute a crowd in the off season.

On the way back we stopped in Yeni Erenkoy at DEKS and found this delightful. The garden is beautiful; a deck runs into the sea where you can swim from. Bobby the owner was putting up disclaimers because a rather large man had attempted (unsuccessfully) to get into a hammock and suffered, what I suspect to be, an Efes related injury. The swings and slides are sturdy and placed sensibly in a sand pit (just in case the large man decides to use the slide). The establishment is family orientated and the kids, even the big ones, well catered for. Another bonus, the Efes in bottles was only 4 TL.

We were fortunate enough to see several donkeys on the return journey, I suspect Dolores had had a word, no slacking on her watch. So we wended our way back home, much more relaxed thanks to the beautiful scenery, the pleasant conversation, a couple of Efes and being able to escape the thoughts that have dominated our lives for the last eight days. Try as I might, I have not been able to master how to attach the photos of Dolores, Del, Deks and the WIEV HOTEL SIGN for North Cyprus Free Press. Perhaps, when they release my lap top I can do a short follow up story and let you all see them.”

They never did release my lap top…now known as Laura the laptop and she has languished in Girne nick for the last 7 plus years, no  charges ever have been made against me.

 

Pauline Dolittle-Read

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