More adventures in Dubai …

Oh we have got so lazy with writing our blog.  You know how the second half of a holiday always races away with you … that’s what happened in Dubai, a mixture of packing our days with Dubai trips and then in the lazy times, being lazy!!   So just to catch up, a quick round up …..

We managed to fit in a trip to the Hard Rock Cafe – try to go to one wherever we are (sort of collecting the memories!) – this was a fab one – huge – with live music.  At £40 for the cheapest house wine we stuck to Kilkenny’s beer … and fine it was too!

To make sure we covered the vast area of this new city, we resorted to a Big Bus tour … and it did the job well.  Spent the whole day hopping on and off of buses and covered the stretch of Jumeirah, up to the Atlantis resort on Palm Island, round the Marina area, through the high rise districts admiring all the beautifully designed skyscrapers and down into old Dubai with its wind tower buildings, gold and spice souks and the creek.  Our trip included a dhow trip along the creek which enabled great photo opportunities.  

Some more chilled days spent at the beach or poolside at the villa.  One evening, Anne, Steve and I enjoyed a dhow dine and cruise – buffet and entertainment – very magical.

One of the highlights/adventures was our trip down to Dibba to take a day’s Dhow trip along this tip of the Oman coastline – to include snorkelling, speed boat trips, banana rides etc.  So this involves a border post – say no more!!!  An interesting drive down as driving through Fujairah is mountainous – so different to Dubai.  However, it proved a long drive and on top an hour’s queue to get through the border.  And guess whose car got searched … and 3 cans of beer found amongst our picnic!!!  Now they obviously love that bit of power and so not only confiscated our booty but held our passports and made us pull up and wait till the remaining queue was cleared … another hour!!!   As the time rolled on and the heat increased we were trying to remain calm but not knowing what the outcome would be we got a bit jittery at times.  To add to the ‘sweat’ we realised that we had a bottle of vodka in a bag on the back seat – we had been at Paula’s the night before and she had given it to Ali, together with an apple crumble, and lo and behold here it was still in the car!!  Finally we were summoned to the gate post, papers were filled out, details taken – not sure if the tears and profuse apologies helped but we were allowed on our way and firmly told never to do this again.  We were able to laugh once safely back in the car … and had a fabulous day out on the dhow.  Had to dump the vodka however as we were not going to risk another search on the way back into Dubai.

And so Dubai came to an end … for now.  Had a fabulous last day at Sunset beach and a bbq at the villa with Anne and Nathan – with bubbles to toast our amazing hosts and our onward journey.   A huge thanks to Anne for all you have done to make our stay so incredible ❤️

The dizzy heights of Dubai

Plain sailing (or should I say flying!!) from Cairo to Dubai.  So impressed with Egyptair – we arrived early once again and no hiccups, comfortable flight, pleasant crew, food supplied …. no alcohol however!  Anne and Nathan came to meet us at Dubai airport – boy were we thrown by the heat – averaging 33-38 degrees – we’re acclimatising well though.  Whisked off in their air-conditioned jeep to their beautiful air-conditioned villa – a lovely home, complete with swimming pool and gym – how spoilt are we!?  Met Ali, Annes’ lovely lodger and Samara the cat – Nathan and Anne gave us a tour of the villa and we very quickly settled into our comfortable Dubai life.  What a friend Anne is … she has moved into the maid’s quarters so that we can stay in her enormous ensuite room – not exactly roughing it are we!!?

Had a fabulous first night as Paula and Ahmed arrived bearing meats for a BBQ – Ahmed is a maestro on the old BBQ and produced the most tasty chicken and lamb delights.  Meanwhile there was much chatting and laughing, getting to know each other, whilst tucking into margueritas and red wine.  Ali produced a bottle of Laphroaig Whisky which he had received as a present – he and Ahmed gaily tucked into it during the evening so ideas of Ahmed driving home went out the window.  They have an amazing service here though whereby in this situation you can order a ‘driver’ to come and collect you and drive you home in your own car – genius!   

Crazily hot in the morning but we bravely tackled the gym first thing – Anne’s on a 30/30 Dubai challenge – 30 minutes exercise a day for 30 days – so we kept each other company as we sweated it out on the treadmill, cross-trainer and bike.  Followed this with a plunge into the pool – the water temperature not far off a cool bath – still refreshing though.  And then, after the healthy bit we hit what’s referred to as “The City’s favourite pastime” – the hotel Brunch!!  Floated into the amazing Jumerirah Beach Hotel – mingling in with some extremely glamorous guests arriving in super-cars and headed down to the beach restaurant where the brunch was taking place.  It is such a spectacle, delicious array of foods and drinks on demand – all you can eat and drink – while sitting at the edge of the beach overlooking the Burj Al Arab.  Met up with friends too including Ruth and Tony (we were friends back in the 80s here in Dubai when we were young, free and single – well Ruth and Tony were married but the rest of us were single!!).   After 3 hours of indulging in all things lovely, we took the elevator up to the top of the hotel – the Uptown Bar – and continued to party at these dizzying heights – stunning views and great company.  (Anne, Ali, Ruth, Tony, Julie, Richard, Sonya, John and Yvonne). 

The roads in Dubai are nowhere near as crazy as Cairo but they are incredibly busy, so many lanes, so many cars – fast cars and it seems to take ages to get anywhere.  I know I bang on about living in Dubai in the old days – you could literally get anywhere in about 10-15 minutes.  I would never discredit its phenomenal development however – it is just a completely different place.  On Saturday, we headed out on a 40 minute car journey to Dreamland in Umm al Quwain – Nathan brought his friend Theo along and Ali came too! Fun day – mostly took it easy in the lazy river, Dead Sea floating pool, the wave pool and sipping beer from ice cups.  Finished off with a hair-raising ride – with 5 of us in the raft it was practically tipping over the edge of the tube – much screaming!!  And after stocking up at Barracuda booze shop, Steve had his first bit of driving in Dubai – so brave – it’s not for me!!

On Sunday, Nathan, Steve and I spent a few hours at Mamsar Beach Park while poor old Anne had to work.  The sea is gorgeous- just like a luke warm bath as they say.  

Had an amazing evening too – met up with Ruth and Tony, Julie and Richard and drove out into the desert – Steve drove under Anne’s careful navigation, and he loved the bit of dune driving.  Arrived just as the sun was setting – enjoyed a picnic and some bubbles/beer and then had the spectacle of the starry sky.  The ‘girls’ remenisced about old friends and old times and places in 80s Dubai while the menfolk got stuck into a lot of football talk.  An interesting selection of lower league fans – Wycombe Wanderers, Plymouth Argyle and Southend – it’s staggering how men recall football facts – players, managers, matches, goals, spectator numbers … you name it!!

On Monday we decided to really hit the dizzy heights and and tackle the Burj Khalifa – WOW – this is an absolute must if you ever come to Dubai.  So pleased I overcame all my fears – the claustrophobia of indoor queueing, elevators, heights – because it was amazing.  I was able to view my beloved Trade Centre – it is now swamped by all the other magnificent skyscrapers – I used to work on 11th floor of the Trade Centre when it was the tallest building in Dubai.  You can view the whole stretch of Dubai from this 124th floor – and boy, hasn’t it grown.  

Once our feet were firmly back on ground floor land, we took a boat ride to view the Dubai fountain display.  This whole area is pretty magnificent, including the Dubai Mall – packed with shoppers and tourists, but no wonder, there’s so much to be amazed at.   It’s great to be back in Dubai ❤️


Famous words spoken by Mohamed Ali all those years back.  We’ve just had the pleasure of spending a couple of days with the other Mr Ali, this one coming from Tanta, near Cairo but also a ‘legend in his own lifetime!!’

Having first met Mohamed some 7 years previously whilst in Sharm el Sheikh, we have now met up together probably a dozen times since and are proud to call him our Egyptian son.  

Most of these two days were spent talking over the various stories we have collected over the years together with the numerous mutual friends that we have made.  Too many to mention, you all know who you are!  With Mohamed about the place things are never quiet, you just know that there is always some fun or excitement going to happen somewhere and this trip was no exception.  It all started quite innocently whilst we were relaxing around the pool at Le Meredian Hotel, Cairo Airport (can recommend – 5* at less than £100 per night). 

Mrs R happened to mention that her cold was not getting any better and did Mohamed know if there was a chemist nearby? Mohamed had travelled by bus and was convinced that he’d seen a 24/7 on the way into the airport, which I know now with hindsight was probably unlikely. I ask you how many 24/7’s do you see as you come through the tunnel into Heathrow? Undeterred by my thoughts, Mohamed was determined that we (yes me and him!) would set off in search of aforementioned 24/7.

Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun……..(it was 3.00pm and probably 30 degrees!

There then proceeded an almost comedy sketch of an hour or so as we walked around the service roads of Cairo Airport (oh and I had forgotten to check the FCO travel advice for Cairo..I guess luckily).  

I should point out at this stage, that we are staying just 100 yards from Terminal 3 which is linked by a pedestrian bridge, where there was certainly a pharmacy. However Mohamed was convinced that if we turned left just outside our hotel and walked down the service road we would find the 24/7. Mohamed asked directions (as all us blokes do) on numerous occasions.  

Egyptians have a wonderful greeting for each other which goes something like… Hey Basher (or Bash) before they rattle off in Arabic at each other for 5 minutes. At the end of each meeting I enquire as to the whereabouts of the 24/7 only to find that ‘Basher’ did not know!  

Undeterred we carried on with our search, at one point chasing after a ‘locals’ red bus. Which we missed, luckily though picking up a local taxi (picture below) which we squeezed into. I say squeezed in as there were already 6 rather largish Egyptian blokes already inside. To see the look on their faces when a large English bloke pushed in as well was a picture! Should have taken a selfie but it just didn’t seem appropriate! We travelled some five minutes before being dropped near a shopping mall, the taxi ride for two of us costing less than 50p. Money is no object though as I was probably the only English bloke ever to have taken a journey in this type of vehicle, although please remember that the actual vehicle was probably well over 10 years old:-

The shopping mall was closed, presumably half day closing, who knows?
Next door though was an Egyptian supermarket where all prices were in Arabic, although I did note that you could buy 6 x 1.5 litres of water for about 25p. We got a soft drink whilst we were looking for the hoped for Pharmacy, again with no luck. 

I was becoming quite the centre of attention, I don’t think they have many English people moving in these areas, all the time though Mohamed was chirping Hey Bash at various people on the street, still needing directions for that elusive Pharmacist.

By chance on leaving the supermarket we found ourselves near Terminal 1 of Cairo Airport, some 30 minutes or so after passing Terminal 3, but hey ho what an adventure and Mohamed advised me excitedly that Basher had promised him there was a Pharmacy just inside the terminal.

Now this is fine generally, but if I give you the picture of an Englishman and Egyptian man stood outside an international airport discussing how we were going to get inside without either of us being in possession of a passport?

This is to seriously underestimate the abilities of Mohamed Ali, approaching the machine gun holding security guard with the customary greeting….Hey Bash… before presumably explaining in Arabic that Steve’s wife had a cold and required medication and could we please enter the international airport terminal to visit the Pharmacy?

Amazingly we were allowed past the first set of security to the stage where we needed to put ourselves and luggage through security. Yes I know there is no chance of going any further, this is an International Airport!! Could I refer you though to my previous point about underestimating Mohamed, as the now familiar cry goes up… Hey Bash…..

We were now through to the departures hall and along with a Pharmacy (Yaaayyyyy!) were loads of people queuing to check in all assortments of very large boxes and parcels on equally large trollies. It was how I would imagine a Cargo dispatch facility could be. Where all these people were going with all these large luggage items I have no idea?

With medicines safely purchased we made our way out of the terminal and I put forward an idea that we could actually get a taxi back to Terminal 3 and pleased to report that Mohamed agreed. 

By chance there was a cab just outside where the driver at 4pm was finishing a MacDonalds, presumably late lunch or early supper. Not that he needed any food as his stomach was already competing for the limited space with the car steering wheel! This bloke was huge, of Big Daddy proportions! Mohamed negotiated the fare and handed over seven Egyptian notes totalling 35 Egyptian pounds (English £1.75).  Seven notes for £1.75……

The Egyptian economy is really struggling and you get 20 Egyptian pounds to £1 of our Queens currency, some years back we used to get 10 Egyptians to the £ so its great value here at present.

By this stage I’m sat in the back seat of our cab, relaxing now the driver having finished his food, enquires of us about directions to Terminal 3 (in Arabic of course). We are in Cairo Airport at Terminal 1 and he’s parked there in his taxi asking an English bloke directions to Terminal 3, you couldn’t make it up.

A few minutes later we are back at Le Meredian Hotel (opposite Terminal 3).  

Making our way through hotel security is also entertaining. They insist that you put your phone in a box on the side, before you walk through a scanner. The scanner that bleeps every time you go through, but to no avail as a nice smile and a Hey Bash soon gets you past. Not forgetting to pick up my phone from the same box, this time the other side of the scanner, we’re soon through to the pool. By this stage Mrs R has fallen asleep having given up hope of either seeing us or cold remedies ever again:-

We had been gone for about 90 minutes including walking around airport service roads, taking two taxis, numerous Hey Bash’s, spent 100 Egyptian pounds (£5 English), been though a shopping mall (closed) and a supermarket (purchased two Fanta Orange’s) and no small matter of getting into an International Air Terminal without passports. But our objective had been achieved and the medicine was delivered to the sunbed, by the pool, in the hotel, near the terminal at Cairo Airport.  

What an adventure and another great story to tell over the years about ‘The Greatest’ our good friend Mohamed Ali, there can surely be only one Mohamed Ali?

Uber experiences in Cairo

Tearful farewells in Lanarca airport as we said our goodbyes to Tom, Caroline and Wendy … they were heading back to Gatwick as we were flying off to destination no.2 – Cairo.  Tom very kindly gave me a great parting gift – a full blown head cold!!!  Cheers Tom – I guess sharing is caring ❤️.  Missing you guys xx

Pretty smooth journey once again.  Having checked in with ease, it took absolutely ages to snake our way through passport control and security, so much so that our flight boarding was being called.  They were boarding an hour before departure but it still gets your heart fluttering when other travellers are slowly picking off their trays, unloading their pockets, taking off shoes, taking out laptops etc.  and you keep hearing “we are now boarding flight no…..”.  A man kept trying to pass in front of us and Steve calmly explained that we all wanted to move forward but …. blocking manouevres were required as the chap didn’t understand English.   After some time he did manage to queue jump and made his way somewhat forward in the queue.  And he turned up on our flight!!  So Steve got his own back with some jumping in at the luggage carousel – he felt better after that!! 😏.  We made it to the plane in time and the flight actually took off some 20 minutes early – all good.  

We had been due to stay in an airbnb an hour or so outside of Cairo but at the last minute we changed our plans and booked into an airport hotel – excellent decision, it’s fab.  I know it’s not very ‘gap year’ and all that but, have you been to Cairo? – it’s mad!!  We arrived about 8.30pm and all we had to do was wheel our luggage across a walkway and hey presto we had arrived.  By this time my cold was pretty much full on so a quick beer and bed was just the ticket – no long car journey and no worries about what an Egyptian airbnb might turn out to be!?  The hotel was heaving on arrival as three weddings were taking place – there was music and dancing, beautiful brides and glamourous guests everywhere – an incredible spectacle.  Felt quite tempted to join in for a boogie but we might have stood out a bit in our travelling clothes!


We were up early yesterday morning and hit the hotel fitness centre by 8.00am – an hour’s workout was much needed after 10 fabulous but indulgent days in Cyprus.  Following this was a couple of hours lounging and swimming at the hotel’s fabulous pool (well, I am still nursing a cold – did I mention that!!?). 

After lunch we decided to head out to discover a bit of Cairo.  Now I have had previous experiences of taxis in Cairo and also we had read up on which colour cars to hail, how to establish fares, haggling, lack of air-conditioning etc.  And then there’s Uber!!  The hotel porter kindly organised an Uber for us and we set off for ‘Downtown’ and the Egyptian Museum.  Well – the roads are even madder than when I was here in the 80s – they are insane.  5 or 6 lanes of cars on most of the roads (no defined lanes however – painted lines have not reached these parts!) and they move from ‘lane’ to ‘lane’ at incredible speeds, blowing their horns constantly.  Cairo is definitely not a place for a person who suffers from anxiety – I nearly cut off the circulation in Steve’s hand as I tightly grip onto it on various parts of the journeys, eyes firmly shut!!  You’re lucky if you get a seat belt – grabbing hold of the front seat is your best defence against whiplash!!  We witnessed a pile up yesterday as we were walking ‘downtown’ – they drive so close to each other that this must happen on a regular basis.  And as for crossing the roads – it makes Rome seem mild!!  Our relationship was well and truly tested yesterday as Steve attempted to guide me across this chaos – red traffic lights mean nothing – it’s so hard to be brave and adventurous when you have cars coming at you from all angles!!  But we survived to tell the tale!
Visited the amazing Egyptian Museum – you can’t fail to be astounded by this ancient history – so much to see and learn about the different kingdoms, pharaohs, artefacts etc.  Ticket buying a little confusing – sent back from entry to another area to buy entry ticket, then once inside sent back again for another ticket to be able to use camera, once upstairs discovered you had to have another ticket to enter a particular exhibition.  But saw plenty, including King Tut himself – no photos allowed in there though!!

After the museum we wandered down to Tahrir Square where the revolution kicked off 6 years ago – now just a quiet roundabout – we stopped at a local cafe for a pepsi and blended in with the shisha smokers – forgotten what it’s like to sit in smog!

Did some exploring of ‘Downtown’ and then walked along the bank of the River Nile, watching the sunset.  It seems to come alive at night as the boats light up – hope to come back one evening – if we can face another heart-stopping taxi ride!!

Called ourselves an Uber – it’s so the way to go in Cairo – no hassle, the traffic jams were crazy by this time so it took us an hour and a half to get back to the hotel – costing us £4.50!!

So, up at 6.30am this morning as we had decided on an early trip to the Pyramids – to beat the crowds and the midday sun.  And we called good, trusty old Uber.  Whilst waiting a car drew up and said ‘Uber’ so we dutifully got in – only to discover 5 minutes later that he wasn’t Uber at all – and so the pantomime began!!  We did eventually get to Giza but the journey had involved plenty of arguing, (even some expletives which is a rarity for Steve!), being terrified at the speed whilst the driver was using his phone, constantly being haggled to use him as a guide for the day and then the inevitable fallout over what he expected us to pay him.  Steve had to shout at him to unlock the doors and then settled the payment once we were outside – at least he didn’t chase us but I’d love to have been able to translate his farewell words!!  

Fairly low key ticket office/entry point to this wonderful piece of historical architecture – a tin shed.  By this point we were so shattered by the taxi experience it was difficult to believe any of the many guides that flooded our way – insisting that we wanted to walk.  Came to our senses though and chose a horse and carriage (my friend Anne and I rode horseback when here in the 80s) – suitable for the more mature sightseer!  All went smoothly, amiable driver and our horse called Maradonna – didn’t get whisked off to any perfume shops this time – tricked into tipping for photos taken of us, even though we wisely avoided taking camel photos.  But magnificent, what else can you say – so glad we came.

And tomorrow our very special friend, Mohamed Ali (our Egyptian son!!) arrives to see us, for 2 days.  Can’t wait to see him – it’s been far too long – looking forward to lots of laughs. 😊

Tom goes AWOL … and Wendy goes viral

Over the last week we have settled into quite a routine in our Cypriot villa.  Surface about 9.00am (Steve frequently up earlier to fit in his 6-8 mile run), lounge by the pool for a while, fruit, yoghurt and granola for breakfast, more pool lounging with at least 50 laps of the pool fitted in at some point, lunch of local breads, homous, olives, cheeses and tomatoes, even more pool lounging … and then we scrub up for the evening festivities.  “Where’s Tom?” Is quite a well used question –  he seems to live in a different time zone to these pensioners he has chosen to holiday with.  He’s really taken to the night life here and as a result sleeps most of the day.  Last Sunday evening, we all met up with friends in a bar in Protaras and then left Tom there about 10.30pm – when Steve got up at 7.30am Tom’s bed was empty – by 8.15am we got a little worried (well, madly panicking really) so Steve and I set off to walk to Protaras scanning every hotel and beach sunbed, every stretch of sand and rocks, all the promenade benches, even the sea … no sign … we got home 2 hours later to find Tom sound asleep in bed, a bag of wet clothes by the back door.  When he finally surfaced, a little woolly to say the least, he explained about his pub crawl home including a pool party.  A couple of nights later he ventured out again and found himself amongst a gathering of tribute acts from Cyprus Rocks  – enjoyed a drinking session with ‘Robert Plant’  and ‘Mick Fleetwood’ lookalikes who were acting like primadonnas, signing autographs etc. Now our considerate son has taken to leaving us a message outside his bedroom door!

We have actually had some variations to the daily routines – yes, we have got off those sun beds from time to time!! Spent a day on the beach and did some more ‘bobbing around’ in the salty sea.  The sea is much warmer than our pool so makes for a good alternative.  We enjoyed a fabulous boat trip along the coast to Famagusta and then back to Cape Greco where we were able to jump off for a swim – the water was so warm and crystal clear.  The trip turns into a bit of a party boat as the 70s and 80s tracks entertain us along the way – couldn’t help but bring out those John Travolta moves from time to time!

Took a late afternoon trip to Paralimni on Wednesday.  Where we are staying the shops are crammed with tourist souvenirs – if you’re looking for stuffed donkeys, inflatables, shells, fridge magnets you’ll be spoilt for choice … also sailor hats and speedos a-plenty (catering for our Russian friends!). Paralimni promised to offer us more upmarket shopping opportunities.  Headed off by bus, once again it was crammed to the hilt and we were literally hanging onto the poles around the driver’s cab … but arrived in one piece.  And guess what, it was half-day closing – no shops open.  Pretty little town though with stunning churches and quaint tavernas – naturally had to stop for a couple of vinos!

Yesterday we actually headed out on a bus trip – yes, all 5 of us, Tom came too!  We met up with Andy, Steve, Cath and Cath’s Mum and set off in George’s minibus to Famagusta.  George was so incredibly knowledgeable about Cyprus’ history – ancient and modern – and delivered it so interestingly with lots of humour thrown in – made the journey so enjoyable.  We were able to visit the Ghost Town of Famagusta – the abandoned buildings – which remain trapped in a time-lock since the Turkish invasion in 1974.  Then we spent time wandering around the beautiful old town centre with its old Venetian walls and gothic churches.  All a bit scary with rules for this and rules for that.  We had to go through a strict border control as we passed into Turkey and we had to learn about the restrictions for what we could bring back in – no fake designer handbags, no gold and no drugs – spoil sports!!  We were not allowed to take photographs near any of the military areas or the ‘ghost town’ and there were regular posters of armed military personnel with this warning.  

Our days here are coming to an end … for now … we head off tomorrow afternoon.   We have absolutely loved Cyprus and boy have we partied hard!!  There’s still life in the old folks yet!!  And Wendy has discovered facebook big-time (as well as olives!) – she now loves to ‘post’ and ‘like’ as well as to receive ‘likes’ … and is positively ecstatic at the thought of going VIRAL.  

And Wendy finally went viral …..

And so we prepare for our ‘last night’s’ G&T with a freshly picked grapefruit from the garden.

Our next stop is Cairo – stay with us as we wander off into the Egyptian sunset 🌞😊❤️

The oldies hit Ayia Napa … and Tom came too

In true gap year style we took the local bus to Ayia Napa last night (unlike young people however we went out at 6.00pm rather than midnight)!!  The bus ride was interesting – packed, fast and no windows to look through – we got a taxi back!!!  Enjoyed the vibrant atmosphere of Ayia Napa – started off in Tommy’s Bar – happy hour cocktails for €2 whilst watching the colourful carnival parade.  

We met up with Brett and Mel in Odin’s restaurant – fabulous Cypriot menu, relaxing atmosphere – fun evening had by all.  Lovely to catch up on Brett and Mel’s travels – they have just started their sabbatical year – hope to catch up with them again in New Zealand.  We talked about checking out the nightclubs, foam parties etc but of course were safely tucked up in bed by midnight when that world starts to come to life!!  

Our days continue to be leisurely.  Caroline and I have ventured into the sea which is beautiful – warmer than the pool water – incredibly salty which makes your legs and bottom float up at the back, and makes swimming tricky.  Resorted to floating on our backs which is oh so relaxing.  Only problem was, Caroline could then not stand up – she literally couldn’t!!  I had to come to her rescue and pull her in … and then help to push her legs down until she could find her feet … amidst all the giggling I don’t know how we didn’t drown.

Steve has now started his daily running regime – set the alarm for 6.30am this morning to run his 8 miles.  I’m still talking about it!!  Still keeping up my 50 laps of the pool a day though – need to do something to counteract all this holiday eating and drinking. Each evening Caroline, Wendy and I start off proceedings with G&T, and guess what Karen, we have our own supply of grapefruits, lemons and limes in the garden.  The garden of paradise!! 

Oranges and lemons 🎶 … and limes and grapefruits 🍊🍋

Naturally have been consuming a fair amount of the local wine in the evenings too – sometimes this has led to far too much frivolity, including Abba tribute sessions and kitchen dancing.  Poor Tom, I think he might need rescuing!  

All is well in our luxurious villa with the exception of some of the beds.  Tom is loving his (luckily) but Wendy had a shock yesterday morning to find Caroline’s bed had collapsed … but Caroline was still sound asleep with her legs dangling into a vacuum.  So some bed repairs yesterday and Caroline repositioned the slats – our bed too needed some extra support so Steve found a collection of Russian encyclopedias to pad out the base.  Another slight hitch is that I have developed an allergy to the bedding and wake up each morning like a puffer fish (no photos!) – has meant the usual holiday pharmacy visit.  

Settling into our new life of leisure 🌞

Our flight from Gatwick to Lanarca passed without incident – so unusual these days, no delays, no lost luggage, not too many screaming toddlers, no turbulent conditions – in fact the wind was on our side and we arrived 20 minutes early (every minute of holiday counts).  May this continue as we travel further around the globe!!  Our driver was there to meet us on arrival … well almost there … his ‘Mr. Steve’ sign was, propped up on the barrier whilst he’d popped off to the loo.  When he returned, he found Steve holding it up for him to see from the other side … sweet man, full of Cypriot charm.  By this point we had already lost Tom who had sneaked off for a much needed cigarette.  But within 15 minutes we were all loaded into the taxi – Steve, me, Tom, Caroline and Wendy and our luggage securely tied onto the roof of the taxi.  And so we made our way from Lanarca airport to our villa in Pernera, Paralimni – it was 10.00pm by this time so difficult to get the full picture of where we to spend the next 10 days.  

Our lovely driver was confident when dropping us off at Sunset Villas 2, Pernera – we unloaded ourselves and our selection of suitcases and hand luggage at the top of the road, paid up and waved him off.  Next step was to tackle the key safe, lining up the 4  numbers in various positions and almost forcing the box to open … but to no success!!  Rang the doorbell – no answer.  In the meantime, Wendy and Caroline were ferrying 10 pieces of luggage down the road to Villa no. 2.  I went to check out the back garden, lights were on in the villa and I noticed clothes, towels and a newspaper by the poolside.  Clearly we had picked on the wrong villa.  Once we established this we went off in parties searching all villas in the area … still drew a blank.  It was dark, not a soul around, we were getting pretty tired and travel weary by this time – we all decided we would laugh about it later … but not at this particular moment!! 😒  Finally resorted to phoning our host who kindly came to the rescue – picked us up and took us to the Sunset Villas, (development 1) villa no. 2 … and all was well.  He even whisked Wendy and I off to the shops to pick up some goodies for breakfast.  (We had wisely stocked up on wine, beer and sarnies at the airport to cover the ‘first night’ gathering).  

Our villa is perfect, our own pool, near to amenities etc.etc.  So good to have a young person with us helping us with all our technical needs.

Tom setting Wendy up with wifi, Facebook and several other apps!

Sunset Villa no.2, ~Pernera, Paralimni

So have spent the first couple of days in a mixture of pool lounging and exploring the local area – beginning to find our feet.  Walked to Lidl’s yesterday to do the ‘big’ shop – on the way discovered Nick’s Bottle Shop, a discount booze store – every Brit abroad’s dream!!  Successfully shopped in there and Lidl’s and called for a taxi to take us home – no less than a limousine – excuse me!! Also wandered down to the local beach yesterday evening and this morning – so pretty and sea clear blue and extremely inviting (as soon as I finish this blog will be heading down there for a swim).  Steve and I have talked a lot about running – what time of day we’ll do it and what routes we’ll take …. but haven’t actually run yet!!  50 laps of the pool each morning for me so far and a few walks (nothing coastal)!!

After swimming and running (anytime now!!) we’re heading out for cocktails, tapas and jazz music at a beachside restaurant this evening – really do WISH YOU WERE ALL HERE ❤️

It’s a gap year for the Roses 🎶🌞🌊🍷

On Wednesday we head overseas, country hopping our way to Aussie – the oldies gap year (without the rucksacks and hostels!!). We’re going to keep up our blog – probably not daily but as and when interesting events occur.  So we’d love you to join us as we record the highlights of this second retirement adventure.  It pays to be old sometimes!

Suitcases at the ready, hair freshly cut, pedicures, manicures, waxing and injections all ticked ✅, visas and international driving licences sorted, accomodation details all checked, (walking boots well and truly left behind!), a selection of swimwear and sarongs to see us through 6-8 months of arduous pool and beach lounging!!  

For those family and friends that we have not managed to see before heading off, farewell for now and we’ll look forward to catching up in 2018.  We’ll be contactable by email and WhatsApp while away and would love to hear from anyone – it’s going to be amazing but strange being away for so long.   Apologies in advance for lack of birthday and Christmas cards this year – you will all certainly be in our thoughts. ❤️

Can’t quite believe the time has actually come – have been planning it and ‘mentioning it’ for 15 months!!  The Roses have finally left the building. xx