Trying to get off the island!

Sorry I’ve been unable to update for the last days. I am now on my way back to the mainland of Turkey.

I left the lovely place of my good friends in Limassol ancd tried talking with the mayor or governor of the town, but after spending almost four hours going around in circles I realised that this strategy was getting me nowhere in terms of facilitating my crossing to Lebanon, so I headed out to the private marina 13 km outside the city.

I was told by the manger of the marina that there was no boat going from there towards Lebanon at all for the next few weeks, so I decided to head out towards the town of Pafos, and any other ports that could posible take me off the island. By this time it was very late afternoon. After some walking and a hitch hike I managed to get to the village of Ypsonas, and here people were very helpful. After getting my dinner from a kind person, I was given sweet dessert by someone else very kind. I then got an offer of an old building like a dungeon to sleep in. By this time it was very late. I was near to the motorway trying to hitch hike people but were not stopping and I couldn’t walk on the motorway; also I was tired, so I decided to call it a day and I stayed in this dungeon-like place until morning.

I started my day by going back to the motorway to hitch hike again and after about an hour the universe did bring me luck. A nice person from Latvia kindly took me to the town of Pafos.

It was almost midday when I got to the town and straight away I headed towards the harbour. After a walk of about 5km I got there and again I was told by the port authority that there was no boat going out anywhere from there, only one which just left to go to the Greek island of Rhodes. By this time it was late afternoon again and I was trying to head north to check every port to try and get off the island.

It was about 5:30 pm, after some distance walking and trying to hitch hike, heading towards the port of Latchi, that I found myself in a bus terminal, and after speaking to the young driver of a bus which was going to Polis, he kindly gave me a lift. By the time I got to Polis it was dark and I managed to find my way by asking the locals how to get to the port of Latchi. I managed to walk all the way to the port but by the time I got there everything was closed. I spoke to some locals and even to the police there and they all told me to see the authority of the port the next morning after 8am.

In the port there were a few restaurants and by asking just one of them I managed to get my dinner, and soon after I set up my peace camp in the port. The next day I saw the manager of the port and I was told the same familiar answer: “No boats are going or coming into the port very soon,” and so I found myself walking and trying to hitch hike my way back to the same port that I arrived in almost two weeks before.

I went through Polis seaside camp site, then the village of Nea Dimmata and the town of Pomos, before finally arriving very late at the border village of Pachyammos. After speaking to kind local people they offered me the yard of the church of St Raphael to set up my peace camp until the next day.

In the morning I started my day by going to the community centre of the village and they kindly offered me a nice cup of tea and from the night before I had some cheese which they had given me left over. The day before a number of good people helped me and gave me food and there were even plenty of orange gardens which I was helping myself from to stock up on vitamin C, so I felt quite well nourished.

After leaving Pachyammos, I walked until I got to the next village, Mosfeli, and here was a kind local restaurant owner. After I explained what I was doing he offered me a full plate of eggs. I could see his mum and dad still helping in the restaurant, it was a family business. He was telling me how important it is what I am doing, trying to abolish borders, because between Pachyammmos and the neighbouring village of Mansoura they have to travel five times the real distance, through the mountains, in order to reach each other, because of the division of Cyprus. While I was there I saw some UN cars and personnel passing by and monitoring the disputed border around the village of Kokkina. It was really a heart-breaking story to hear first about the divided capital of Nicosia and now this remote village in the far north west of the island being affected by the dispute.  I just hope one day soon the two communities can live together, like they did before the date of separation.

I walked through Mansoura, and then through the town of Katopyrgos, from where I managed to get a lift towards Morfou (Guzelyurt). After passing through another checkpoint I realised that I have probably gone through three times as many passport controls within this two weeks on Cyprus than all the time before that since I was born, more than 40 years ago.

I have to emphasise that if people all over the world were together, and there weren’t any borders anywhere else, we could not stand all these checkpoints, but people have come to think this level of control is normal. They feel they don’t have any power to do anything about it, they just have to put up with it to get by in their day to day lives. This is one of the main points of my journey. I would like to see us all boycott the checkpoints and just go about our business like they didn’t exist, let the passport control people sit there for days without anything to do. People power could crumble the borders; it might sound too easy but I think we all have to try one day soon.

Anyway, back to my peace journey. The kind person who gave me a lift dropped me in Morfou and from there again I walked and hitch hiked towards the place of my arrival in Cyprus, the town of Girne (Kyrenia). I spoke to some local people and was asked by a kind bus driver to jump on his bus and here I go! I got back to Girne about 7:30pm and headed straight towards the town port. I spoke to the port army and police officers they told me that because the manager of the port is not available until next day, I can stay in the area where people buy their tickets, so I camped there overnight and next day went to speak to the manager as soon as it was possible. I found out that there is only one cargo ship, which goes after midnight. The port authority told me they will try to send me on the first one, so I waited until midnight yesterday but was then told they can’t send me on that one, but they promised I could go the next day, which is today. After a lot of running around I managed to get a ticket for the same boat that I took more than two weeks ago, when I travelled to Cyprus. Now I am on the boat and word is going around from one side of the boat to another that “Earthian is doing a peaceful walk without money, it is unbelievable what he is doing,” and so after I finish this update I have to show them my Turkish video which was made by Anadolu news agency a few months ago when I was first in Turkey, in order for them to believe that what I am doing is true.

One interesting connection I have made is meeting a motorcyclist who has been doing a tour of Africa, from Angola then back through Europe to Portugal. https://en-gb.facebook.com/WakivucaAfrica is his Facebook address. When I met him he was coming with his girlfriend from the port of Haifa in Israel (which I tried to go to but couldn’t get there), and they told me about Israel’s security measures, about how tight it is.

I hope everyone reading this is happy that I am still kicking and trying to get to the land of Palestine.

Next destination: Mersin, from where I will try to go to Lebanon. I hope to get there soon.

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I am travelling around the world, for peace, using zero carbon and zero money.

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Posted in Peace Mission, To the Middle East

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