Well it is 31st August 2019 and we have been here 3 full years today. We boarded the plane at Stansted exactly 3 years ago on our new journey. Can’t believe where the time has gone.
So what has this year been like???
Once again it has been a fabulous year …..
We are still continuing to learn about the island we live on….snakes, chameleons, growing vegetables and learning about all the bugs that we are pestered with during some of the humid months.
So last week Phill stumbled across a snake skin in the garden…we are still trying to find out what type of snake it is. The general consensus is that there are ten species of snake that are established on the island and they are as follows:
|The Large Whip Snake (Coluber Jugularis)||The Cyprus Whip Snake (Coluber Cypriensis)||The Coin Snake or Ravergier’s Whip Snake (Coluber Numifer)|
|The Blunt Nosed Viper (Vipera Lebetina)||The Montpellier Snake (Malpolon Monspessulanus)||The Cat Snake (Telescopus Fallax)|
|The Cyprus Grass Snake (Natrix Natrix Cypriaca)||
|Dahl’s Whip Snake or Arrow Snake (Coluber Najadum)|
|The Dwarf Snake (Eirenus Modestus|
The Blunt Nosed Viper is the bad boy of the island’s snakes; the only potentially lethal snake in Cyprus. That said, despite an average of twenty attacks on humans each year, no one has died from its bite for nearly fifteen years. It’s easily recognised being a large fat snake, around 1.3 to 1.7m long with offset semi-rectangular markings along its silvery beige back. It is also discernible from the black spots on its head. Many bites occur through lack of care as the snake is used to remaining motionless to await the approach of the birds it preys on and its well camouflaged markings mean that walkers often get too close. The snake is on the endangered list mainly because ignorant people see it as a dangerous pest and kill it forgetting that it is an important part of the Cypriot ecosystem. Additionally it often falls prey itself to Whip Snakes and birds of prey.
Another chameleon ventured into the garden last week too. It was walking slowly along the bottom of the gate. We managed to intercept it and look at it…..
What a little cutie – Phill held it for a minute to take the photographs and then let it go into hiding in the hedge.
We tried our hand at gardening this year again with the introduction of a few new vegetables including corn on the cob (well when I say we tried our hand I actually mean Phill). We had a lovely mint plant which grew like mad over the early part of the year but due to the heat and the humidity in Coral Bay it has stopped growing and is looking a bit ill. However, the good news is that it will recover soon. I love having mint in the garden and is great for lots of dishes that I make including tzatziki. We had a few tomato plants too and had a few tomatoes for our salads and some chillis and peppers which also have been great for salads and barbecues.
There are many things that we cannot grow as we slowly discover as the heat and humidity is too much for many of these plants especially in the summer months. I wanted to grow blueberries for my porridge but alas no we were advised against it due to our location and of course we are slowly discovering what we can and cannot do.
Phill is currently trying to grow an Avocado Tree from the seed of the avocado – it is really doing well but of course could be around 4 years before we do get fruit from it but definitely worth doing.
We are also trying to grow ginger as I use quite a bit of root ginger when cooking especially in my Indian and Chinese recipes. So we shall see what happens – the plant is currently about 1 foot tall at the moment and looking good.
We have had copious amounts of strawberries from our plant this year – too many to eat but we did do our best to get through them. Next year I think I will be making strawberry jam to have with my scones and clotted cream – can’t wait!!
As always we have a problems with some of the insects that live in the warmer climate especially the Mealybug. Every summer Phill spends considerable time treating our hedges as they seem to love the Hibiscus – unfortunately some people do not bother to treat their hedge and the bug takes over and kills it and they then move on to the next healthy plant.
Mealybugs are white, tiny little guys that form cottony nests where they are feeding. These bugs suck the sap out of the leaves and stems of plants, resulting in stunted or deformed leaf growth, yellowing of the leaves, and leaf drop.
We have also been visiting some of the archaeological sites, The Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates and the ancient city of Kourion. A visit to Omodos has to be done at least once. It is a beautiful traditional Cypriot Village which has been carefully restored and is car free (at least to tourists). Great day out visiting it and the little art shops and cafes which are dotted around the square and the streets.
We’ve also been to the beach a few times visiting Corallia Beach, Latchi Beach and our favourite beach Kourion which sits below the archaelogical site.
The cooler months this year were very wet which was great as most of the dams filled and overflowed. Definitely something that Cyprus needed. Last year the large dams were only filled to 13% of their capacity and this year what a difference as the large one near Paphos Airport actually overflowed. Look at the difference:-
Well so far it is all good here and we are really enjoying being here and lapping up the culture and the outdoor life that we so much enjoy – we can have a barbecue any time we want without thinking about whether it will be raining. We can also go out for dinner in the evening and not think about taking a jacket, coat or even an umbrella.
Lots of beautiful restaurants to enjoy and lazing by our beautiful pool. What’s not to like!!!
What will our fourth year bring for us? Who knows but definitely lots of sunshine and fun to be sure !!