Wiki Info Famagusta
Still in Dipkarpaz:
4-8 Since a hired taxi to Golden Beach/End of peninsula would cost $100 lira ($65 US) we decided to forgo that experience and instead we took a hike cross country (a choice we made once we took a wrong turn). The 2 km to the 'beach' bushwacking took 2 hours...the walk back via the road we should have taken took 45 min. All in all a fine adventure and back by 4, plenty of time to spare cooling off in the shade of 'The Arches' of Arch Houses waiting for the 5pm bus back.
The bus to 'Magusa was a very different experience from most bus rides we've had thus far. It all started innocently enough, the 3 of us were the only ones beginning the trip at the 'bus station' which was really just the driver's home I think. Then he began driving around the village picking up passengers, first a young gal then a couple old women and 3-4 (late teens) boys before we left town. At this point everything quite normal. First stop a short distance from town, 2 more young gals, then another and another. On most buses, longer distances, and especially minibuses like this which have 24-26 seats, Bon & Mari are the only women travelling other than short distances w/in a town...perhaps, as in this case maybe 1-2 older women. This time, after the boys got on the only passengers getting on were ALL girls! By the time we entered the outskirts of Magusa the minibus was jammed, I'd say 30-32 some even sitting on others laps! Since on our way to Magusa from Girne stopped outside the town of Magusa and dropped off 5-6 students who appeared to be the same age as these girls on our bus this time (plus, they all had luggage of some sort and knew each other and this was Sunday) we assumed they were all going to the university on the other side of town! When we entered town the driver asked where we'd like to get off and at first we said the bus station which is where we thought the bus ended. We got there, stopped and no one moved as if to get off...we 3 then just assumed the crowded bus of students was headed out to the university to let off the girls + the few boys then head back into town & the bus station. So thinking to avoid a lot of disruption (our bags were in the back of the bus under - we thought - a pile of other luggage, we said 'Go to the university first'. The communication here was in English and most if not all on the bus knew little or no English, although, the driver SEEMED to understand what we were saying quite well.
Again, we ASSUMED a lot. Arriving outside town across from the university the bus stopped and again, no mass movement! We now began to realize the error of our cumulative assumptions and the driver confirmed our suspicions when asked, he was headed to Lefkosa with these 'students'! He had anticipated our departure long before and somehow our bags got off the bus even before we did (thru a window, back door?). We got off, it was almost 7 getting dark and now we are 3+km out of town on a Sunday! A bit pissed at ourselves and realizing our only option was to hike back! The road was rough so wheeling the bags along the highway was not good, luckily there was a side road which paralleled the highway. We had asked the driver if there were any buses back into town he said no, only taxi! Our walk back saw no taxis other than full ones! At one point Bon shouted "Taxi!" but being off the main road it as impossible to flag him. I lost it at this point, seeing the impossibility of getting a taxi w/o being by the side of the highway, so I crossed back to the highway by a bus stop thinking maybe our driver might have been mistaken. Mari came with me, Bon went on ahead. After awhile we began to wonder if an empty taxi or even a bus would come. Of a sudden a car pulled up by us and the fellow inside asked if he could help...the long and the short of it was he picked us all up with our packs/bags even though it was quite inconvenient (his wife & young son were in the compact car as well). He explained in good English that buses were not running today and not many taxis so being the good Samaritan that he I was he drove us all the way back into town to just outside the old town wall where he said we might find a hotel not too expensive. After hiking to the other side of old town we ended up in the seemingly only hotel open, the Golden Set Hotel
, mentioned in the LP. We could afford it after the fellow at the desk took pity on us and lowered his price enough so it was w/in reason -in the very basic room I had to sleep on the floor even at that.