Sat in the office in Cyprus at the Turtle Project base. I have Whitney Houston blaring. Good day.
Been back in Cyprus for a week now and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve met the first 3 volunteers who signed up for the project. I’d exchanged various emailed and messages with them before hand. But it has been amazing getting to know them all! There is Stacey, who is just a little package of loveliness. Sav who makes the most delicious aubergine lasagne I think I will ever eat. And last but not least, the amazing Mat, who is the only person I know that has been bitten by a shark!!!!
We’re living in sleepy house. An old bungalow in Alagadi village. We have made it super cosy, it’s like a mini paradise now. We share sleepy house with a gecko called George.
So, what have we been up to….
The main project at the minute is a rat eradication project on a small off shore island off of the tip of Karpaz. We have been spending a lot of time there trying to get everything running smoothly. We get a small propeller powered boat over to the island from a beautiful little beach. Our driver Jamil is lovely, but I don’t think he trusts me and Stacey much around his beloved boat. We can’t seem to master the art of getting on and off it. We end up face first! We have acquired very bruised knees. The whole purpose of the project is to eradicate the rats from the island so the Audouin’s gulls might return and breed. This would be fab! The rats were introduced to the island and have caused the gulls to move to a very small, rather unsuitable island. Rats eat the eggs and chicks….
On the way back from the first Karpaz trip we stopped off at Nevzat’s house. He is a local fisherman in Karpaz. I’d already met him in my stint at the turtle project in 2013. We all sat around a fire and were given shots of local spirit. It was super strong, heated you right through! We also had some fresh hazelnuts to munch on. I’ve never had them fresh before, they were lovely. We stayed there for a while and just enjoyed the local chattering. Everyone is so welcoming here.
Seen lots of lovely things in this past week. Lots and lots of rainbows. Probably the best rainbows I have ever seen actually… One ended in the field just next to sleepy house. We were unable to locate the pot of gold unfortunately! We have seen wild Karpaz donkeys. Audouin’s gulls, mediterranean shags, black redstarts, stonechats, kestrels. I think the most beautiful sight though is the night sky. There is no light pollution at sleepy or Karpaz. Or hardly any….The sky is absolutely bursting with stars. I keep finding myself becoming slightly hypnotised by them. Pure beauty and magic right above me. If that isn’t a reason to smile then I don’t know what is!?
On top of all the field work I have been sneaking away to the office for PhD days. Been very busy, but loving every minute! Life is treating me well. And I have made 3 new friends who are just fab!
Tomorrow is the start of a new week. I’m well excited!