Porsche light. (Very light).

Warmer there... xxxxx

Day Two and the same happy routine, clear blue skies, the warmth of the sun, and breakfast by the pool with a view of the shimmering azure sea. Excitement follows in the shape of our hire car delivered to the hotel.

The Blonde, a seasoned traveller, talks knowledgably of hire cars and upgrades and as she does so a VW Touran draws into the carpark and a slightly menacing slim brunette steps out, all wrap around sunglasses, flashing heels and expensive handbag. She stalks into the marble lobby where we wait, she’s the hire car lady and relieves us of the hire fee (very cheap) and the cost of a full tank of petrol (which we’ll never fully use, so that’s how they claw it back). Still, we’ve gone for the most basic grade and she’s rolled up in a Touran, fantastic! Right up until the point where she presses a thin Toyota key into my hand and leads us to the million mile pale blue Aygo with a suspiciously stained interior lurking in the car park, hops back in the Touran, and disappears as fast as she came. Ah well, it was a nice idea…

Holiday hire cars are fun, whatever their guise. Something about their cheap ‘n cheerful honest to goodness demeanour and no excess insurance combined with foreign tarmac on which to drive them makes even the most basic choice a passport to excitement. The Blonde and I bundle aboard with a sense of adventure and I twist the 998cc motor into life, thumb the air con button and point the nose out of the car park and into the gentle throng of Pathos traffic.

The Porsche 911 engine has a “Boxer” configuration whereby two banks of three cylinders horizontally oppose each other turning a central crank, which gives it a very distinctive off beat warble. Our Aygo features a three cylinder engine, often referred to as an “in line triple”, which is in essence a similar configuration to one half of the Porsche engine, and as such, under hard acceleration, a trace of that triple cylinder warble can be detected. There any and all possible connection with the Stuttgart classic ceases, leaving us with a breathless yet curiously eager Japanese buzzbox. But it’s our Japanese buzzbox and we’re determined to make the most of its prosaic charm over the next few days.

Usefully, shreds of the British Empire’s long since defunct reign remain in the fact that Cypriots drive on the left and use very British looking traffic lights. Well, I say use, they’re more for guidance than obedience it seems, all part of the relaxed motoring style that epitomises the Cypriotic lifestyle. Traffic is light and progress easy as The Blonde guides us through Pafos and out to the hills that border the edges of town, affording us fine views across the roofs of white walled and terracotta tiled homes out to the ever more distant coastline.

We follow meandering roads onward and upwards through sparse looking farmland and over the peaks of the hills before picking up sight of the northern coast glinting in the far distance, gently dropping down the winding hill roads to the edge of the sea and follow the line of the land to a small village where we park easily right on the edge of an immaculate beach straight from the pictures of any glossy holiday brochure.

One thing that is becoming apparent is the Cyprus attitude to tourists and money. Whereas in Britain councils and businesses waste no time in fleecing every last dime there was no extra insurance hard sell with the hire car, no parking meter in the car park we’re now parked in, no surcharges or mandatory options anywhere. It’s a refreshing attitude.

We wander round the back of some shops to a small harbour sheltering fishing boats and a marina with motor cruisers and yachts moored in the quiet sunshine. It’s clear we’re well out of season, a sleepy relaxed atmosphere pervades, shops and cafes open but largely empty, the only motion on the ocean a small speedboat with half a dozen people nosing out to sea and heading down the coast. I spot a gently ageing British registered Porsche Boxster, roof down outside a café. “You see”, I chide The Blonde, “we could have driven instead of flying”. She remains unconvinced.

Lunch at another harbourside café, and then a drive to the nearby attraction, “Baths of Aphrodite”. Rather amusingly after a walk up a long and well tended paved path, we’re rewarded with a stagnant pool in a small cave entrance. Given the full car park and coach loads of tourists we’d expected slightly more, but fair play to the locals they’d not tried to turn it into a theme park or gift shoppe experience, and again, no charge for either parking or admission. We stroll back to the car and enjoy an easy run back across the island to Pafos in time to watch the sun set over the harbour and then home to the hotel for dinner.


2 Responses to “Porsche light. (Very light).”

  1. matt Says:

    Well you can find joy in even the most beaten up hire car. You are certainly in the right business.

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