Cyprus Mail
Opinion

Is ‘Real Cyprus’ a bit of a dump?

My family were here on holiday, they enjoyed the sun, the hotel, the pool and the beach. They had a great time. They decided to hire a car, and have a few days away from the resort, enjoy the countryside, the unspoilt beaches and try some local taverns. Getting out and about and to see ‘Real Cyprus’.

They made their way out of Larnaca with its beautiful promenade to have a day exploring. Take in a visit to Lefkara and Stavrouni and experience the miles of unspoilt coastline. Their route took in the beaches of Pervolia, Kiti, Mazotos, then Alaminos to Zygi.

They were disappointed with the beaches that although undeveloped were definitely not ‘unspoilt’ discarded fishing tackle and hooks nestling in the sand and rocks, alongside lots of dumped building debris. Not quite the beach experience they had hoped for.

There was no shortage of litter bins overflowing, but also bin bags just left scattered and shredded.  They were also unnerved by the dodgy-looking campers, tatty burger vans and old ice cream vans being used as holiday homes with makeshift billboard hoardings and water tanks, dogs running amok and families taking over their own “personal beach”.

A wonderful scenic route towards Stavrouni and then Lefkara, amazing scenery but not without the constant blot on the landscape of rubbish tipped down the mountainside. They inadvertently found themselves a little lost in the Tersefanou hills, not far from the golf course!  Rubbish was literally dumped everywhere at intervals, and they were surprised at so much farmers discarded rubbish, chemical bags and containers, untidy farmers’ fields with discarded cloche sheeting all over the place, blowing in the wind hanging off the telephone lines.

Even the amazing sight of the Goatherds were spoilt by the howling dogs in cages in fields, with no water and no shade, and the emaciated discarded dogs wandering aimlessly along the roads, those of course that are lucky enough not to have been mowed down and left in the road to fester.

A neighbour sweeps the road weekly, after the bin truck has gone, their bin has no lid and stuff spills on the road, they sweep it up and throw it on the waste land next door. There is a complete disregard for their own environment, there is a wreak of apathy, and in regard to the farmers, have they no pride in their patch!

Many tourists do not want to spend their whole time in ‘the resort’. Exploring the island and enjoying its rich heritage and culture is to be encouraged, it spreads the wealth into the poorer villages and towns and if the gossip is good, the good word spreads.

Tourists go home and they talk, no matter how hard Cyprus tries to sell its product whether it be Tourism or Passports, If the “unspoilt” beaches look like the Calais Jungle and if the country (outside the confines of the holiday camp) resembles a dump it will eventually be classed as one. A government that does not want to upset the people so they let them do what they want with no consequence will in time if not already have a lawless society.

I love Cyprus I have made it my home, but I am so ashamed of the filthy environment and do take it personally as many who read this will, when visitors comment on ‘the real Cyprus’ being a bit of a dump, it leaves us with little or no room to sing its praises.

M. Ward, Kiti

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