‘Cape-to-Cape’ trekkers com­plete 123-mile walk for No Straws North Cyprus cam­paign


FIVE for­mer UK ser­vice­men ended a five-day, 123-mile walk to raise aware­ness of the No Straws North Cyprus en­vi­ron­men­tal cam­paign, reach­ing the Sadrazamköy light­house with “miss­ing toe­nails and lots of blis­ters” last Sat­ur­day.

The “Cape-to-Cape” trek was un­der­taken by Gary Ab­bott and Mark Ryan, with Steve Hop­kins, John Yourston and Barry Heap, to high­light the prob­lem of lit­ter and plas­tic waste as part of the cam­paign.

“The walk was ini­tially planned as a per­sonal chal­lenge. How­ever, when we re­alised that our neigh­bours . . . were part of the No Straws Cam­paign group, we asked if it could help raise aware­ness for it, and they agreed,” said Mr Ab­bott.

The trek be­gan at Zafer Burnu, the tip of the Karpaz, at 6.45am last Tues­day, cov­er­ing just over 27 miles to ar­rive at Ye­nierenköy on the first day.

The group were stunned to come across “about four miles of rub­bish that had ob­vi­ously been col­lected as a beach clean-up and then just left by the road­side, where the plas­tic bags had split and their con­tents spilled”. “We were dev­as­tated by the sight.”

Aim­ing to cover 32 miles on the “very tough” sec­ond day, they were dis­ap­pointed to miss that tar­get as they bat­tled “mi­nor med­i­cal prob­lems” in­clud­ing Mr Ab­bott hav­ing “a blood blis­ter on my heel and two of my toe nails . . . about to drop off”.

Fol­low­ing a night at Kaplıca, last Thurs­day saw them reach Buf­favento in eight hours and a to­tal of 27 miles, from where they were taken to spend the night in Karşıyaka, be­fore day four saw them re­turn by car to Buf­favento and trek to Kozanköy, cov­er­ing 23.59 miles “ex­actly to plan”.

On the last day, the group set off for Sadrazamköy, be­ing joined for the last three miles by No Straws North Cyprus founders Peter Har­rell, wife Vashti SuryaHar­rell and Claire Mor­ley, among a group of sup­port­ers.

“Morale was high through­out, we kept each other go­ing,” said Mr Ab­bott. “We thank ev­ery­one who sup­ported us, par­tic­u­larly Jenny and Jim Gil­fil­lan and Ge­orgina Ryan. Gra­ham Inglis walked with us on the last two days and his wife Yvonne joined us for the fi­nal stretch on Sat­ur­day, while Kate and Gra­ham Macpher­son were with us for the last six miles.”

A “wel­come” beer at Sadrazamköy light­house helped to ease aches, pains and blis­ters be­fore the group en­joyed a wel­learned cel­e­bra­tion at Karşıyaka’s Mon­tene­gro’C venue.

Thanks went to spon­sors The Road­house in Al­san­cak, Fly Inn and the Olive Press in Lapta and in Karşıyaka, Mon­tene­gro’C and Ela Bar at Tolga’s .

“What th­ese guys have done is amaz­ing,” said Mr Har­rell. “We can’t praise them enough for their com­mit­ment and their idea to make peo­ple more aware of the ter­ri­ble lit­ter­ing prob­lems here in North Cyprus.”

The ‘Cape-to-Cape’ team en­joy a drink af­ter com­plet­ing the route Photo: Susie Forster

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