‘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