20211124 – Cyprus, In Search Of The Mouflon


Another gorgeous sunny and warm day.

Off down to Pathos harbour this afternoon. A pleasant stroll around and even splashed out on a visit to the castle. Special geriatric rates only e2.50 for both of us.

Then it’s a stroll along the seafront and shops followed by an awesome double espresso.

And Wendy gets a special treat with a trip to Lidl.

In the evening we’re off out for dinner at our favorite Tavern. Great food and great service all topped off with a couple of pints of EKO lager. Quite a palatable local lager and their brandy’s not too bad either, a lovely mellow caramel taste, so much more palatable than Metaxa. Can you believe it, only e9.95 for a litre.

Then it back home in the pouring rain. Forecast wrong again.

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The Cypriot Mouflon, otherwise known here in Cyprus as the Agrino (grεek: Αγρινό), is a wild sheep that is found only in Cyprus in the Paphos forest area. It is believed that the Mouflon first came to Cyprus around 8000 B.C. Interesting fact about our mouflons is that due to the near extinction of these wild sheeps from hunting, hunting of Cypriot mouflons has been banned in the island since 1930.

Characteristics of the Cypriot Mouflon are short hair, reddish to dark brown colour hair with dark black stripes on saddle area. Males have horns and females are either horned or polled, meaning without horns. In mature Mouflons the horns are actually almost fully curled into a circle. The males usually weight around 50kg and the females around 35kg.


This graphic just about sums up how awesome the messengerRNA (Pfizer and Moderna) really is. It is amazing how this vaccine gets into our own cells and uses them to manufacture proteins that invoke an immune response.




OMG waking up to wet legs. Have I peed the bed? Is this the final indignity of being a geriatric? Oh, thanks be, it’s a leak in the ceiling dripping on the bed. What a relief. We’ve just had a downpour, raining harder than a cow pissing on a flat rock, enough to help launch an ark, and all that deluge onto a flat roof. Man the waste paper buckets. The joys of travel.

Lazy morning and then the excitement of the day is a walk up to the supermarket and back the long way round. Fortunately, yet again the weather forecast of rain all day is wrong, by 10:00 it’s back to normal, sun and cloud 21C – mainly sun.

Well, it may be Thanksgiving in America with turkey and all the trimming. Here it’s baked beans, sausage and Bury black puddings.

It’s coming to something when the highlight of the day is wet legs in bed. Still better than freezing to death in Belthorn.




Another gorgeous sunny day.

Highlight today is a drive up to Agios Georgios. Impressive church and small harbour. Take a stroll down to the harbour and back for our daily exercise. Then it’s an espresso overlooking the harbour.

Still no sign of the Mouflon.

Tea in again tonight.


An old one from Pat Condell on immigration but still so true:


Well looks like we’ve dipped out on the snow in Belthorn. Oh dear, how sad. It’s gorgeous here again.

So far not a glimmer of a Mouflon sighting. Never mind Pafos zoo has one, that will do.

Of we troop to the zoo. Hang on we’ve no kids with us, will they let us in. Perhaps we’ll be able to rent a child at the entrance. Actually surprised how many elderly people with no rug rats there are in the zoo.

Cash only to get in despite the credit card signs. “Sorry but there’s no internet for the card machine” as she points to the adjacent cash machine, which also must use the Internet. Never mind it’s an opportunity to get rid of some of those Euro coins in the car. We return with about 50 coins to pay. When she sees all those coins she’s got to count out the internet is miraculously restored. “No it’s ok we’re glad to get rid of all these coins”. With a wince and grimace she starts counting.

Goats, perhaps the closest we’re going to get to seeing the elusive Muflonn.

It’s a sad old zoo with small cages and a lot of them with only one animal or bird in. Pass on the 5 euro opportunity to hand feed the lonely giraffe and the sole elephant is a disturbing sight.

A tortoise is trying to mount another. She must have a headache, she’s having none of it. But no he keeps following and noisily banging into her, shell on shell. Meanwhile, the big alpha blue-nosed male baboon is preening his penis, looking for fleas and seeing how far he can stretch it, all the while his female partner is picking fleas out of his backside. One of the tigers seems to want to mount another. Sex seems to be a common theme to kill the boredom, either that or just pacing up and down. Oh so sad.

One of the monkeys turns to pee on Wendy – the highlight of his day no doubt. Whilst the two Kuckaboroos are sent into an orgasmic frency when I play my Kuckaborough ring tone for them. Sad really as their cage is oh so small.

Go to watch the 30-minute bird show. Surprised it’s all in English. Everyone is warned that there is a 300 euro fine if not wearing a mask properly. Should try that on a Jet2 flight, they’d raise a fortune.

A sad couple of hours really. This is not how zoos should be. And to top it all they don’t have a Mouflon.

Out for dinner tonight and it’s a fish platter. Including Muscles (fightneing), Prawns, Shark steaks, Squid (liked it), Octopus (really liked it), Whitebait, cod and sea bream. We’re stuffed by the end of it. Wendy sticks with Prawn, Cod and Sea Bream – no sense of adventure.


Equally awesome is the Astra-Zeneca vaccine. Until I’d watch this youtube I didn’t realise how similar to the messengerRNA vaccines it was. Amazing how our scientist create these solutions.




Shops are to be allowed to sell products in pounds and ounces again after the government pledged to review a ban on marking and selling products in imperial units as part of post-Brexit changes to EU laws.

While it is very unlikely that imperial weights and measures will ever return in science and industry, imperial does have a lot of uses in the classroom, in that units are fraction based, not decimal point-based, which gives teachers opportunities to introduce fractions and fractional maths into the curriculum earlier, and allows children to better understand them. It also introduces the concept of different numeration systems, which in itself is useful, leading the pupil into concepts like binary, octal, hexadecimal and other complex number systems, all of which are essential to budding scientists and technologists.


Another one of those weird trees. Is there a vortex there? Is it male or female.

The press are having an extravaganza of scaremongering with the threat of the Omicron Covid strain. Apparently it more transmissible than Delta. But truth be known no one really has a clue. No mention at all of the theory that viri tend to mutate to become more transmissible but less lethal, despite doctors from South Africa saying that it would appear to have more mild symptoms – that won’t sell newspapers.

Never mind, for once our donkey leaders are on the ball, and have put African countries into the red zone. And the rest of us will now have to take a day 2 PCR test when we land, rather than the easier and cheaper lateral flow test. I suppose the PCR test makes sense as they can assumedly track any of the new strain.

Fortunately, I’ve not booked my lateral flow test yet so book a PCR test instead. We’ll have to self isolate until we get a negative result – about 48 hours.

And the good news is they’ve introduced mask wearing on transport and in shops. You know it makes sense, even if it’s not until Tuesday. I’ve no doubt it’ll be ignored by the members of the SSS.

Another sunny day and lazy morning, although a tad humid. It’s getting hotter 24C. Have a stroll down to the beach. Not really very nice, with muddy brown sand, but not a problem as we’re not “beach people”. Decide to sin and go on the lash with a pint of lager sat outside a bar overlooking the sea. Sadly no eye candy on the beach.

A night in watching Borgen a Danish “House of Cards”.




The snowflakes strike again.

A WHO source confirmed the letters Nu and Xi of the Greek alphabet had been deliberately avoided for this new mutation. Nu had been skipped to avoid confusion with the word ‘new’ and Xi had been skipped to ‘avoid stigmatising a region’. Xi is the name of the leader of the country that gave us Covid in the first place. Seems to me it would have been most appropriate to call it Xi, just to remind us where it all came from.


Another warm sunny day. Although a tad windy down by Pathos harbour.

Today’s excursion is to Kato Paphos Archaeological Park, or as Wendy described it a 2nd century BC Wimpey housing estate. Another World Heritage site. Time for a bit more culture. A pleasant 2 mile walk around and Wendy stops for her butty sat overlooking what Wendy describes as a pile of rocks.

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This mosaic represents the story of Icarios. Dionysos and the half naked Acme are depicted to the left of the panel. In the centre, Icarios is seen holding the reins of an oxe driven cart, filled with sacks of wine. Further to the right, there are two shepards pissed as newts. A sign says they are “the first wine drinkers”.

The nice thing about Cyprus at this time of year is there’s plenty of parking and best of all it’s free.

Stop off afterwards for my new tradition of an afternoon espresso.

Then it’s back home for afternoon tea sat out in the sun.

Of course the day wouldn’t quite be complete without a trip to the local supermarket for what is hopefully the last time.

Awesome pizza, from Lidl, with potatoes on it. Then settle in for the night watching Borgen a Danish version of House of Cards / Madame Secretary. A great series.






More archeology.

The first task today is an hour’s admin getting our Passenger Locator Forms and Boarding Passes. Since when did I sign up for all these secretarial duties, answering inane web-based questions. Along with text message authorisation codes galore – seems to be the new craze amongst the 10-year-old nerds who design these websites. There was a time when all these things were done for you as part of customer service. Now they’ve been shunted onto the poor customer.

They don’t build them like that anymore.

Wendy takes great delight in reminding me of my system designs when I worked to introduce more web-based automation, perhaps it’s karma and payback time.

A sun and cloud day. Oscillate between sitting out for 30 minutes then back in to escape the sun.






Wow, seas a tad rough today.

Well it’s our last day and still no Mouflon. Bitterly disappointed.

We don’t have to be out until 11:00 so it’s a leisurely start.

We’re at the airport by 12:00 and typical Jet2 check-in doesn’t open until 3 hours before the flight so we have to hang around until 13:45.

Our street. A great place to stay if ever we come again.

Check-in, passport control and the usual scan and body search chaos are over with quickly with very little hassle. But, when you think about it, 20 years since 9/11 and some 6th century, rag-headed barbarian is still inflicting all this check-in chaos on us. You would have thought by now we would have a better solution.

Well what did we think of Cyprus:

  • A great VRBO with awesome views.
  • A great location, very quiet, upmarket and peaceful, yet only 5 minutes walk to the strip with a great choice of resaurants.
  • Very relaxing. Not a lot to do as we’ve been to most of the tourist attractions before, but enough. Very little driving.
  • Great weather warm and sunny. Just a couple of short periods of rain in morning, which had zero effect on usas we don’t rush around in the mornings.
  • Would we come again? Yes.
  • The only downside is not being able to flush toilet paper, instead, you have to put it in a bin. Disgusting, takes some getting used to. After two weeks no doubt when we get home we’ll still be putting it in the bin.






    The snowflakes are at it again.

    UK government holds up ‘Don’t take Covid home for Christmas’ ads: Don’t mention Christmas to avoid offending Muslims

    “We have been advised by Cabinet Office that we should not use the word Christmas – as the Government campaign needs to be inclusive and some religions don’t celebrate Christmas.”

    Right. But there’s really only one religion that would be offended by the prospect of the majority culture celebrating or even noting its own traditions. The principle is always and everywhere the same: in Muslim countries, you must conform your behavior to Muslim sensibilities. And in non-Muslim countries, you must conform your behavior to Muslim sensibilities.

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