Time goes so fast, all 38 years of it.
I came to Cyprus for one very specific reason and that was to film and produce a story about motorbike tours of Cyprus.
However, there was another agenda…….
The other agenda was to locate 2 military camps I had been too in October 1980, March and October 1981, and today was that day.
Travelling on my Yamaha XT600R along the coast road from Paphos to Limassol I was hoping to come across an area called Episkopi, because I was sure that was the name of the area a military base was.
The road along the coastline started to take on a look that was recognisable, with cliffs disappearing into the gorgeous blue sea.
Then having nearly missed the dead end sign and turning sharply to the right a sign came into view. The sign read Kyrenia Beach Bar.
Oh my god that was the name of the beach bar, or at least I was 90% sure it was the name, no………it couldn’t be still there, could it?
Turning to my right again I started to follow the track and thought, no it can’t be the same one as the beach is miles away. Slowly navigating my way down the track the very beach bar I stood at 38 years ago came into view.
This was memory lane, because glancing to my left I saw the top of the buildings and just knew that was Bloodhound camp as well.
I had arrived.
Getting off my bike and walking onto the beach was as if I had stepped out of a time machine.
38 years ago I walked this very beach, 38 years ago I swam in that very sea, 38 years ago I got pissed in that very beach bar and 38 years ago I ran along this beach back to Bloodhound camp with a chap called Dave Lawrence. (actually he ran, I walked a lot because I hated running and wasn’t very good at it either).
Then the emotions started to rise from the depths. A memory that I had held for 38 years of fun, laughs, blue sea and sky, and a warmth I had never felt before came flooding back, and so did the tears.
Where had the 38 years gone
For the first time in my life I had retraced a memory and the 38 years just disappeared. I could see in my minds eye Dave Lawrence, Andy Rappley, Graham Williams, and Noddy Holder (his real name is Mark Holder, but he looked just like Noddy). I could recall and see us laughing without a care in the world.
I cried, I cried buckets (in fact I am as I write this) I cried because I had found my beach, my beach bar, my memories of such fabulous times and I cried because it was as if those 38 years had gone by in a heartbeat
This smallest of small places on Planet Earth held so many great memories for me.
Call me a stupid sentimental old fool but at 60 years of age it was as if my story had come full circle. Yes I stayed in the REME for a further 8 years after this but nothing, absolutely nothing, held as much emotion for me as Kyrenia Beach Bar, and here I was again