I left Nicosia going south, then turned to the west and into the mountains for the last time. I had until that evening to return the bike.
It was the longest day of riding on the trip but also the easiest. The practicalities were now routine: how far I could go on however many litres of petrol, how much water I needed to carry and where might be good to eat. I knew how the roads were signed and how people drove. It seemed a shame to have to stop.
At the same time, I was glad. I’d made something of the trip. But to worry otherwise—as I had at first—is a strange and privileged concern. Is it really an accomplishment to spend £600ish on a week’s holiday and actually enjoy it?
Being in Paphos again was a reminder that enjoyment is optional.
I had two nights in a hotel before my flight. Unlike the other places I’d stayed there were quite a few guests. All of them were British. Most were retired. The town catered to them, with its offers of full English breakfasts, sport via satellite, and ‘beer o’clock’.
There’s another divide in Cyprus and it’s between the areas where British people go and those they don’t. I was glad that I had crossed it.
Where my trip had been full of uncertainty, theirs were the opposite, circumscribed but certain. And some of them were at the hotel reception booking the same for next year.
At the end of my first motorbike trip I wrote
To have known is enough: it means it is possible to know again, of some other place, at some other time, tremendous and impermanent.
Cyprus is one of those other places now, and now is that other time.
Sometimes, in queues at airports, I pat my pocket to make sure my passport hasn’t fallen out. Adventure is the same in a funny way. Every now and then, you have to check it’s still there.