My partner is Cypriot, and I love tropical climates, so it was only a matter of time before we booked our first trip to see what Greece had to offer. I was excited for snorkelling, diving, and all things nautical while she was most looking forward to seeing her extended family for the first time in years.
Having her family there was a huge help both logistically and financially as we did not have to rent a car or pay for a hotel. Cypriot hospitality, as I quickly learned, is wonderfully overwhelming and impossible to refuse.
We spent our first day or two settling in and spending quality time with her family (which mostly involved eating large, meaty dishes and having my partner furtively translate snippets of stories for me when there were gaps in conversation.)
Finally, on the third day of our visit, I managed to carve out some time to visit Coral Bay for a snorkelling expedition. My partner’s cousin Evros, who spoke English most proficiently out of all her relatives, had encouraged me to visit that spot as it was well-renowned for its visible sea-life.
When I arrived, the beach itself was packed. This was not surprising as it was a popular time for tourists: mid-spring, just before the weather gets too hot for most Westerners to handle comfortably. I walked for 15 minutes or so from what seemed to be the main swimming area until I had a relatively secluded stretch of beach to myself.
Here, I reapplied my sunscreen, donned my flippers and goggles, and waded into the clear, temperate waters of the Mediterranean Sea. I spent a few minutes swimming back and forth, getting my body used to the ebb and flow of the tide. The water was calm and clear, so I soon ventured further from the shore in search of some sea-life.
Tourist activity had diminished the concentration of sea-fairing fauna over the years, but this was still one of the prime spots for snorkelling. It was not long before I came across a vividly colourful bed of coral that warranted a closer look. In fact, it was so awesome, if someone had asked me to apuestas deportivas Argentina to dive in, I would have.
The sun filtered through the water and shifting patches of seaweed to illuminate tiny schools of reflective blue fish that darted from cover to cover as they sensed my presence. The rocks were littered with bright orange anemones, sporting their bizarre appendages, and drifting in rhythm with the tide.
As it is with stars in the night sky, the more I looked, the more I saw. The ocean floor was teeming with life that was simultaneously brightly coloured and perfectly camouflaged. I could have spent hours in that water, exploring and mentally cataloguing my discoveries, but I knew I would soon be missed back at the house.
I spent much of that holiday swimming, snorkelling, kayak fishing, and diving with my partner and the younger members of her family along the Paphos coastline. Apart from one severe sunburn which resulted in two days of indoor sequestering by my exasperated partner, it was an idyllic experience.