By Lucie Robson
Why was I so dismayed to learn about upgrade plans for Yeroskipou Beach? A pedestrianised area, a car park for 1,000 vehicles and three spanking new eateries are a good thing, aren’t they?
I guess from one point of view, that of making the area more attractive, which I suppose is the purpose of any beach, they are good things.
But from the point of view of a spot losing its character, even if that character is slightly hotchpotch, I’m not so sure.
When I lived in Yeroskipou, the local beach was my evening sanctuary.
I’d arrive there at 7pm most evenings in the summer, park my car at the side of the dusty, one-track road, take my towel, pick my way over all the pebbles to the sand and pitch my spot.
Swimming there each evening became something like an addiction, as I got over a mild phobia of deep water (engendered through years of swimming in deep, dark, cold Canadian lakes where you could only unpleasantly imagine what was lurking at the bottom) and started to appreciate looking metres below me through crystal clear water at a patterned seabed of sand.
My summer visits always coincided with the timeless sunset, the colours and atmosphere of which I simply don’t have the skill to describe adequately. Somehow those sunsets brought all the ancient history of the region and all the myths to life.
Yeroskipou beach is still the one I visit most regularly, although I don’t live in the village anymore. On weekends, it is busy with locals and tourists.
Some use the sun-beds on offer close to the quirky beach bars. Others bring their, own beach paraphernalia. A take-away frappe does not break the bank.
So, my reaction to Yeroskipou Municipality saying they want their beach to be the ‘best in Paphos’ and ‘the one everyone goes to’ makes me react with some trepidation.
From their plans, I am already picturing a vast expanse of sun-beds and umbrellas lined up with military precision for which one has to pay a little more than one wants.
I can see new café-restaurants which are very pleasant yet somewhat characterless, where they charge that bit too much for things.
In short, a beach that looks like every other in Cyprus.
It’s myopic and selfish of me, I know, but does anyone else sometimes wish that something would just stay the same?