Rowans Magazine (summer 2004)
Home From Home
A suitable holiday when you are in a wheelchair is a difficult task at best. The internet has opened up the world to disabled people, but even then, it is still a difficult thing to do. We have had many holidays over the past eight years and we have been very lucky. We did a lot of research that always helps but there is always the unknown. The flight is the thing most people dread including me! Once you have got over that hurdle then it is a question of whether or not you have chosen correctly. On this occasion, we decided to return to Cyprus where my daughter and her husband were stationed at R.A.F Akrotiri some years ago. We stayed with them so we didn’t really get an idea of hotels or apartments, only the lack of disabled toilets! Our first granddaughter was born there in 1995 and as she was two when she left, she didn’t remember the land of her birth so we decided to take her and her mum with us.
I saw a website about some accessible apartments in a small town called Polis. that is about 36 kilometres from Paphos airport. Eva and Andreas Neophytou and their son Chris who is in a wheelchair run it. After exchanging e-mails and a couple of phone calls, we decided to book a fortnight at the beginning of May at the C & A Tourist Apartments. Chris also hires out equipment. Hoists, electric and manual wheelchairs and electric scooters. I am quite sure that he could get just about anything you needed given enough notice.
The flight wasn’t too bad but after four and a half hours, I was glad to be back on terra firma! Eva came to pick us up and right from the outset, I felt as though I had known her for years. When we arrived at the apartments Chris was there to greet us. We had a drink and got settled in to our apartment which was first class. Everything was spotless. The bathroom was huge as was the roll in shower. My wheelchair would go under the sink in the bathroom and in the small kitchenette. There was a very large fridge freezer, which came in very handy. Grab bars were in all the right places and there was ramped access everywhere on the complex. There is one apartment on the first floor that can be reached by lift.
There was a poolside hoist, which for me was wonderful. I was in the pool every day. Four of the apartments look out onto the pool. All the apartments have there own patio area. Eva will cook you breakfast by the pool for a small charge and quite often arrives at about four o’clock with a huge and very delicious looking cake for tea. If there is anything at all that any of the family can do you need only ask.
The village is on your doorstep and most of the restaurants are accessible but without disabled toilet facilities. The first restaurant we went in, I found I couldn’t get my knees under the table. The waiter appeared and before you knew it, the table was lifted up and hand made blocks were placed underneath the table legs. This happened in a couple of restaurants we went to. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble.
We went to a fishing village called Latchi about ten minutes drive. There we went for a trip in a glass-bottomed boat. There was a ramp to the boat and once we anchored up you could go for a swim. A special hoist had been made for those who wanted to go for a swim. Chris can arrange most activities if you are fit enough and game enough.
A minibus with a tail lift is on site and is available, for airport transfers, and daily outings and excursions.
There is a beach about 15 minutes push, but the problem was that once there you couldn’t cross the sand with a wheelchair. There is also a café, which is difficult to get to. Chris set out some two and a half years ago to put that right. He campaigned fervently for a walkway to be laid on the sand to allow not only wheelchairs to go down to the sea but people with walking difficulties, prams etc. While we were there, we had the pleasure to see the track laid. He also had the sand between the road and the café, rolled, and compacted. It was wonderful but the smile on Chris’s face was even better. He was so proud of his achievement. Anybody who uses that track in the future should remember the man whose efforts put it there. His next campaign is to get an accessible toilet on the beach.
We spent two wonderful
weeks with Chris and his family. We will definitely
C & A Hotel
C & A Hotel
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