Sunday, October 08, 2006

Chesters Bar

[This is an entry about Chesters Bar. See the last 5 paragraphs for the geeky bit].

We were warned that nit was a bit of a trek from near the Four Seasons on the outskirts of Limassol to Chesters but the lure was too great. On the way there is an archaeological site that we could visit on the way back, or so we thought.

On catching the bus, no hire car for us (more on that again), I managed to ask the driver for a probably fictitious location, "Do you stop near George's?" Don't ask me where I got the name George's from, I have no idea. We finally settled on the archaeological site just a kilometre or so down the road. I knew that we were heading in the right direction and surmised that we could walk the rest of the way from there.

I will talk more of the site in another post. Having looked around we headed up the road slightly until we could cross and join the paved walkway that runs for kilometres along the the beach. The walk was long, maybe another kilometre and a half before we arrived at a shopping area.

At one point the path, having diverged gradually from the road by several hundred metres, ran out and we began to walk along the beach; slightly worrying was the lack of any sign of a path back to the road. Turning the corner of a bunch of bushes we came across a wide dusty track, between two developments, that enabled us to move back to the road. After another couple hundred metres we came across a shop, where we bought water and I again asked for fictitious directions. More confusingly this time the lady said she thought she knew of a George's and that it lay in totally the opposite end of Lemesos. I explained that the address for the place was 194 Amthousa Avenue. Ah, she said, this was Lordou Amathus and not the address I said. It was at this point that I remembered I had a note of the telephone number of the place we wanted. I could see a very prominent Irish pub opposite where we were and so I called the place and decided to quote this as the landmark nearest us. The moment the phone call was answered and the person said "Hello Chesters I realised that I had been asking for the wrong place. A couple of simple and swift directions, "carry on past the Irish pub on our left, past the traffic lights and it's on the left hand side of the road", was all it took.

A quick way to spot Chesters is to look out for the Hawaii Beach Hotel, it's opposite this 5 star hotel.

First impression of Chester's is it's wood and canvas pagoda like frontage, that shades a bunch of tables. It's quite spacious, both inside and out, which allows the tables to be spread out. The staff were friendly and prices reasonable. The menu is extensive, and available on line Chesters Bar.

Now for the geeky bit, they have FREE wifi. One of only 3 locations in the whole of Cyprus that are free. This avoids complications such as with roaming agreements, for example not all BTOpenzone accounts offer roaming abroad, consequently leaving one open to charges on top of what one already pays for access at home.

Connection was simple, my Axim recognised the Chesters SSID immediately, though there was a competing signal (that won't allow access), I forget it's name and my device only stores the successful connections. The signal is quoted as 802.11g when googled but it stepped down to this Pocket PC's 80211b, as I suspected/hoped it would.

I was able to check my emails and update Egress my RSS reader and enclosure grabber. The only difficulty came on a number of occassions when the signal dropped. I was sitting at a table just outside the left hand door, as you look at the front of Chesters from it's car park. From here the signal strength was four out of five bars on the strength indicator of Hitchhiker. [I find Hitchhiker a useful programme to locate available hotspots (legitimate ones of course), determine their accessibility and connect if possible].

I did wonder if the signal loss was a from people passing the router or a form of throttling. Not having used a connection for 5 days I have quite a few feeds on Egress that needed updating, say 300, each of which can hold up to 75 threads. Also, when I tried to download any podcasts I only kept the signal when concentrating on one at a time. In the end I only managed to download TWIT via Opera. I didn't want to seem a bandwidth hog and abuse what is a generous gesture, so I dropped the idea of grabbing any other podcasts. Getting full emails for those I was interested in, from the couple of k per email I currently download, plus updating my RSS feeds was enough for me.

We had a full blown meal there plus drinks, so I think I recompensed my hosts for their generous hotspot gesture. [We had the Lebanese Meze and, not knowing how filling that was, ordered a Greek salad (horiatiki) to go with it. The food was delicious and would have us going back even without the prospect of the hotspot].

All in all a marvellous trip out, for mind and body.

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Cornwall, United Kingdom
A married Cornishman who is getting an inkling of what he wants to be when he grows up. I currently work for the NHS. [See bottom of page for Blog Archive and Links.]

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