Deciding to spend the winter in Cyprus was a forced decision for the group. The oncoming cold, the difficulties of having to spend many nights sleeping rough, combined with the nasty surprise of the unfulfilled promise of a winter-long shelter on the Turkish coast, convinced our pedal caravan to get on a ship to Cyprus, where the weather promised greater leniency. On landing in Famagusta, in fact, the scenario changed completely, and everyone was able to finally relax a little.
FAMAGUSTA – «In Cyprus, we were quite overwhelmed by the beautiful climate at Famagusta – continues Piero – where we were able to enjoy workouts in swim wear on the beach as well as getting an excellent reception from the locals. We started to put on shows in the pubs with a very good response from the audience».
«The only regret was represented by the parting with Scuccia, our stray dog. After having been in quarantine we left him with some of our friends there. He was also left behind because he had started to become aggressive during street performances when he took to protecting the space where we put down our hat as if it were his territory. It was upsetting to have to tie him up during the shows, so we reluctantly entrusted him to people who, we knew, would take good care of him . The period in Famagusta went smoothly and without any problems. We often played in the clubs,where they allowed us to ‘make hat’ and they also gave us food».
«At that time the group consisted of nine people. Shanti, a clarinet player, and juggler, from San Francisco: Channing, a complete lunatic from Oklahoma, one of the first components of Cyclown Circus, he was very good with the unicycle and the accordion, Marylise a Canadian from Quebec, a true phenomenon on the violin and an excellent singer; Simone, from Rome, good at juggling and on guitar, Johnny, from New Orleans, aged 42 at the time, a strong bass player and with a great circus spirit, he enriched each number with some new sound; Raphael, an American who lived in New Orleans, violinist, guitarist, he also played trumpet and clarinet, he bought a banjo in China and after a while he could play it too; Rocio, a talented Argentinian clown who had already been on the road for nine years, having left before the Argentine crash and not gone home; David, an earnest and self-effacing German who had joined in Istanbul and who played the guitar, he had little of the circus spirit and returned to Europe after Cyprus. And of course there was me.».
TOWARDS NICOSIA, THE Cyprus ISSUE – «We moved from Famagusta to Nicosia. This was a really nice trip, with beautiful streets and a mild, let’s say, autumnal climate. At one point on the road we saw a huge layer of cement on one side of the mountain and the Turkish Cypriot flag was depicted on it. It had been made so big to make it visible to the Greeks who are on the other side of the island. It was our first encounter with the intricate Cyprus Question.».
«Suffice it as an example that even water, with springs that are in the Greek side but not in the Turkish one, is sold as if it were fuel from the pumps – just like in the photo below – to realize the difficulties of coexistence that still persist there in people’s lives today, “Su” in Cypriot language means water».
We end this first adventure about Piero and the Cyclown Circus with a documentary by Dimitris Sfyris, where you can get to see them in action. Enjoy!