January 2010

Sunday, 17 January 2010

The Most Dangerous Roads in North Cyprus

We at Pacific Car Hire value our customers and we want you to have a safe and pleasant holiday while visiting us. To that end, we decided that it would be a good idea to tell you a little bit about some of the roadways you will travel while you are on holiday with us. If you are a sensible driver, then you will not have any problems driving while in North Cyprus, especially if you remember our advice when it comes to the most dangerous roads the country has to offer.

Probably the most dangerous roadways in North Cyprus are those that surround the Five Finger Mountains. The mountain range runs parallel to the north coast of the country. The range runs 175 kilometers in length and it is made up of rock that can be generally classified as limestone.

Dolomite and marble can be found here and visitors to the area as well as the shoreline of the north coast will marvel at the fossils that can be found there, including fossils of pygmy hippopotami. It is said that the range was created when two giants were chasing each other millions of years ago. One giant threw the rocks at the other and missed his target, creating the ridge that still today looks like a clenched fist.

Currently there are three main roads that go through the mountains although there are other paths that are used by forestry personnel, walkers and wildlife. The mountains themselves are a natural barrier between the coast and the Mesaoria Plain, and visitors to the area will notice that the vegetation that covers the Fiver Fingers is varied. Pine, Cypress and deciduous trees cover the northern slopes while the southern side is sparsely covered. It is here that many castles can be visited, which makes traveling the roads in and around the Five Finger Mountains a delight.

However, many of the most deadly accidents in North Cyprus happen on these roads. The roads themselves are only two lanes and most of those two lanes are one-line, making passing on the roads very difficult. They are also run by trucks and lorries from sun up to sun down. Because the roads are only two lanes and narrow, navigating in and around them in conjunction with the many larger vehicles makes them hazardous, especially during the wet winter months where rain and sometimes snow is found in these mountains.

Another dangerous road in North Cyprus is the Esentepe Road. The road travels from Kyrenia into the town of Esentepe which is located at the foot of the Kyrenia Mountains. The approach to the town of Esentepe is windy and narrow, making it dangerous even in good weather. But the area itself is well worth visiting as the beaches are spectacular and the shopping enjoyable. There are many new residential developments being built in this area of North Cyprus and the Esentepe Road is seeing more and more traffic every day.

With plenty to do in the area, it is no wonder this road is well traveled. There is a brand new 21 hole golf course just outside of Kyrenia on the Esentepe Road, and in order to see the turtles between May and September you have to traverse this twisting road. And that is before you even stop and add in all of the historical sites that are also found here, such as the castle of St. Hilarion, the Roman ruins and amphitheater at Salamis and the Karpaz Peninsula. If you base yourself in Esentepe, you can also visit Famagusta and Nicosia.

Why is the Esentepe Road considered a dangerous one? This two lane road is a one line, meaning that there are very few places along it to pass slower moving vehicles. Additionally the road is narrow, so if something were to happen to your vehicle there is no room to pull off. Most of the accidents that happen with a North Cyprus Car Hire vehicle happen here. With the narrow road and the amount of construction traffic found on it as the area grows, you simply cannot drive carefully and hope for the best.

If you are going to visit this area of North Cyprus and travel on the Esentepe Road, make sure you take the curves carefully, stay in your lane and do not get close to any truck, construction vehicle or lorry. If they have any problems on the road and you are right behind them, they may not know you are there and an accident could occur if they make a sudden stop.

Finally, the Girne-Lapta Road is another roadway to be wary of when driving in North Cyprus. It is a one line, two lane road that is currently experiencing some very bad traffic congestion. A lot of road rage is seen on this road and careless driving here is the norm. Part of the problem is that this road is one of the main roads that are used by North Cypriots going to and from work. The road is the busiest between 7:30am and 9:00am North Cyprus time and 5:30pm and 7:00pm North Cyprus time. The night time traffic tends to be heavier around the weekends and holidays as many people hit the road for their days off.

There is a Girne Bypass currently being built and as of October 2009 a single bypass carriageway has been opened on the Girne-Lefkosa Road. How long will it take for the Girne-Lapta Road bypass to be finished? No one knows, but once this bypass is completed the congestion on the Girne-Lapta Road is expected to diminish immensely.
Obviously you do not want to miss this beautiful area of North Cyprus during your holiday. You have the option of braving the morning and evening traffic, but we recommend driving before or after the above listed times. It will make your holiday more enjoyable and you will not be subjected to the aggressiveness of the other drivers on the road with you.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Pacific North Cyprus Hire Cars and You

A great holiday stay in North Cyprus requires hiring a car. There is very little public transportation in the country, and if you really want a taste of Cypriot life you need to have a car at your disposal. At Northern Cyprus Car Rental we pride ourselves on offering you some of the most economical and comfortable vehicles for your use while on vacation. We also value the feedback you, our customers, provide us on the cars we offer. Your feedback helps us determine what type of car to invest in when we start to look for newer models to offer you.
Knowing what you think about the cars we offer helps us recommend a car to other renters. Based on your feedback, we can give you and future renters of Cyprus Car Hire a look at how all of our cars compare, both good and bad. Read on to find out what you think of our cars. After all, you, our customers, drive them all over North Cyprus. You will know what the positive and negative aspects of each car are.

Ford Focus
The Ford Focus is a five seat vehicle and we offer them in both manual and automatic. It comes with power steering, central locking, airbags, ABS, and electric front windows. It is one of the best family cars we offer our renters, although it is better suited for families with small children as the back seat can accommodate two car seats if needed. It also has a large boot, making it convenient for renters with a lot of luggage. The biggest disappointment in the Ford Focus that our customers have pointed out to us is that it loses power going uphill. It will do the job, but it just takes a little longer to clear the top.

Ford Fiesta
Ford Fiesta???s have come a long way since they were first introduced by the company in the 1970s. The models of today look nothing like their predecessors. They are more streamlined and the hatchback option gives the renter a lot of room for luggage and other items. We offer this car with air conditioning which is needed during the summers in North Cyprus and very much appreciated by our customers. It is another car that is great for small families and it has a powerful engine to get you around North Cyprus easily. The biggest downfall of our Ford Fiesta???s: we do not offer it in an automatic transmission.

Hyundai Getz
Hyundai???s have a great track record for being reliable vehicles that are economical and easy on gas. It is a great small car that can seat four to five people comfortably. With air conditioning and the option to hire it in automatic and manual transmission, our customers enjoy visiting Northern Cyprus in one of these vehicles. Unfortunately, the Hyundai Getz is not conducive to four passengers with a lot of luggage. It has a very small boot.

Fiat Punto
The Fiat Punto is a nice family car that falls in the same category as the Ford Fiesta and the Hyundai Getz. It can easily seat four to five people and comes with manual or automatic transmission and air conditioning. It actually is roomier than its Ford and Hyundai counterparts, something our customers have marveled over time and time again. With a powerful engine, the Fiat Punto can easily pull the hills around the mountains of Cyprus. The biggest downfall of the Fiat Punto? It has a really small boot.

Hyundai Matrix
Not to be confused with the Toyota Matrix, the Hyundai Matrix is in the same category as the Fiat Punto, the Ford Focus, and the Ford Fiesta. It offers our customers manual or automatic transmission, air conditioning ??? you simply cannot visit this island in the summer without air conditioning ??? power steering and economical driving. Our customers find this a great, comfortable car with a large boot and the most room in all of our saloon vehicles. Tall people have a problem with the high seats and the lack of headroom, but for the most part holiday makers in North Cyprus have really praised the roominess this car offers.

Suzuki Jimmy
The Suzuki Jimmy is one of North Cyprus Car Hire???s classic car hires. This great 4 x 4 is favored with our off-road adventurers and they come in a soft top with a summer and winter roof. Comfortable and stylish, the Suzuki Jimmy is deceptive as it looks smaller than it really is. It can easily accommodate four adults with minimal boot room. With seatbelts in the front and the back, it is one of our most popular rentals. The Suzuki Jimmy has one downfall. It does not come with air conditioning. The summer soft top, which we put in place in May, can be removed so that you can enjoy the fresh air and fun that jeeps are known for. But when you drive a Jimmy in the heat of the day in August, you will wish for air conditioning.

Suzuki Samurai
Along with our Suzuki Jimmy we offer our more adventurous customers the Suzuki Samurai. This is the cheapest vehicle in our fleet and it comes equipped with a soft top. It is a 4x4 and while our Samurai???s are not the newest in our fleet, we make sure they are in top running condition. They are economical and great for two to four adults. We do not recommend this vehicle for families because there are no seatbelts in the back of these vehicles. This has been one of the biggest complaints our customers have made about this jeep. Additionally, there is no power steering or power anything with the Samurai. We???ve actually had some customers tell us driving one of these is like driving a tank. Why do we still offer this vehicle? Because the adventurous holiday makers in North Cyprus like the fact that this vehicle is cheap to hire and can go off road.
There you have it: the good and the bad of some of North Cyprus Car Hire???s vehicles. Each year we try to find out what you, our customers are looking for in a rental vehicle. We take this information into consideration every time we start to look for new vehicles for our fleet. We have added quite a few over the last couple years based on recommendations made by our customers. This feedback is more than valuable. It is a vital part of our business and we cannot encourage you enough to fill out our surveys after you have vacationed with us.

Is there something else you would like to see us offer? We are open to suggestions. Maybe you know of a newer car that we could consider. We offer smaller, more economical cars to our customers to help keep holiday costs low so we are always looking to add compact cars to our fleet. When you take into consideration the roadways in Northern Cyprus, you can also understand why larger cars are simply not an option. Add to that the lack of gas stations on every corner and you can see why we stick with fuel efficient economy cars.
We would also love to get your feedback on some of the newer cars we have added to our fleet. What did you like or dislike about the Volkswagen Polo? Did you find the Toyota Corolla comfortable and everything you hoped for? What about the Suzuki Vitara 4x4 Soft Top? These are just some of the vehicles we need your feedback on. Help us help you decide what type of vehicle you need on your holiday.

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Friday, 1 January 2010

What Side Of The Road Are You Driving On?

What Side Of The Road Are You Driving On?

Taking a vacation in a foreign country is one of the most exciting things you and your family will ever experience. When visiting North Cyprus, you will be able to see a land that is steeped in rich tradition and history. It is a land with pristine beaches, beautiful mountains to explore, meadows and vistas teaming with flora and fauna, small villages that are warm and inviting, and historical ruins that are amazing in their complexity.

While visiting North Cyprus offers you a wide range of things to do ??? from swimming in the ocean waters to hiking up the Five Finger Mountains ??? there is one thing you will need to adjust to while visiting: driving on the left hand side of the road. If you are visiting North Cyprus from a country that drives on the right hand side of the road you will need to be aware of which side you are driving on at all times. The last thing you want is for you vacation to be ruined due to an accident that could???ve been preventable.
Here is a mantra to keep in your head if you are visiting North Cyprus from a country other than the United Kingdom: ???Left is right. Right is wrong.??? Sounds a little confusing, doesn???t it? If you keep it in your head, you will ensure that you stay on the proper side of the roadway. When you pick up your vehicle from North Cyprus Car Hire, we will even remind you of this fact before you drive away. Your safety is important to us.
It is, undoubtedly, a disconcerting feeling to drive on what seems to be the wrong side of the road. Not only do you drive in the left hand lane, the vehicle you are driving will have the steering wheel in the wrong place. When you get a car from North Cyprus Car Hire you will notice that the steering wheel is on the right hand side of the car. The gear shift in a manual transmission vehicle will be to your left. Yes, this is even more confusing if you are not used to it. We recommend that you hire an automatic transmission car if you???re not used to this set up.
What else can you do when you are new to driving on the left hand side of the road? Here are some tips the staff at North Cyprus Car Hire have put together to help you get used to things being backwards on the road.

Tip #1: When in North Cyprus, keep to the left
The United Kingdom and North Cyprus are just a few of the countries where driving is done on the left hand side of the road. We cannot stress this enough. The left lane in North Cyprus is your regular driving lane while the right lane is the passing lane when allowed. If you are not quite comfortable driving in the left lane, do not try to pass a slower car or truck ahead of you. Take your time and get used to driving on the opposite side of the road instead.
Tip #2: General driving rules apply in North Cyprus but things come from the opposite directionMost of the standard driving rules that you learned in the country where you learned how to drive apply in North Cyprus. Many of them are common sense. While you may not understand all of the text on the road signs in the country, the pictures that accompany them are self-explanatory. Also, the signs along the road will be to your left along the roadside as that is the side you are driving on. Additionally, keep in mind that when you approach roundabouts and four way stops, the traffic is going to merge from the opposite side.
Tip #3: Keep an eye on your speed at all timesAs if you do not have enough to worry about remembering to stay on the left hand side of the road, it is a good idea to keep to the speed limits when driving in North Cyprus. You are going to be fighting your natural instinct to drive on the right hand side of the road, unless you are from the United Kingdom. By keeping your speed at the speed limit you give yourself the extra time your mind will need to make a decision when needed, especially on roads that are very unfamiliar to you.
Tip #4: It???s okay to follow that crowdYou can get a lot of useful information about driving in North Cyprus by watching the other people that are driving. By paying attention to how other drivers exit parking lots, how they come out of junctions, and how they handle roundabouts you can learn how to negotiate the roads on the opposite side from what you are used to. However, if you should happen to be leaving the airport, try to follow the North Cyprus Car Hire employee that met you or a taxi cab so that you are following someone used to driving in the country.
Tip #5: Take the time to get familiar with your North Cyprus Car Hire vehicle
Remember us mentioning the gear shift in a manual transmission vehicle being to your left in a car where the steering wheel is on the right? This is why it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the vehicle you hire before driving away. The brake and gas pedal will be in the same position ??? gas on the right, brake on the left ??? but you need to know where all of the other controls are located. It is better to take the extra time than try to find turn signals and windshield wipers before you hit the road.
Tip #6: Know where the curb is at all times
When you drive in a vehicle that has the steering wheel on the right, the bulk of your car is going to be to your left. You will have problems gauging distances and space. Once again, take your time driving, especially if you drive down any narrow streets, and be careful when you park your car. Additionally, remember that your car bulk is to your left when overtaking other vehicles.

If you can keep these tips in mind when you drive in North Cyprus from a country other than the United Kingdom, you will have no problem at all. And getting used to the new driving situation gives you the chance to take your time and enjoy everything North Cyprus has to offer.

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