Kas and an Aegean boat trip

Trip Start Apr 17, 2013
Trip End Jun 26, 2013

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Flag of Turkey  , Antalya,
Saturday, May 4, 2013

Yesterday we sweated up to the ruins of Termessos. Today we swam off the boat in the beautiful blue Aegean Sea. That is Turkey in a nutshell. Fantastic.

We haven't taken any tours, just taken ourselves to where we want to go. But a day on the water as a change from walking uphill seemed just right. The tourist season hasn't quite started here yet apparently, so the boat guys only had a few starters. But by 9pm they had rounded up 12 people, changed to a smaller boat, and we were set for 10am the next day.

But first dinner. The owner of the little hotel where we were staying recommended 'Kosk', and it turned out to be a good choice. Set under grapevines in a little square off the main square, it was in a lovely quiet setting.  We were the only ones there at the start (around 7pm), so got plenty of attention. Like many of the waiters we have spoken to, the fellow taking our order works here 8 months of the year and the rest of the time goes back to his home in eastern Turkey.
He showed the display fridge and what was on offer. We wanted to try the hummus, as we loved it when we lived in Doha. It is there somehow smoother and more flavoured than what we get in Australia. Here it did not disappoint, and nor did the carrot and walnut mixture that he added for us to try. 

For mains we ordered an Eggplant and Meatball Shish and a Lamb Shish.  All meals here seemed to be served with rice, though more often than not it is a type of bulgar flavoured with spices and tomato. Accompaniments are nearly always sliced onion (dusted with sumac), grated carrot, and chopped red cabbage. Sometimes it is a small salad of chopped lettuce, cucumber, tomato and onion, sometimes with chopped parsley.  And there is always bread as well. Tonight it was a pita type flatbread, though it can be a flattish round bread, the puffed up type,  or slices of the ordinary white bread sold everywhere. It is very cheap and people buy multiple loaves. We have seen wholemeal bread only a few times and never grain bread.

The eggplant dish was wonderful, with the grill adding a a lovely smoky flavour. It was an atmospheric spot to dine, but then we have eaten at so many places under trees or vines that it seems like everyday now. But always appreciated. It makes us think of South America where the most basic restaurants had put quite an effort into decoration. Asian restaurants of a basic kind often do not focus on this aspect.

While we sat in the restaurant people shopped at the little shops in the square and the boy from the tea shop was kept busy taking tea to various shops. We see this everywhere - young or old men carrying round silver trays with a handle with glasses of tea on them. 'Takeway' food has a different meaning here. 'Take out' would be more appropriate as food and tea are delivered to workers. As we drive through towns we often see boys crossing the road with their tray.
So to the boat trip. It was a smallish boat with nearly 20 people in the end - nice and small. We left at 10am and got back at 6pm.  The aim was to see the remains of the underwater city at Kekova-Simena, visit Kalekoy and the castle ruins of Simena, swim and have lunch. Sounded good, and it was. Glorious day, lovely scenery, and good lunch.  The swim was magic, as the water is so clear it was unbelievable. We wondered how this could be when you consider the population that lives on the shores. 

Kekova- Simena  village disappeared underwater after a large earthquake in 2AD. Staircases now lead down into the water. On land in Kalekoy we made our way uphill (there is always a hill to climb) to the castle built by the Knights of Rhodes. Wonderful view of the islands from here (nearly all the islands of the coast here belong to Greece). The pathway up has the usual stalls selling whatever touristy stuff they can, but also women crocheting scarves and bracelets, and women preparing dried herbs for sale. The smell was amazing.
And after we had swum and swum again, had lunch, and climbed up to the ruins, we could just watch the view or the people on the boat as we made our way back to Kas. As anywhere, such an assortment of people. 

We talked to a middle aged English couple on a package holiday here. She became very ill from the garlic brushed on the chicken. Haven't heard of that before. There was a middle aged Aussie guy who has been on a yacht around here for 3 years - now travelling with his Turkish boyfriend. He just happened to know an Australian hotel keeper we had met in Istanbul! Then a  youngish Dutch couple with two children, one of whom kept us mesmerised. This little girl kept one of the crew members entertained for hours. He was wonderful in that he never seemed to tire of her company. We are not sure if he understood Dutch, but she spoke animatedly to him non stop. And as the day went on games crept into their repertoire - at one stage she had him following the pattern of jumps she was making in the loops of the rope that lay at their feet. She reminded us very much of Beatrix and the way she can both talk and entertain herself. In this way we were soon back in the harbour.

We still had a 1 1/2 hour drive to get to Fethiye to our next hotel. Once again into the hills and by the water. And again we saw intensive vegetable growing. 

 In Fethiye our sat-nav insisted our hotel was in a no-car area. So we circled a bit and then I got out and talked to a guy at the taxi stand.  Quick as a flash he got in the back of the car and said to Bob 'Drive!'.  So up the hill we went, more than a kilometre further. Took us right there, and as we prepared to drive him back, he got out and said he would walk back. How amazing. Would we do that for someone? Very grateful Mt Taximan.
Seems all I do is talk about food but it was dinner time again. Fethiye is popular with the yacht  crowd, and the waterfront is lined with Yacht Club style eateries. We chose a more ordinary but nice type restaurant and ordered 'Castrol' or casserole. Of shrimp and vegetable. And then to bed. It had been a long day.
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