Trip Start May 17, 2012
Trip End Jun 11, 2012

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Kekova boat cruise re swims, the underground city and castle climb

Flag of Turkey  , Antalya,
Sunday, June 3, 2012

Up at 0600 on the dot, only dogs breaking the silence of the morning. Got the 3 S's out of the way, putting yesterday's blog up before 0700. Still an hour before brekkie so a few emails to some of my fans before a meander.

Strolled a few different streets, stumbling across a 4th century BC monument tomb which was worth a couple of shots. Going to be a warm day. New sandals and a new camera are probably on the shopping list before the southwest US camping trip in Sept.

Down to brekkie a bit after 0800, Madame appearing, then the Melbourne Mob and Robert, the Canberra Crowd taking up the rear. Chatted about my pending American camping trip, Las Vegas and Blurb books. Readied for 0930 departure, packing things away in the room.

Suggested Hillary is 'Sheila 2' with her wide brimmed hat. Di said I should not hack off the floppy skin, another nurse Nightingale chiming in. The girls were musing when was the last time any of them were in a bikini.

Left at 0931, Sharif saying we had a 6H drive, a half hour cruise and a 6H return. Took the road back toward Antalya. At 0951 turned off to Kekova [also known as Ucagic], 18k away on a twisty and at times potholed/rough road. Off the van at 1015 and aboard the Adalani II within 10M. We had it all to ourselves with the family team [captain Mahmet and his wife Nouria] running it so plenty of room beneath deck, up front and up top.

The short overview is an initial stop to swim [just Hillary and I] in one of many coves, then to Dockyard cove re Byzantine ruins for another dip [the Melbourne Mob joining], then passed the sunken city [with a look at some underwater amphora through the world's smallest glass bottom boat section], to lunch in the cove where the Turkish warship Hamidiye spent some during WWI, up to the castle for great views and a final swim [Hillary and Lyn joining, also picking up an Efes can from the bottom] before port.

The water was coolish. There was snorkelling gear aboard. The first mask was way too scratched but the second one was quite good. Cooking at the back of the ship [lunch was included but not drinks] started re chicken. It was a warm sun and naturally I d/n put on enough suntan lotion, getting a nice lobster hue. The sunken city is beside Kekova Island. Paul spotted a sea turtle who surfaced several times for our viewing pleasure.

Lunch: plate on the lap was too much for Madame but I played the rebel with my Efes beer. The feature was the grilled chicken plus various salads. Madame mentioned she had enjoyed a Janis Joplin concert. I suggested she belt out some of Me and Bobby McGee but nil. Went rooftop thereafter, not feeling like polite conversation.

Down for a chat with Sharif about Xanthos [not on the list but can go there tomorrow, Roddy]. Talked also about Mt Ararat climbs and my treks.

After lunch over to a wharf to disembark for the hike up to the castle. The views were excellent, hopefully a two page photo for the Blurb book amongst the shots involving open windows.

Short jaunt to our final swim but no fish. The bandaid on the L toe fell off in the water.

Apple tea and cookies to conclude things. I got a fair amount of sun today. Paid our bills [an Efes and a tea] 8TL and back to shore for the landlubbers. Sharif has an infectious laugh: ha HA haaaaaaa. Left Kekova at 1708.

The day reminded me of what I sense cruising the Greek isles in a comparable boat would be like. So much of the success of such a trip would be the group.

Some land turtles were the highlight of the return trip. In the home stretch, decided on another restaurant and 1930 dinner. Showered to desalinate, getting some of the journal done before my guests, the Canberra Crowd, arrived. Chatted about Egypt and other travel topics over a couple of shots of raki, Hillary having some wine.

1930 journey to Mama's Pastry. Most of us had the special [finely minced and seasoned meatballs wrapped in eggplant with rice and salad]; very good but very filling. Home made lemonade was good too. Some had an apparently excellent baklava for dessert.

Sharif related the story that St Nicholas had been associated with a green outfit. Coca Cola wanted to contribute to the rebuild of his church in Myra but insisted he be given a red outfit.

Sharif over dinner mentioned Xanthos as a venue, an extended time at Pamukkale to swim bagged. Glad for that since we are apparently still leaving at 0900.

Walked back with the Melbourne Mob and Sharif. Journal finished, pix downloaded/culled, some stuff to wait until the morning. You tire in a hot sun, especially if dumb enough to get sunburned but it was a good day. Bed after 2300.

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