Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

Our cunning plan to get back from our road trip and get the batteries installed hit a few snags. Firstly we hadn’t banked on Kurban Bayrami – the “Feast of Sacrifice”. Our batteries had arrived in Turkey but were going nowhere until they got through Customs. This proved to be an issue as public servants got an extra two days holiday on top of the four that the rest of the population got to celebrate this great festival of Islam. So off we went cruising whilst we waited. This plan turned out to be also problematic as all the bays were filled with Turkish holiday makers on their boats. Never the less we managed to find some space to anchor as we checked out the wonderful cruising grounds the Gulet cruises call “Twelve Islands”.

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We then made our way up to Marmaris and spent a few days there checking out all the beautiful bays we hadn’t anchored in last time as well as the town. Then we made our way out of the bay and around the corner to Turunc, where we were delighted to see Paul and Tess on Paradise. We first met in Atlantic Spain and caught up with each other a few times before we went our separate ways in the Balearics two years ago. It was nice to catch up and enjoy some meals and drinks together again.

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On the way back to Gocek, we stopped in Ekincik Bay and went around to the entrance of Dalyan River to check out the nice beach there. We had thought about spending the night there but it was quite exposed and when it started to get a bit rolly so we thought better of it and headed back to Ekincik.

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We then headed back to Gocek to find that the batteries had arrived but Victron hadn’t provided Sanli with the necessary drawings they had promised. Everyone was getting hung up on the Mastervolt Alpha Pro chargers I had on the alternators. So Sanli, bless his heart, hopped on a plane to the Istanbul Boat Show to get things sorted. I also took the opportunity to pick Allan’s brain and took his advice to add a selector switch to a couple of the old batteries as an emergency fall back.

Whilst all this was being sorted out we headed into town to watch the AFL Grand Final with Ross, Ros, John and Leonie from Gone With the Wind 2, a Lagoon 620 with a Fremantle registration. It’s impossible to find the AFL on TV in a Turkish bar so we reverted to my subscription of WatchAFL.com on my laptop over breakfast. At least the breakfast was good as we watched the Hawthorn machine ruthlessly win yet another AFL premiership.

At least the rugby was on at a sportsbar, which also happened to double up as a bowling alley of all things. It was run by a nice Scottish lady who was right into her rugby, so we managed to watch a few great games of world cup with the guys from Gone With The Wind.

To fill in more time, we organised  a paragliding adventure at Oludeniz. It turned out to be so much fun.   Paragliding from the top of Mt Bagadag down to the coast at Oludeniz is said to be the best coastal paragliding spot in the world – who am I to disagree.

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Paragliding from the top of Mt Bagadag down to the coast at Oludeniz

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The drive up the mountain on a narrow road was quite scary. In fact, it turned out to be much more scary than jumping off the top of the mountain attached to my pilot. The view from way up there was spectacular, looking straight down on the Blue Lagoon and out to St Nicolas Island. I got a turn at flying as we cruised around with about 20-30 other paragliders. We landed next to the beach on a walk-way amongst all the tourists walking in front of the Oludeniz shops and restaurants.

After the excitement of the paragliding, we hopped back in our Hire Car and drove over to Kalakoy, which gained a certain amount of fame from a great book called “Birds Without Wings”. Kalakoy is a deserted town, dating back to 1923 when all the Christians were sent across to Greece, in exchange for all the Muslims in Greece, just after the Turks had won their war against the invading Greek Army. It was great to wander this deserted town, after just having read the book.

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Bird Whistle straight out of Birds Without Wings

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The Ghost Town of Kalakoy

Playing over, it was time to head back to Gocek for our new batteries.

For photos of Marmaris click here

For photos of paragliding, click here 

It Just Kept Getting Better and Better!

Oludeniz was a short hop away from St Nick’s Island, so it didn’t take us long to get there. The literal translation of Ölüdeniz is “Dead Sea” due to its calm waters but now days the official translation is “Blue Lagoon”, which is much more marketable. In the old days, you used to be able to take your yacht into the lagoon. These days you have to make do with the absurdly looking peddle powered craft, or as we did two standup paddle boards. The place is jam packed with tourists, being rated as one of the best beaches in the world – something a little bit over the top in my opinion.

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We pulled up outside the lagoon and anchored and tied up to the rocks next to a 100 foot motor yacht. There’s not a great deal of room for lots of yachts and it deepens up quite quick so not the greatest anchoring spot around. With a bit of swell running around the corner it was definitely only a day anchorage. Whilst everyone took their turn on the SUPs, battling a bit of a swell and a bit of wind, we watched the paragliders descend from Mount Babadağ, a pretty impressive 2000m mountain right on the coast. Mount Babadağ is rated one of the world’s best paragliding sites – now that I can understand.

Oludeniz done and dusted, it was time to find an anchorage for the night and the one we had picked out was full so in the end with the wind picking up, we just went back to St Nick’s Island.

We had an early morning start the next day to beat all the gullets to Butterfly Bay. The plan worked to perfection as we found the ideal spot in the SE corner of the bay and tied up to the rocks just off the beach, out of the way of the 20 million gullets that will be pulling up to the beach at 10am or so.

Butterfly Bay was a bit down on both water and butterflies but still a very pleasant hike to the waterfall at the end. Everyone thought it would be a nice idea to get breakfast on shore, but after having a look at what was on offer, everybody thought it wa now a good idea to have something to eat back on board La Mischief.

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We had a very pleasant motor sail down to Kalkan… again not much wind…and found a nice spot on the wall at about 2.30pm before the afternoon rush. The wall at Kalkan is a bit pricey – 160TL for the night –but still cheaper than Marina prices.

According to a 2012 survey 96% of visitors to Kalkan were from the UK. Despite this, Kalkan is still a very nice town to visit, slightly upmarket, very picturesque with its old fishing town feel, its famous white-washed houses, descending to the sea, and its brightly coloured bougainvillea. It was an old Greek town before the Christians were compulsorily sent to Greece in the 1920’s.

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We spent the afternoon lazing round the Indigo Blue waterfront bar, just across the breakwater from La Mischief, before hitting the town in the evening for some shopping, eating, drinking and hooka pipe smoking (me excluded).

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Next day it was off to Kekova Roads. It just kept getting better and better!

For pictures of Butterfly Bay and Oludeniz see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10201973785259136.1073741925.1620379103&type=1&l=22c5cf7d5a

For pictures of Kalkan please see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10201962554178366.1073741924.1620379103&type=1&l=2647e8a9ec

Heading North

After dropping off Ewa, the 4 of us decided to rent a car in Gocek and once again headed for Saklikent Gorge. We recreated the trip Ewa and I did earlier and visited the Canyon, the Trout Farm for lunch, the Tlos roman Ruins and then since we had some daylight left, headed for Kayaköy where Anatolian Greek speaking Christians lived until approximately 1923, when the Greeks in Turkey were repatriated to Greece and vice versa for the Turks in Greece. The ghost town, now preserved as a museum village, consists of hundreds of rundown but still mostly intact Greek-style houses and churches which cover a small mountainside. To top off the day, we also visits Ölüdeniz from the land.

Next day, we left Gocek and headed out of Fethiye Limani, anchoring for a lunchtime swim in Kizikuyruk Koyu, which was really beautiful with crystal clear water. Then we hit some heavy weather and labored our way north. It was an hour or two later we discovered a heap of water in our hull as the hatch above the printer was not shut properly. Bummer! A communication problem between skipper and new crew.

We finally made our way around to Ekincik Limani. We checked out My Manina but it was too expensive so we anchored up in 5m. We had planned to take a river trip up to see the rock tombs, but an inoperable printer/scanner meant we needed to head to Marmaris quick smart to get a replacement. So no Dalyman River tour.

Next morning, we left early and headed towards Marmaris before the wind came up.

It was interesting coming into Marmaris again, a bit strange in some ways as La Mischief had spent 6 months there up on the hard. We didn’t however go around to Yacht Marine, just anchored out the front of Marmaris amongst the multitude of gulets, and dingied it into town.

Marmaris is a big tourist town, with its beaches jammed packed with beach chairs that sit in front of numerous beach bars and restaurants. We found our printer shop and headed back to the boat.

We decided we would try a different anchorage so we motored across to Icmeler, where we managed to get out of the meltimi in 5m of water. It was another holiday spot with kite and wind surfers everywhere.

Then it was off to explore new territory north of Marmaris as we made our way towards Bodrum.