Lost and found!

Headlines along the lines of “Aussie couple disappears in Turkish countryside – boat found abandoned” were running through my mind as we pondered where we had gone wrong.

Are we on the right path?
Everywhere looks rather the same.

We were on a hike in Kekova Roads starting in Woodhouse Bay where we had anchored Sunday.

Lovely Woodhouse Bay

We hadn’t been off the boat for a few days due to high winds and seas to match so when we reached this beautiful, calm bay we were raring to go!

So calm and peaceful

Our cruising guide mentioned a track which started right behind the spot where we had anchored although it was really difficult to make it out from the boat.

Now where is that track?

Once we had tied up our dinghy we scouted around and followed what did in fact turn out to be the trail although we were definitely dubious to start with.

We thought the track must be in this dip
More of a scramble than a hike!

Despite the heat it was great to be going for a hike (more of a scramble really!) after being cooped up in the boat for a few days.

After a laborious climb we reached the top and came to a more defined track – apparently there was meant to be a deserted, tumbledown, village somewhere on this path but we obviously chose the wrong direction to take (we turned right!) and managed to miss it!

At the top there was a more defined path

After a walking for a while in the rugged terrain we decided it was time to turn homewards. We walked back the way we had come for what seemed rather a long time and gradually became aware that we were travelling through unfamiliar scenery. We had managed to miss the turnoff for the rough path back to the boat!

The more defined path but where was that turn off?

While I had visions of spending the rest of the day wandering back and forth trying to find the track back down to Sunday, Jonathan retraced our steps the way we had been.

Being a former Boy Scout with a bushcraft badge he had, unbeknownst to me, left a sign using small stones a short way before our turn off.

Back on right path again

Unfortunately, it was so well camouflaged that he completely missed it on the way back. Luckily he found it second time round!

Fortunately we didn’t have to wander aimlessly for long

Eventually using his sneaky sign we were able to find our route and followed the red markings painted on the rocks all the way home!

It was a relief to see these red marks on the rocks
There’s Sunday!

Later that day we took the dinghy to a small cove where apparently, there was a fresh water spring. The cove narrowed to become more like a large creek which was cool, rather mysterious and so peaceful.

The start of the creek

Craggy rock cliffs topped with trees towered above us on each side and from time to time low shrubs clung tenaciously to the rocky outcrops at eye level. It felt like we were in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark!

Craggy rock cliffs lined the creek sides
It felt like we were in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark!

We motored further up the creek and the banks became bushier and less rocky. As we swished through the green water we became aware that the bottom of the dinghy – where our feet were – was deliciously cold. Aha, we had found the fresh water spring!

The water became icy cold
Where is that fresh water spring?

A little further along we spotted a very clear pool of water which was surrounded by submerged rocks. We could just make out trickle of water bubbling over the rocks – this was definitely the spring!

This was definitely it!
The water was crystal clear

Jonathan was very keen to get to taste this beautiful crystal clear water so he waded through the ice-cold pool to collect some in his drink bottle.

Collecting water from the spring- it tasted revolting!

He took a sip and then gave me some to try – it was revolting! Yes it was icy cold but it also tasted horribly salty and not in the least like we had imagined!

On our way back to the ocean

Keen to explore some more of the Kekova Roads area, we set off again the next day. Despite there being a fair number of tourist boats moored in the bays the huge harbour felt gloriously empty as we sailed across, passing the little village of Kaleköy which nestles beneath the mighty Byzantine castle – built in the Middle Ages to fight against invading pirates.

The huge harbour felt gloriously empty
The mighty Byzantine castle above Kaleköy

We sailed deeper into the harbour to outside the sweet village of Üçağız – described rather disparagingly in the Turkish cruising guide as “a ramshackle little village”.

Rocky outcrops at the entrance to Üçağız

It is true that it is very small but ramshackle isn’t accurate – Üçağız is a charming village steeped in history with welcoming locals. It is just such a charming place to visit once all the day trippers have left for the day.

Üçağız from the boat
Another view of the mosque this time from the village side
There are many charter vessels that leave from Üçağız
One of the lovely traditional homes in Üçağız
One of the many ancient buildings in Üçağız

As we strolled through the narrow streets we marvelled at the ancient sarcophagi from Lycian times dotted around the place – some in a car park, another on a street corner, one with hens living in it!

There were numerous sarcophagi scattered around the village
Chickens were living in this one!
Inside one of the sarcophagi

We also saw a crumbling old building that looked like a Christian church – later we found that the village had been inhabited mostly by Greeks until the population exchange of 1923 and that the building indeed had been a Church.

The crumbling remains of a Greek Orthodox church
This stone entrance looked very ancient
This house was built on the remains of a much earlier home – probably Greek originally
Another relic from ancient times
Cactus fruit

We had a long and very interesting chat with the manager of a Turkish carpet shop – the smell and the colours inside the shop were intoxicating and it looked like an Aladdin’s cave.

The Turkish carpet shop was an Aladdin’s Cave

We would have loved to have bought a carpet but where on earth would we put it?!

Such glorious colours
The smell was intoxicating!

We had tied our dinghy up outside Hassan’s restaurant (he had seen us looking for a spot and called us over).

The row of restaurants on the water’s edge
Hassan’s restaurant!
We parked right outside

He wore a magnificent black chef’s hat and was so welcoming that we decided to have dinner at his restaurant.

Hassan (with his black chef’s hat on) taking a break

We had a delicious meal of fresh fish which he filleted at the water’s edge next to our table. As he was working a huge turtle came to visit.

Hassan filleting our fish. Can you see the turtle just to the right of him?

One of his daughters had excellent English (she had been working in Berlin before Covid) and she showed us several foreign magazines and other publications in which her father and his restaurant were featured.

The chairs were painted purple – the colour that represents the Lycian Empire
Hassan featured in a German magazine

Apparently Hassan’s restaurant has been renowned in yachting circles although more recently they hadn’t seen many yachting visitors at all. We think this was because the once plentiful yachting charter boat companies had closed down. The Covid-19 crisis had made things even worse.

More Lycian purple
Another magazine article featuring Hassan
I think Jonathan enjoyed his meal

We ended up leaving with a bag of plums, a huge bunch of freshly picked basil and a home made bracelet which Burcu, Hassan’s daughter had made and put on my wrist before we left.

In addition to a delicious meal we cane home with home grown plums, a bunch of basil and a bracelet!
Back on board Sunday – our view of Üçağız

What a great evening we had!

So yachties, if you’re in the area, do go to Hassan’s and you’ll receive a very fine welcome!

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

One thought on “Lost and found!”

  1. Ah, Dot – it sounds wonderful and makes me SO nostalgic for Turkey and our holidays there many years ago! I’m really sad we haven’t been able to come out and visit you – let’s cross fingers for next year! xx

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