We had a lovely last weekend in Kas with the crew of Polykandros, starting with a wonderful picnic in the grounds of the small Hellenistic theatre just outside the town.
To get there we first took the dinghy to the very wobbly jetty near a fisherman’s ramshackle hut. We scrambled up the slope, skirting past the very noisy cockerel who was defending “his girls” by puffing out his feathers and crowing at the top of his voice while the hens pottered about scratching at the earth – totally unconcerned.
At the top of the slope we crossed over the road and found one of the paths that criss cross the hill which rises above the anchorage. As we walked we saw the remains of (more) ancient Lycian tombs, lots of very old and knarled olive trees and a huge array of glorious wild flowers. Spring has definitely sprung in Turkey!
At the theatre we were introduced to fellow yachties Yvette and Martin and their son Jason from S/V Pisces 2. They had recently been in Finike Marina but first met the Whittaker family in Athens, at the Alimos Marina, shortly after we had escaped lockdown there, last June.
Later that day we had a last evening with the Polykandros crew. Fortunately the weather was very calm, unlike during the previous week, and we were able to sit outside and enjoy watching the almost full moon rise over the hills.
The following day was departure day for both boats but sadly in completely different directions. Polykandros was heading up the coast towards Fetiye while Sunday was going the other way, making for the Setur Marina in Fineke.
The morning was absolutely still – not a ripple in the water nor the slightest whisper of a breeze – so still in fact, that the yachts in the marina and the hills behind were perfectly reflected in the water. It was stunningly beautiful.
Luca had left his cap on board the previous night so we arranged to hand it over to him on our boat hook as Polykandros made a farewell “lap of honour” round Sunday.
It was really sad to say goodbye again so quickly but we will catch up again for sure.
Later that day we also hauled anchor and left for the short three-hour trip to Kekova Roads – approximately the half way point to Finike.
We hadn’t been out on the water for more than 15 minutes before we were stopped by the Coastguard (border control) boat.
It was a little unnerving waiting for the officers to give us the OK to leave. Had we transgressed a new rule? Were we on some kind of “banned” list? After checking our passports, ship’s papers and our transit log and spending an inordinate time on the phone checking with who knows what government department, we were sent on our way but not before a vital piece of paper came loose from the folder and blew away!
“Man overboard” I cried and while Capt’n Birdseye quickly untied the rope holding the coastguard’s boat, I kept my eyes trained on the errant piece of paper. Fortunately the coastguards were able to retrieve it and it was soon drying on our draining board!
We had a very pleasant motor to Kekova Roads – there wasn’t a breath of wind so we didn’t bother getting sails up.
Arriving back at Kokova was such a pleasure- we had last been there almost seven months ago and at that time this lovely spot had been very busy with lots of gulets and other tourist boats, cruising yachts and charter vessels.
This time as we motored past Kokova island through one of the three entrances to this glorious and enormous fiord-like bay, we saw just one solitary fishing boat – such magic!
Under leaden skies we meandered along – past rocky islets with ruins on them, random craggy rocks and then the commanding Byzantine Castle built high up on a hill to fight pirates!
We entered the anchorage outside the little village of Üçağız through the all-important port and starboard markers. There are so many rocks lurking under the water that much caution has to be taken!
Safely anchored opposite the remains of what was once the ancient Lycian port town of Teimiussa, we were visited by another couple of Coastguards who once again wanted to examine our paperwork and made more phone calls.
The chief pointed to our Turkish courtesy flag and shook his head tut-tutting. “New, you need new”. We looked up and sheepishly agreed. It was looking very faded and rather tatty!
That night we enjoyed a long sundowner while we watched the full moon rise in all its glory.
It felt really good to be tying up at the wonderful fish restaurant on the quayside of Üçağız belonging to Hassan although sadly it was all closed up and none of the family appeared to be around.
Wandering through the tiny streets it was a pleasure to see the village hadn’t been spoilt like so many others have by the growth in tourism. Sure, there were some restaurants and guest houses but nothing has been built to spoil the charming rustic character of the place.
It was surprising to see how many ancient tombs were dotted around the village – often used as shelters for the local chickens and others just occupying random spots in the car park, people’s gardens and in laneways.
Before long, we had come to the end of the “modern” village and following a pathway that went cheek by jowl to the front door of the last cottage, we found our way to the ruins of Teimiussa.
Apparently very little is known about these ruins but inscriptions on the tombs indicate they could date back as far as the 4th century BC.
There are ruins of a necropolis, but no city walls or other major structures – possibly these could have been damaged by earthquakes and just slipped into the sea.
The tombs are absolutely magnificent – made from local limestone, many have been carved into the cliffs but others have been carefully placed on site with stone wedges to level them up. Without exception, these tombs have been robbed – this must have been a problem even in the ancient times, since many of the tomb inscriptions are apparently curses against desecrators!
It was poignant to see the holes ruthlessly bashed into the sides of tombs and lids “dangling” half on and half off with just enough room for a robber to reach in and snatch jewellery and other precious items belonging to the long dead.
The day was still young so we made our way back through the village and hopped aboard our dinghy for a little ride around.
The good captain suggested that we should go for lunch in the village of Kaleköy so we puttered over to the small harbour that lies in the shadow of the castle fortress.
There was only one restaurant open so that’s where we went!
This was the first proper meal out for months (because of Covid lockdowns) so we really enjoyed ourselves. It felt like such luxury to be eating at a table in the sun, with a crisp cotton tablecloth and an ice cold beer (our first this year!) in frosty glasses straight from the fridge.
Calamari, hand cut chips and a beautiful salad never tasted so good!