It was great to be on the road again for a day’s exploring before picking up John from S/V Catabella who was due to arrive at Dalaman airport that evening.
We decided to head for some interesting spots well in range of the airport as we didn’t want to find ourselves miles away in a traffic jam when we should be in Dalaman.
So we headed first for Köyceğiz, famous for it’s beautiful lake which is joined to the Mediterranean by a natural channel called the Dalyan Delta.
It was a crackling hot day – think Australian outback heat, when even the cicadas can’t summon the will power to shake and shiver their timbal membranes.
It was wonderful to walk for a while round the reed-fringed lake. Fortunately this area has been preserved as a nature and wildlife sanctuary so there’s plenty of bird spotting opportunities.
There was a slight breeze wafting across the water but it had little effect on the stifling heat so we stopped at a cafe to have a freshly squeezed orange juice under a shady tree.
We walked back along the shore and hopped back in the car and drove to Dalyan – a lovely little town which has the river of the same name flowing through it.
The town was quite busy with tourists taking boat trips up and down the river. A few weeks earlier we had planned to take a trip up the river entering from the sea side but in the end we had to give it a miss as we were on a mission to get to Marmaris.
It crossed our minds to hop on one of the boats in Dalyan as we were interested in viewing the extraordinary tombs from the 4th Century BC which are cut into the cliffs on the banks of the river. We also hoped we might even catch sight of some of the loggerhead turtles who nest each year at nearby “Turtle Bay”, (a protected area since a huge campaign in the 1980s.)
We decided to have some lunch while we thought about it and as we were eating we received a message from John – his internal flight in Greece had been delayed which meant he missed his International flight from Athens to Istanbul and wouldn’t be arriving until the next day.
As we no longer had to stay round the Dalaman area we decided to head back to Marmaris and continue on from there on the D400 to the Datça Peninsula to scope out some lovely spots where later on we could free anchor rather than Med moor.
We saw some fabulous spots – the whole area was extremely picturesque and seeing its beauty whetted our appetite for exploring it all by boat.
Datça was a busy little place, not without charm but just too crowded (even in these Covid times!) for us.
After a walk along the seafront we stopped for a quick meal before the couple of hours drive back to Marmaris.
Back at the car park our hearts sank – someone had parked us in! If they had moved forward a metre we (and another car) could have got out with a bit of manoeuvring. Grrrr.
After about 20 minutes the driver came back. He was obviously a local who came to pick up a bit of shopping quickly – thinking we’d be there for the evening. Exasperating but understandable!
We were able to book the car for another day to pick up John the following day. Fortunately everything went smoothly this time.
One of the projects we had on our “to do” list for Marmaris was to have the Perspex in our deck hatches replaced as the originals were faded, crazed and in one case, cracked.
Vedat of VS Marin did a fantastic job and always turned up exactly on time at the designated meeting place – important if you’re meeting someone by dinghy!
Once we had ticked off that job we decided to make a run for it from Marmaris. The heat was becoming unbearable even at anchor and we had been in the same spot for too long! The crew was about to mutiny if we stayed one more day!
Fortunately mutiny was averted! Our first night was spent just a short distance away at Turunç where we had previously anchored when sheltering from a terrible bush fire.
We had a fantastic meal at a restaurant off the main tourist route called The Chef’s House. The food and service was excellent and the menu (a beautifully produced “book”) was extensive.
We enjoyed talking English to the owner’s young son – he had a perfect English accent! He ran off but soon came back with his cousin and younger brother in tow.
After just one night we took off again. It wasn’t a great trip – we had to motor all the way, the small amount of wind being right on the nose. There was a really uncomfortable swell, short and sharp with lots of spray and a fair bit of thumping as we fell off the top of the unruly waves.
We looked at a couple of anchorages before settling on Bozuk Buku for the night. The first one we looked at, Serçe Limanı, was approached via a narrow entrance and then opened up dramatically into a large, fjord-like bay. It was lovely but very full of med moored boats and not enough room for us to swing at anchor so we turned around and kept going.
It was around here we realised that we were crossing our track from almost exactly a year ago when we entered Turkey from Greece!
Little did we realise then that Covid would still be such a force to be reckoned with a whole year later!
When we arrived at Bozuk Bükü we where very happy to see boats free anchored as well as others med moored and tied up at wharves belonging to the two restaurants there.
It was a huge bay so there was plenty of room for everyone to do as they pleased!
We thought we could see a herd of goats on the beach but they turned out to be donkeys! We thought they were very cute until we were woken up by their heehaw-ing in the early hours!
At the entrance to the bay we saw the remains of an ancient citadel (there are actually ruins absolutely everywhere in Turkey!) These are apparently of Hellenistic origin and date from the 10th Century BC.
Our next anchorage was Bozburun which we had visited and enjoyed on a previous road trip.
On the way there we past the island of Simi which we could see in the distance. This had been our last port of call in in Greece before arriving in Turkey on 1 July 2020.
What a lot has happened since then. We can’t wait to see what the next year brings!