We love a boat trip! - what better way to experience the beautiful scenery around Turunç? On this occasion, seven of us decided to be a little more adventurous and explore the furthest end of the Loryma peninsula.
We head out from Turunç at 08:30 and it's about 1½ hours by road through Bayır, Söğüt and Taşlica until we reach our starting point - the little harbour at Serçe Limanı. Here we meet up with our skipper Ferhat, his lovely Mum & Dad, and board Keles Boat which will be our home for the day. The boat is small (seven passengers is the maximum) but beautifully cared-for with plenty of relaxing space and shade. We hand out "Adventure Team" baseball caps ... and off we go.
It seems we're hardly out of harbour when we make our first swim stop of the day. Just a little cove with an abandoned building (possibly a small restaurant or café) and no-one else about. The water is judged 'brisk' but it's very refreshing. Our snorkellers report different findings. Maria sees many fish - Norman reports some broken plates as evidence that the Greeks were here at some point in history! I can never be sure when he's winding us up.
Following the swim, teas and coffees back on the boat are just what we need.
We sail on past high, rugged cliffs before our next stop at the sizable harbour at the foot of Bozukkale ('Broken Castle'). There are three beach restaurants (only accessible by sea), a few yachts and gulets but not another trip boat in sight. We tie up at a small jetty and take a poll of who's going to make the climb ("just 10 minutes - easy" announces Ferhat) up to the castle. Taking as little as we can - just water and cameras - Maria, Norman and Hugh set off leaving the others to relax over refreshments. It's a steep climb, the path soon runs out and we are scrambling over rocks following red paint blobs leading us upward. We pass a number of small, modern buildings which turn out to be loos and showers - why? - halfway up a mountain! On one of them we see leaves drying in the sun which we suspect are tobacco. At the summit we scramble over the wall which forms a curtain around the top of the hill. It's really impressive - about two meters thick, made up of huge perfectly formed blocks that stretch away into the distance. Yet inside there is no evidence of any buildings: just huge rocks of the original clifftop sticking up. A few photos, some much-needed water then we make our way down. This proves even harder than the ascent; it's quite slippery and we need hands (and sometimes bottoms) to make it back safely to the boat.
We set off again to another deserted bay which will be our lunch stop. Well - not quite deserted. No sooner had we dropped anchor than two Turkish ladies appear in rowing boats. Peeling back layers of Turkish rugs they unveil a huge range of local trinkets and towels. Got to admire their enterprise but the prices are exorbitant - we politely decline and they head off. We gather round a table at the stern of the boat to enjoy our lunch. Fresh fried fish - red mullet we recognise and another white fish that everyone agrees is delicious - we think some sort of barracuda but translation proves difficult. Herby pasta and heaps of tasty salad - with cold beers and wine - and not another boat in sight ... it's just idyllic.
After lunch we sail to the furthest point of our journey for another swim. By now we are so close to Rhodes (we are told about 10 Km) that, through binoculars, we can see ships and facilities in the harbour there and see planes taking off from Rhodes airport with the naked eye. Ferhat produces a huge water melon and we all enjoy a refreshing mid-afternoon treat.
Sailing back to Serçe Limanı we're all struck by the isolation of our adventure - apart from a few yachts we've had the seas completely to ourselves today - quite an experience and so relaxing. Just after 5PM we tie up at the harbour - compared to the rest of our day, it looks positively busy - maybe 10 boats and 20 people around! We settle up with Ferhat, bid our goodbyes to him, his Mum and Dad - and start planning next year's return visit!
We meet up with our driver Deniz, who's been busy all day guarding our transport and relaxing in the sun, and off we go. Back at Taşlica we stop so that Nancy can hand over some snaps to a gypsy lady that some of us had met when we visited in June. We decline her herbs and nuts - like us they are a little "tired". Not to be put off, she magics up an evil-looking donkey and proceeds to tempt Maria and Norman into a ride! A small payment secures our 'release' (she's quite demanding) - and we escape!
Our final stop is at the aptly-named Panorama Café between Taşlica and Söğüt. There's enough in the kitty for teas and coffees all-round and most of us buy some local honey which is great value, As we are leaving, Glen remarks on the attractive Turkish tablecloths. Inevitably ... the owner just happens to have a spare one which he's happy to sell - "at a good price"!
We're back in Turunç at about 7PM after a fantastic - and very different - day. Lots of photos to sort through and great memories to treasure. A big "thank-you" from all of us to Maria for flawless organisation that made the day such a success.
Cinta, Glen, Hugh, Iain, Maria, Nancy & Norman
OK - this 'adventure' took a bit more planning than a normal boat trip but it's very do-able and very worthwhile. If you'd like more details of what's involved then we'll happily share this. Just e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.