Friday, 30 November 2012

Turkey Diaries :All At Sea

When we first visited Kalkan there were only a few boats available for boat trips, these boats charged five pounds each and for that you were given tea and cake in the morning, a lovely barbeque lunch and fruit and cake with tea in the afternoon. The boats were never busy and it was a great day out. Fast forward twelve years and there are many boats jostling for your custom and a trip will cost you twenty pounds each. It remains a great day out but not something we could afford to do as much as we did before. These Turkish boats are called Gulets and are traditionally fishing boats.

So here I am sitting on a boat in Kalkan harbour waiting for it to be filled with as many passengers as it will take. We are told by the captain to sit on our mattresses so he can find the space to squeeze in a few more. He is very jovial and this is what stops people moaning about being told what to do.
They were crossed more than that,promise.
My feet are burning as part of my sunbed is in the blazing sun but I do as I'm told and stay put. I cross my legs, now I didn't know if I would be able to do this and feel quite proud of myself that I can perform this trick of youth. I have my little notebook in my hand as I write and watch the other boats leave the harbour with only a few people on board, private hires and I envy them a little. Our boat is much bigger therefore will be the last to leave as the captain tries to fill it to capacity. We are usually on smaller boats but today they were all full.

The woman with the pristine long shorts is stading at the back of photo.

The occupants are couples mainly around the same age as me with the exception of a few younger ones.
A young Turkish couple come on board. He has shorts on but no top and I notice a few tattoos on his arms. His female partner is dressed from head to toe with no flesh showing at all. Her tunic is the colour of saffron and sunflowers with a splash of crimson and hangs over brilliant white trousers. The bright yellow hijab covers her head and is pleated down one side to her shoulder. On her wrist she is wearing the most delicate watch I have ever seen.The watch face is held together with strands of silver entwined with tiny crystals. On her other hand a silver ring is joined by a thin silver chain to her bracelet. This lovely creature is out of place on this boat,we are all holidaymakers in bikinis or shorts, and fat bellies, she is a delicate flower plucked and planted amongst the weeds. She is even out of place with her partner,with his bare chest, shorts and tattoo's. They leave the top deck where we are sitting to go downstairs probably because of the stifling heat, they may even have left the boat, I won't know until we stop for a swim or lunch.


Finally we leave the harbour and many photographs are taken as we sail away. Kalkan harbour is very picturesque.  At our first swim stop some of the younger ones jump off the side of the boat but I like many others negotiate the slippery ladders into the sea, once you are in and have survived the dip into the cold water it doesn't matter whether you can swim as the sea is so salty you float without any effort.
 I see the young Turkish girl again, sitting with her legs dangling over the side in the hope of catching a breeze and cooling her down. She sat there watching her partner swim.
We are all back on board wet and bedraggled from our swim, a few couples stayed behind on the boat,one with a sleeping toddler and another still in her pristine shorts and top. The lady in question has white trousers cut off below the knee without even a crinkle in them and not a hair out of place, how does she do it?

I am sitting writing this in my wet swimsuit and I've had no funny looks from hubby yet, he is becoming more acceptable of me writing in strange places.
Nearly lunchtime, and as I gaze over the side of the boat and into the sparking sea it looks as if god has tried to improve on perfection and thrown handfuls of diamonds from heaven into the water, I just couldn't capture how beautiful it was on film.


Lunch was lovely, barberqued chicken and koftas, lots of rice and salad, all so full of flavour. The chips are cold and mixed in with the salad with a tasty dressing, it doesn't seem right but somehow they're lovely. Freshly baked crusty bread sets off the meal. Watermelon follows and we are so full all we can do is lie on the mattress and bathe in the rays of the golden sun.

We chatted to a lovely couple from Whitehaven and another from Manchester, it's nice to hear about other people's lives,we exchanged stories about places in Turkey we had visited and what restaurant was best in Kalkan. The day was over far too quickly and although the boat was busy, when we all spread out it didn't detract us from enjoying the day.
We were lucky to catch a taxi a few minutes from the harbour to take us up the hill to where we were staying as lying on a boat and swimming all day really takes it out of you. Rest before hitting the restaurants I think.

10 comments:

  1. Looks like I'm going to have to go to Turkey some time soon ...

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  2. I was thinking of a way to read this and close my eyes at the same time and imagine myself on that boat or swimming in that crystal blue ocean. Anne that food sound terrific. And here I am sitting on my couch in my yoga pants thinking that I have to go into the garage and get out bins and bins of Christmas decorations. Thanks for letting me take this vacation thru you.

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  3. That sounds idyllic!!! Was it really that crowded though? Were the mattressed uncomfortable?

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  4. No JoJo once everyone started moving around the boat it was fine there were seats downstairs for those who didn't want to sunbathe and the mattresses were very well padded.

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  5. Thanks Jen, yes the food is always lovely usually the captain's wife will make all the salad stuff and some Turkish dishes eith at home or in the galley kitchen, if they catch fish that is cooked as well.It's below freezing here so it's making me want some heat writing this.

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  6. Jo ,Turkey is lovely and I think you would like Istanbul and Cappadocia (they have cave houses there) although I've not been it's where I would love to go.

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  7. Sounds like a perfect day. I can't carry off the white uncreased trouser look either! I also have similar photos of the sea from an Italian boat. I saw those same crystals but the camera won't catch them. We'll have to hold them in our memories instead.

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  8. Look at that sparkling water! SO want to be there right now.

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  9. It really did look like diamonds sparkling.

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