Hot Fetiye and cool Sarsala Bay
19 June 2014
Thursday 17 June 2014: Hot Fetiye and cool Sarsala Bay
Fetiye, about 25 km East of Gocek, is one of Turkey's most well-known tourist attractions, especially with UK residents (600,000 Brits visit yearly, fish and chips and cold beer everywhere). It also is a very popular spot to overnight in the marina and we were told to go and look for solar panel quotes there. So off we went in the dolmuş
The dolmuşes deserve some description as they are THE means of short-distance public transport in Turkey. Dolmuşes are privately owned mini busses. Actually, they are an affordable cross between a bus (with regular and roughly prescribed routes) and taxis, and they seem to connect anywhere with anywhere. You can flag down a dolmuş, you can ask them to drop you off anywhere (close to its route of course), they are on time, run very regularly are clean and air-conditioned. They run inside cities and between cities and are very good value. For instance, we paid TL 7 ($3.50) pp. to go 30 km to Fetiye, and TL 18 for our 100 km trip from Gocek to Marmaris on our way back to Athens.
Anyway, we found Fetiye to be a Brits' holiday colony. Apart from the little fish market surrounded by restaurants, we didn't find it all that interesting. 'We have a system here: you buy fish from the market and we will prepare it for you' we were notified by a ten-or-so year old girl in perfect Oxford-English, handing out business cards of her family's restaurant. When we enquired where she had learned to speak English so well, she responded 'because I AM English' in a very Oxford-indignant manner. We moved on quickly, feeling quite stupid.
We wasted time trying to get marine-grade solar panels in Fetiye chandleries. We could find panels big enough to supply a small town with solar energy, and heavy enough to capsize the QE II but none of them were meant to be on a boat. We were successful in getting some big plastic containers to store our belongings in before our looming departure back to Oz, so the journey was not completely unsuccessful.
While walking through Fethiye we got a phone call from Tolga inviting us (and Clio) to join him and his guests in their sail boat at a little restaurant in Sarsala Bay (with the now familiar pontoon-setup) and stay the night there. Temperatures were around 34°C at that time, so we didn't need any convincing. Back in the dolmuş with our quite space-demanding containers. The dolmuş kept ingesting people along the way and it was a bit embarrassing to take up so much room. Nobody else seemed to mind and everyone adapted without any problems to the situation at hand.
Once back in Gocek, we got Clio in record time ready to sail (motor) to Sarsala Bay, about 8NM due South from Gocek, where we arrived at 7:30 pm. Night fall is around 9 pm, and we still had time for an excellent swim/snorkel and to meet Tolga's guests before dinner while treading water.