26 October 2018 | Didim - 7,526
Sunny, Windy and Cold!
We got back to Didim marina about lunch time and were greeted with the same efficiency as before. Kevin and Dee messaged to say they planned a bbq for the afternoon and were on their way to collect us and so we popped into the cafe by the pontoon for a snack as we waited for them. Best laid plans etc, we ordered a Spanish tapas, just 1, but just after our hosts arrived it was delivered and huge! The bbq was postponed until tomorrow.
We had a great week in Akbuk with Kevin and Dee in their lovely home just a 5 minute stroll from the sea. We explored Akbuk in all directions sampling bars and eateries, all good, exploring shops and the lovely Friday market with fab Gozleme for lunch and really enjoyed it. Akbuk is a lovely seaside town, not over developed and very Turkish, in October anyway. We really enjoyed being tourists, relaxing by the pool and playing games in the evening as well as seeing wild boar munching through our leftovers right outside the house in the evenings. Warning of their arrival was announced by the barking dogs who roamed the street at night - not so good!
Our first excursion was to Lake Golu where we started with a Turkish breakfast in a lovely cafe above the lake looking over the ruins of a monastery on a small island just off the beach. It was idyllic. We then stopped at another ruined monastery by the lake littered with sarcophagi carved into the rocks, such a beautiful spot. The final stop was another ruined monastery up in the mountains which Kevin and Dee hadn't visited before. We had to drive up a very steep windy road to a village where we left the car and headed just 4km up a path. The scenery was spectacular with amazing rock shapes and boulders everywhere and olive trees between them and, of course stunning views of the lake and mountains. The walk was a very hard 4km and needless to say we were totally unprepared as we negotiated the rocky, uneven path without even a bottle of water between us. We arrived exhausted, very hot and very thirsty but wow what a position and atmosphere. It was built in the 12th century and had amazing frescos under a mushroom rock and ruined buildings hanging between the boulders. It was definitely worth the effort. We headed home to enjoy the delayed bbq and a dip in the pool.
We also went to visit the ruins of Priane which dates back over 2,500 years and includes Greek and Roman buildings. It was on a hill above the sea at that time but now offers views over flat farm land as the sea silted up and is now miles away. The ruins were really interesting and spread out over a huge area some of it is just piles of stones but other parts such as the theatre amazingly intact. We had a great couple of hours exploring before heading to the other extreme by visiting a modern shopping mall. The contrast was stark as we enjoyed a Starbucks coffee and could have been anywhere in the world. Another side of Turkey and not to be missed though.
Every year the Turkish gullets take part in the Bodrum Cup and we thought the sight of lots of these beautiful huge wooden yachts under sail would be amazing. This year they were starting in Yalikavak, about 1.5 hours from Akbuk across a beautiful mountain road. Unfortunately, there was absolutely no wind that day and rain forecast making it very hazy! We headed first for the very posh and expensive marina where we could see the boats with sails unfurled, vaguely, desperately trying to round the headland in the calm. They weren't that far away but in the haze they were just merging into the grey - very disappointing but we consoled ourselves in Starbucks before exploring the lovely town. It's a really pretty fishing village with lots of shops and bars along the quay. In the summer it's apparently heaving but now it was very relaxed and pleasant. We stopped in the council bar for chips before driving towards home around the coast through pretty villages and passing great sea views (in the haze) plus seeing the racing gullets again from a different vantage point. Another lovely day.
We had only intended to stay with Kevin and Dee for a few days but the weather got very unsettled which meant we were stuck in the marina and so we ended up staying 9 days! I hope we didn't outstay our welcome! Our last day it rained - lots of relaxing and games but then the weather was clearing and it was time to go. The temperature dropped dramatically in strong northerly winds as we headed back to Freya. We had a lovely lunch in the restaurant by the marina before saying goodbye and then we were back on Freya on our own - and freezing! What's going on, we had to put the heating on! It's supposed to be fine tomorrow.........