Turkey VI - To the east of Fethiye, Kekova Roads & Gökkaya Limani.
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Turkey V - To the east of Fethiye, Kas Kalkan & Kekova Roads.
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Turkey VII - To the east of Fethiye, Andraki to Finike.
Log Entry 13th September - Gökkaya Limani, an interesting place.
With Sailaway safely at anchor it is time for us to have a look around this Limani, it's beauty and wild terrain quite impressive from on board.
With additional fuel in our dinghy we set off to spend an hour or so looking around us, we know for sure both restaurants are closed, so no fun to be had there?
We make our way around the perimeter of the Limani to the west initially, it is truly a maze of rocks and coves, seclusion could certainly be found here if that's what you prefer?
We find one small cove, it's head guarded by a further crop of rocks we make our way down to take a look? A red roof of a building comes into view and a paragliding power boat, the boat we had seen yesterday in the Limani, selling his wares? The owner clearly living here but probably only during the season one would assume - a desperate place to run out of milk?
We then make our way out of the Limani, heading for the cave on Ashil Adasi we had first seen as we entered.
We made our way into the cave entrance and we were glad that we did, there was no wind so the visit was easy, hopefully the pictures give some idea as to what we saw?
Once out of the cave we returned to the cove where Sailaway lay at anchor, our aim was to see how far up stream we could get and try and find the source of the cold, fresh water that flowed past Sailaway? It made swimming around Sailaway very strange, you literally swam in channels of warm and freezing water - interesting? Your visibility under the water was just over one meter due to refraction of the light which "shimmered" around you, nothing, even your hand in front of you had a clear outline? A strange experience, difficult to explain? Our journey by dinghy did not take us too far up the stream as large rock blocked our path, so we turned around and decided to have a look around on foot.
We secured our dinghy on the stream below the ruins we could see from Sailaway and began to look around. The first set of ruins was that of a more modern dwelling, fire place and all, local stone used extensively with red shaped tiles once used on the roof. It had a large fresh water well in front of it, they had dammed a stream which once had ran into the Limani.
We walked beyond the small homestead, small paddocks made from rock lay along side - goats possibly? It was behind the property we also found the red and white paint markings of "The Lycian Walkway", itself a well trodden path.
We walked on trying to find a safe path to the stream, all was too shear, too difficult to find, a number of dried river beds indicated as to what it must be like during the flooding season. We did find one thing of interest in this wild terrain, in a clearing, the carcase of a dead wild boar, from the size of it's teeth I personally was glad that it was dead? They clearly are living in this area, we had seen their meat on offer in restaurants, existing probably quite well in their isolated world?
We walked to the west of the more modern ruins to investigate the other, circular type ruins we could also see from Sailaway. They were heavily over grown and difficult to make out, cut out of rock and completed with stone there certainly had been at one time a circular tower and adjoining circular rooms?
It was hot and we were thirsty, we had seen all we could see nearby, time to make our way back to Sailaway for a refreshing drink and swim.
Log Entry 12th September - We leave Kekova Roads, but only a short trip to Gökkaya Limani.
We checked our day of arrival here yesterday, we had been here a week today? We were surprised how the area had kept us so occupied, we had visited probably more than the visiting tourists, most only have a day, all from our anchorage in Üçagiz Limani? For Ann and I, when we begin to question when we had arrived at a place - it is time to move on, weather permitting obviously. We checked the weather this morning while having breakfast, it was to be the same as most days, there is stability in the weather here even in September? The winds were due to be light, but to give us a chance to sail we decided to wait until the wind would begin to reach it's peak around lunch time. Roland, had been out fishing and called in for a coffee, when chatting time soon passes? The topic had predominantly been an anchored gullet nearby, we had seen people visiting regularly, but this morning she had taken in a lot of water and was sinking? A local gentleman had a large pump running discharging the sea water and she was beginning to rise up out of the water. It is clearly worth some thing to some one, even in it's stripped down state? We finish our coffees, say our farewells to Roland, and begin the few jobs we have to do before each passage, it takes us about 15 minutes to get ready. We pull up our anchor, both anchor and chain perfectly clean which was a surprise, we were ready for thick mud with anchor wash on and bucket at the ready - Ann seemed quite disappointed? We exit the Limani at a reasonable pace, we had picked up some sizable growth in the week we were here and we were curious as to how much would fall off?
As we leave we pass through the small serious or rocks and islets where we had explored our own sunken ruins, and into Kekova Roads, the daily tourist traffic in full stride.
We then turned east to exit through the east entrance of the Roads, our genoa went up and our engine off - perfect!. We passed Kale Köy at only 2-3 knots, through the constant stream of trip boats crossing from Kale Köy to the Sunken City. All vessels extremely polite working their way around us, this is indicative of the people, they are friendly, polite and calm about every thing - that we had experienced anyway?
The traffic was therefore no point of concern, in every case "motor gave way to sail" heaven for a sailboat. We were passed by a military destroyer, a very unusual visitor to the Roads, I asked Ann not to take pictures as it passed, just in case we were accused of espionage? As the vessel passed it, it appear brand new with cannon, rocket launchers etc. Looking at the crew, it was a mix of military and civilian, both in uniform, civilian clothes (with hard hats obviously) and overalls? The officers were standing outside on the deck section of the wheelhouse taking in the scenery, they all waved to us as they passed us, we thought that was great?
As we made our way up the roads past "Castle Bay" the trip boats were strong in numbers, there were boats every where one could see a cove, especially if it had a sandy beach, hundreds of tourists cooling in the water.
The crossing traffic was now well behind, we continued on our way, at times barely moving as the wind dropped but we persevered, we had all the time in the world?
We, in time came to the east entrance of the Roads, Gökkaya Limani to the north of us and Andraki further to the east of us. Andraki was once the port for ancient "Myra". It is built on a river entrance, the river silted up over time the ancient port now in land with "Roman Ruins".
We are to make our way into Gökkaya Limani via the southerly entrance, past "Ashil Adasi," through a narrow channel taking us into a valley, deep behind the island. Due to the colouring, separating the island and mainland is difficult from a distance, however, as we got closer the "Blue Cave" (the locals had called it to us?) on Ashil Adasi becomes clearly visible, our passage is to the south of it.
Our target was a reasonable sized cove, fed by a river, allowing us to anchor in 5/6 meters and swing free, without a line ashore - this provides you with maximum ventilation to the boat. We made our way through the maze of rocks and islets, our target cove was almost empty, still it's early?
I say "it's early" as it is written that this Limani is a "party bay with noisy trip boats and restaurants" - the pilot book could not be more wrong. There was, of coarse a couple of boats with some form of activity, the people are on holiday, but the two restaurants were closed. They even had signs advertising them, but neither one had been open this year, that was clear.
Log Entry Sunday 11th September - We are asked onto Roland's boat for a barbeque.
Our friend Roland invites us over for a barbeque, it is a fine evening so why not - saying that all evenings are fine here? We arrive about 1930 hours we were to bring only meat, so Ann took salad and stuff also?
Roland has been here for a few weeks now and barbeques frequently, that was obvious, he use oil wood from the shore. We had previously tasted chicken cooked in this manner, it adds an "oak type seasoning" to the meat. We could only get frozen chicken legs and lamb kebabs (not frozen). Even in this heat heat the chicken was not quite thawed so cooking was taking some time? We filled the time with conversation, watching the colours as the sun sets. Time soon passed, poor Roland was left to the cooking. The food was good and the conversation diverse - a good evening.
Log Entry Sunday 11th September - We find sunken ruins you can dive on!
After being to the "Sunken city" we had been disappointed that we could not satisfy our interest as to what was actually under the water. We had noticed trip boats taking tourists into a collection of ruins and rocks that lay between Üçagiz Limani, where we were, and Kekova Roads. Loaded with our snorkeling gear, flippers and a recently acquired under water disposable camera we head into the area.
The ruins on the surface were perhaps not so pronounced but dwelling could clearly be made out, steps carved into the rocks and housings to support beams were visible? We now await the development of the under water film, hopefully we are lucky - keep watching?
Log Entry Saturday 10th September - We finish the day perfectly.
After our long dinghy trip today we thought we would head into the town of Üçagiz and treat our selves to a meal in one of the restaurants.
The waterfront is deserted, it appears we have the whole restaurant, if not all of them to our selves, well, almost?
We had a great meal, good quality and as much as we could eat for 65Tl (£24) and 25Tl (£9) of that was for a delicious bottle of wine. An unusual treat for us since my conversion and recognition of the evils of alcohol? We return to Sailaway and finish the evening off with Turkish, apple tea - wonderful!
Log Entry Friday 9th September - We visit Tersane and the "sunken city" by dinghy with our friend Roland.
Within "Kekova Roads" there are numerous published places of historic interest, "Tersane and the Sunken City" where two of our chosen places. In theory one can anchor off Tersane, however as we entered the "Roads" the congestion due to the numerous trip boats was clear so we had decided to visit by dinghy. Our only other option was to visit aboard one of the numerous trip boats, we favoured our own dinghy! The sunken city, there is no immediate place to anchor nearby other than Tersane, both were to be combined in our dinghy trip today. We left Sailaway early to avoid the daily winds, crossing the roads would then be far more comfortable and certainly drier. As we were exiting the Limani, Roland caught our attention, waving us over from his boat - we went over to see what his problem was? Upon arrival Roland explains that he has run out of fuel for his outboard, could we go into town and fill his fuel can, Roland had helped us, so "one good turn deserves another!" Soon, handing Roland his full fuel can we explain where we were going, Roland asked if he could join us, the three of us set off in our dinghy.
With Roland leading the way we set off, the first leg being about 1.5 miles out of the Limani and across Kekova Roads to Tersane. It is told to tourists that the best way to see the ruins is indeed by sea kayak, support boat and all?
While chatting away the time soon passes, we begin to approach Tersane ahead of some 15-20 sea kayaks, we make our way carefully through them into the small cove, Tersane, pre-Roman times was known as "Teimiussa".
The ruins falling into the sea are clearly identified, the result of at least three major earthquakes and rebuild over time? Ones imagination begins to run away, what was the settlement like before the disasters? We land our dinghy on the beach ahead of the kayakers, they soon pack the shore after us. We listen into the kayak's guide speaking to them, explaining that little of the sunken city ahead is visible to them - not what I would like to hear after rowing that distance, perhaps a translation thing?
All around are ruins, probably of different eras, but visible to us today!
They stands the ruins of an ancient church, Christianity had clearly made it's mark here in time?
Coming into the cove behind us where now much larger trip boats from further a field, we follow a pebble path toward the seaward side of the island where more ruins of building were evident, clearly a development of some size at one time?
On some of the ruins are etchings, the dwellings if not carved out of solid rock were constructed fully, or partially of sizable rocks/bricks.
With our wander around Tersane complete we return to the dinghy and re launch it with the assistance of one of the small trip boat skippers who had tied along side of us, we have to climb in the water, is lovely and cooling. We made our way slowly through the bathers and boats and made our way up the west side of Kekova Island towards "The Sunken City" it's true name being "Batik Sehir", or at least that is it translated into Turkish.
The preserved area is marked with yellow signs, forbidding any form of diving or swimming. The builds, falling into the water are clear, solid rock walls with recesses carved in for what were probably beams to support other floors?
The water along the front was very shallow at times, some walls were evident below, in the blue water?
The pictures describe what is visible, how it truly had been back in time, was up to your imagination?
We found it fascinating, very interesting, and as a note, the kayaks got no closer than we did, it would have been of no advantage to follow the guide books? I am sure that the price for three would have been far more than the cost of the fuel we used?
Eventually we came to the second yellow sign marking the end of the preservation area, we turned and made our way to Kale Köy and the Medieval Castle.
We decided to stop at one of the waterside restaurants, seek some shade and a cool drink. In time the kayaks joined us, a good beer behind!
Log Entry Wednesday 7th September - In search of the spring to prove we are indeed made of iron!
In the west of Üçagiz Limani where we are anchored, on the north shore there is said to be a spring/badoit, from it runs ice cold water from within the mountains. It has been dammed by the locals and they say that if a man can sit in it for five minutes then he is indeed a man of iron? With nothing else to do today it seems reasonable to hunt it out and show them what I am made of?
The total length of the Limani is about 1.5 miles long, we are at the very north, the spring said to be almost in the far end of the west section, past Üçagiz? We pack the dinghy with plenty of fuel and head off, past Üçagiz into the far end of the Limani, we have some guidance as to where the spring should be, but it is a case of all eyes on the shore as it may be difficult to see from the water?
We were disappointed to reach the top of the Limani without finding the spring, we had seen a couple of possibilities - dried up beds leading to the waters edge. As we reached the end we did see three hikers walking the "Lycian Way", this coastal section skirted the Limani. We turned and waved to them, we would also try and find the spring on the way back - not that I have any thing to prove to any one?
When we had a second look at the hikers it looked hard work, especially with their full back packs? We called to them "would you like a lift?" They waved us over, the shore line was very broken with rocks every where, we chose what we thought was a suitable place to approach the shore. When close enough to have a conversation it was proposed that we took the backpacks and one person to Üçagiz, we agreed. It was decided between them that we would take Johannes and the three backpacks, Johannes began to make his way down the shear rock face to us - and fell into the water, nobody laughed intentionally! His friends stepped back and took photographs - we are awaiting copies! Johannes, now much cooler than all four of us, climbed aboard and we loaded up the three backpacks also, there was barely room for three of us on board? Unfortunately, our next step was to get clear of the rocky shore and out into open water, zoom down to Üçagiz and drink a couple of cooling beers - No! As a skipper I failed miserably, while navigating away from one rock I did not see and second and I hit it hard with the propeller! The propeller drive has a safety device to protect against serious damage, a "shear pin", the device worked well and "sheared". We now had no engine, a heavy load and a difficult cross wind blowing us off coarse? Johannes and I took an oar each and we made our way slowly up the Limani towards the town, our incentive was to beat the other two guys on foot to the bar/restaurant!
After some time rowing we were beckoned over to the first waterside restaurant in the town, one is as good as the next? Willi and Carsten arrive shortly after us, we spent a couple of hours in conversation, Johannes, Ann and I had already saved the world while rowing here? We exchanged details (we look forward to the photographs we did not take) and in time Ann and I were ready to leave, that gave us our next problem? It seemed that rowing back to Sailaway, a further mile, against the wind seemed a little daunting, especially after a couple of beers? I asked the proprietor if he had access to any of the small boats nearby to tow us back, he said he did not fully understand and asked a customer to help? That is how we met "Roland", we had unknowingly actually met him last September in Vliho (Levkas, in the Northern Ionian) - the conversation developed further.
Roland then towed us back to Sailaway, we had recognised his boat when it arrived a few days earlier, small world?
Log Entry Monday 5th September - a trip to Kale Köy.
You may remember that we are anchored in Üçagiz Limani, behind the castle at Kale Köy, today we intend to visit Kale Köy but by dinghy leaving Sailaway in the Limani. The local winds had set in quite strong today so as we came into the roads the waves were built to not far off a meter high, quite a challenge for our dinghy, a wet ride for us? As we approached Kale Köy the outboard began to splutter and lost power, our nearest landing spot was one of the restaurant pontoons so we made for it. As we arrived a lady came from the restaurant to enquire about our engine problem, we wanted to let the engine cool so she helped us tie up our dinghy and we went inside for a drink.
We had quite a conversation with the proprietor, their trade is going down year on year we are told and the local authorities are not helping, quite a long story?
After our refreshments and pleasant conversation covering trade and the Turkish way of life reference kids and expectations we left and made our way up towards the castle. There are no roads or streets only narrow paths of various materials from pebbles to stone?
The climb was steep, but rewarding, the views quite fascinating, the whole are saturated with history as the village was integrated into the ancient ruins of the castle and previous dwellings.
The properties varied in stature, from modified ancient Lycian rock tombs to stone and wooden structures, the stone almost certainly taken from the ruins themselves?
The castle, once we had made the climb was impressive, but a great deal rebuilt for effect? We circumnavigated the walls to find the entrance, we had entered by the back door, so the pay booth was actually our point of exit?
We followed the true tourist route down to the quays at which the boats drop their tourists to make the trip up to the castle. The pathway, or rather steps better maintained than our route up but one would expect that? All the usual stuff was on offer for sale on the way down.
Once down on the quays with their restaurants it was just a case of making our way along them to where we had left our dinghy.
Eventually we found our way through the warren of pathways to the restaurant where we had started and where we had left our dinghy. Our dinghy outboard started with out a problem, and seemed ok. We started our long trip back, the engine went without a problem, I feel it must have over heated due to the time it ran out of the water due to the waves we were in, on our return the wind and waves had dropped considerably, so our return trip was without issue.