After much hugging and a few more photographs I depart. I offer money in return for all the food and am told to give it to Izef – who looks delighted with the spoils.
I only cycled a couple of miles, to Üzumlü Köyü, when I spotted a coffee shop/cafe with an intriguing sounding ‘museum’ so I stopped (I don’t take much encouragement to stop – ‘specially when there’s a hill approaching). The ‘museum’ consisted of a few wooden farm implements displayed in the garden outside the house, and some rugs hung up with an old loom and spindles. I ordered Turkish coffee and got a lot more. Dilek and her mother, Melihat were lovely and eager to get me to try some of Melihat’s delicacies – sweet and savoury biscuits; a pudding that consisted of honey, water, nuts and some kind of gelling agent; stuffed cabbage leaves; cake. Dilek ‘friended’ me on Facebook, so I could see the photographs of me she posted under the title “English Bicycle Customer”. I ended up staying far longer than I intended and buying some olive oil and Grape syrup, because the sum they’d asked for my coffee seemed inadequate to the entertainment I’d received. Apparently, Melihat is a rug weaver (but I might have misunderstood). So of course I had to get out my knitting and spinning. Dilek did her best to translate with rudimentary English.
Moving on after a fun couple of hours, it was a pleasant ride all the way to Kalkan – past many farms where polytunnels growing tomatoes proliferate. The view to the sea and the coast road was a delight – not too busy, not too hilly with good, smooth tarmac.
I emailed Gill at about this time, to keep her informed of progress – and she promptly replied with a genius suggestion to avoid the long hill climb out of Kas. She suggested getting one of the Tourist boats that regularly visit Kekova island and call in at Simena and Üçagiz. I resolved to do this.
Taking the Komoot route – I was climbing to a small village to take a short cut to Kas – just as the sun was going down. A guy in the village directed me down a steep hill instead of climbing even further up (as the Komoot route suggested I do). It was obviously a newish road going down to the hospital. However this road ends in a very sharp bend leading to the hospital driveway. If you don’t see the sharp bend - not easy with my dim lights in the dark - you end up in a bed of gravel beyond which is a steep drop. I wasn’t going particularly fast as I hit the bed of gravel, which was fortunate, as the wheels failed to turn and slewed around and the whole bike went over. Somehow I managed to hop off and remain upright, only banging my pubic bone on the saddle, which made me spout a few expletives but the pain soon faded.
From where the hospital driveway joined the main road, it was a short hop into Kas itself. I checked out the first Pensiyon I came to, past the Marina – Guest House no.7 – and who should I see as I walked in? Mel – the English expat from Guatemala and fellow cycle tourist who I’d met in Fethiye. He was trying to book his return flight home via London with the assistance of the Pensiyon manager. Mel soon went off to bed and I went out to find supper.
The manager of the Guesthouse was called Fethie (I think) and was very young and handsome, to my ancient eyes anyway, with a slightly languorous air about him, blondish hair flopping in blue eyes. (Kind of reminded me of a young Chris Perrons, Lynn). He had a Turkish mother and a Swiss father and speaks Turkish, German and English fluently – very useful! Anyways, he said he would show me where the restaurant connected to the Pensiyon was in town – that they did good food and I’d get a 10% discount for being a guest.
Fethie came in with me to the first place I spotted advertising tours from Kas to Kekova Island. It wasn’t good news – they take passengers for the tour to Üçagiz by bus to catch the boat – and they didn’t think there’d be enough room for Rowenna.
I had a veggie fajita that was excellent – not the least because I hadn’t had a meal that focussed on vegetables alone instead of being an afterthought to meat since arriving in Greece (let alone Turkey)! Well, the fajita was delicious apart from the surprise of biting into a tiny hot chilli buried in the middle of it, which lit up my nasal passages like a fire cracker.
After my meal I went into another place advertising Kas-Kekova tours. The guys in this place seemed confident they could fit a bicycle in the dolmus. I advised them I had luggage too. No problem came the reply. Seemed a bargain at €30 (including lunch and a tour around the island) so I paid up before strolling back to the Guest house past the many tourists hanging out in the central pedestrianised square in Kas.