It didn’t seem to take any time at all to get up the hill behind Kas in the minibus – when I know it would have taken me at least half the day to push Rowenna up it. The road to Üçagiz was undulating too – so I was pleased Gill had suggested this option.
We boarded our boat in Üçagiz and Rowenna got left on the bus. The boat toured around Kekova island stopping in various bays for us to swim. I was glad I’d brought the snorkelling mask with me. Although the fish were similar to the ones I’d met swimming around the various Greek islands, the water here was exceptionally clear and there were thousands of fish. When something like a boat engine would startle them, the shoals of fish would turn tail in a completely synchronised motion – like watching a murmuration of starlings. Their silver fishy scales would catch the sunbeams and glisten and shine as they turned.
Lunch was good and there was plenty of it. Everyone on board stayed in their respective couplings or groups and there wasn’t much socialising or intermingling going on – maybe because there were several different languages. I did introduce myself to Julian and Sue from London to ask if they’d understood what our guide had said over the loudspeaker. Sue had understood about one word in five – which is more than deaf old me had picked up. The guide was telling us about the ‘sunken city’ – buildings dating back to the Lyceans were submerged all along this coast line following various catastrophic earthquakes which had caused the sea level to rise (or the land to drop several metres?). At one point, a trapdoor in the hull of the boat had been lifted to reveal a similar sized thick pane of glass through which the seabed could be viewed – there were amphorae to be spotted - though I just saw what looked like broken shards.
When we got to Simena – on the headland (after the captain had sailed the boat all along the island past many ruins and then stuck the bow of the boat into a cave!) – we disembarked. Most people went up to the castle, but I didn’t, having a strong suspicion that this is where I would be staying – especially when I saw a sign on a gate saying ‘Jeremy Ev’. I didn’t know precisely where Gill and Jeremy’s Kekova home was but this village fit the description – there being no way to bring a car here, or even a bicycle – the only way in is on foot (with much clambering) or boat.
After a dish of home made icecream in the “I am here” café (sic), I strolled down to the shore and spotted someone swimming in the water who looked remarkably like Jeremy. There was a woman too – but with hair plastered to her head I wasn’t quite sure it was Gill, whereas Jeremy’s thick mop bounces up regardless. It IS It IS them! Big wet hugs all round – lovely in the hot sun!
I grabbed my few belongings off the boat – forgetting the t shirt I’d hung up to dry. Never mind.
Not long after we’d caught up a bit – and I’d got over the amazement of meeting friends from Lustleigh such a long way from home - Jeremy spotted a sea turtle. This turtle was the size of a huge platter – bigger than a dinner plate – and we could see it quite clearly in the shallow waters beneath the jetty swimming around. Made my day!
Gill had made arrangements for me to stay with their friend Yasin and his wife Hatice (and their two children) in their Pensiyon, more or less next door to Gill and Jeremy’s house. This is because Gill and Jeremy’s daughter and son in law were arriving on Saturday with Oscar, the grandson I’ve been knitting for (inshallah – and Monarch airlines willing – as the company are on the verge of going bust!). The house is a tad small for accommodating everyone – especially as baby stuff gets spread about. I was happy with the arrangement – I had privacy and my room was very comfy and no one had to listen to my snoring. It was very generous of all concerned.
We sat on Jeremy and Gill’s balcony and had spag. bol. while watching the sunset.
This balcony, with its comfy sofa and table and three chairs, is where much time is spent overlooking the azure waters and the tree dotted Kekova island opposite reading books or just watching the boats come and go.