We joined 2 American couples and 1 British couple for a special lamb Easter Dinner (lunch) at the ever-so-popular cruiser hang-out called Pineapples. The meal was superb. Neither Bill nor usually enjoy lamb, but this was really delicious. One of the American women had dyed Easter eggs and had placed these along with chocolate candies upon pretty Easter napkins along the table. The other American woman brought a green fuzzy boa and a small bunny rabbit bag filled with plastic grass and peeps. These table decorations lent an Easter feeling to our celebration. These cruisers have been in Turkey for several years and Marmaris is like their second home. They provided us with lots of local info about where to shop for various specialty items.
Walking back along the seaside promenade I spotted this little girl. Her costume was so festive. I don't think this was an Easter costume since Turkey is predominately Muslim. Her mother was holding a large bouquet of balloons, so possibly this was the little girl's birthday costume.
That evening we joined a small bus load of cruisers for a lovely evening of music by the visiting FORBACH Kent Armoni Orkestrasi -- the harmony orchestra from the French village of Forbach. This orchestra had only 2 string instruments -- cellos. The rest of the orchestra were a very wide variety of wind and percussion instruments. There were almost a dozen euphonium, not something we have ever seen in an American orchestra in quite that number. This was a very enjoyable evening and a very nice change of pace.
A few days later we shared a rental car with Jackie and Brian on S/V SONGSTER for a day trip out on the 2 peninsulas just north of Marmaris. The day was perfect. The weather was sunny, slightly hazy but still beautiful. The few clouds kept the temperature comfortably cool.
Jackie and Brian began their circumnavigation here in Marmaris 10 years ago. SONGSTER is an older Oyster brand yacht. Oyster has an annual dinner for yacht owners who have completed a circumnavigation on an Oyster. Jackie and Brian have visited 80 countries during their circumnavigation and sailed the entire distance around the globe except for the small distance from Male to Marmaris. They had participated in the Eastern Med Rally when first starting out on this adventure, so had already sailed down to Cyprus, Jordan, Israel and Egypt. So, technically they would have completed their circumnavigation when they popped into the Med out of the Suez Canal if they had sailed this last bit on their own keel. But because of the greatly increased piracy in the northern Indian Ocean this year, they chose to transport their yacht the final 3600 NM to Marmaris from Male. Because they did not sail this final bit, Oyster refuses to acknowledge their circumnavigation and they will not receive an invitation to the annual celebratory dinner. They accept this decision, but many of their cruising friends (us included) believe that Oyster should acknowledge their accomplishment and issue the invitation. Imagine, they visited 80 countries sailing that Oyster for 10 years. That should get some kind of acknowledgment by the yacht manufacturer. BTW, Brian is 77 years old and Jackie is 70. I imagine few men are adventurous enough to embark on a circumnavigation at the age of 67. Just goes to show that sailing keeps you in good physical condition.
Brian wanted to show us some of the prettier bays that he had enjoyed when cruising the coast of Turkey 11 years ago. He drove the rental car the entire day. That would tire me out and I am nowhere near his age! Thanks to Brian for being our tour guide.
First we drove out to Turunc which is a pretty town on the southern coast of the smaller first peninsula north of Marmaris. http://www.turuncvillage.com/ The summer tourists had not yet arrived in Turunc and it was a sleepy little town on the day of our visit. Looking down upon Turunc made a pretty scene even if the morning was hazy. There is a daily ferry from Turunc to Marmaris. It departs Turunc around noon and departs Marmaris at 16:00. Apartments and hotels are inexpensive and plentiful in this little village. It would make a nice side-trip for anyone visiting Marmaris. Ferry over to Turunc for a night or two and get away from the hustle and bustle of tourist-filled Marmaris.
We walked along the short town quay in Turunc and then drove back up the mountain in search of our second destination. The views were so pretty from the mountainside roads. We passed through an inland village with terraced mountainside all around. It was a very picturesque little isolated village. I snapped a shot of this little boy walking along the roadside as we drove through his village. Note the red poppies; they lightly covered the hillsides.
These mountains are so rocky! It must have been challenging to build villages and roads through these rocks in ancient years. Bill and I talked about how Afghanistan is supposedly much, much more rocky and with larger mountains than here. Made us appreciate once again how difficult the terrain is there.We thoroughly appreciated the scenery on our long drive. Several times we stopped along the roadside to take a few moments to enjoy the pretty views. A few times we looked down and could see a small boat anchored bow and stern just below us. It looked exactly like what we expected to see in Greece and Turkey.
The next little village we visited was Selimiye which is on the northern coast of the first small peninsula north of Marmaris. http://www.selimiye.net/ There is a small one-dock marina in Selimiye. One yacht was anchored a short dinghy ride away from the town. Anchoring in these bays can be tricky. The sea bed drops steeply and is usually fairly deep, much too deep for yachts to anchor. So you end up setting the hook on a steep angle. That works fine as long as the wind is from a direction to keep the anchor pulling up the slope, but could be disastrous if the wind changed during the night and the anchor starting pulling down the slope. Goodbye anchorage! We always set an anchor alarm on the GPS in the bedroom; we will be extra vigilant about that while in bays such as this.
In Selimiye there is a restaurant owned by the captain with the golden teeth. He is quite a character! All his teeth are gold! And he smiles widely to show them off as he is quite proud of these gold teeth. He says his fortune is in his smile. Sorry that I did not get a full-face smiling photos of this character, but maybe you can see the brilliantly shining golden teeth if you look closely. This is a place that we definitely want to return to on our boat some day.
Next stop was Bozburun, which is located out near the tip of this peninsula. Brian had learned that there was a boat yard out near Bozburun that built and serviced the big wooden Turkish gulets so common to this part of the world. He and Jackie also wanted to check out the tiny marina in Bozburun. They plan to remain in Turkey for quite some time and would prefer to be in a quaint little village rather than in the hustle and bustle of Marmaris.
We enjoyed a simple lunch in Bozburun, fried calamari for me and beef goulash for Bill;then walked around the little village in search of the petrol station (gas station). Never found the gas station but did find some men enjoying life in the shade. They were playing some kind of game. This game had tiles that resembled dominoes, except each tile also had a heart or diamond or other symbol sort of like a deck of cards. We couldn't figure out how this game was played. There was a language barrier and they very obviously did not want to be bothered with questions while they were busy playing, so we moved on. Someone told Brian that the petrol station was about 2 kilometers outside of town, so we headed off in search of fuel. Easy. Only we had not quite figured out the price per liter in lira and ended up buying too little and having to return for more.
Somehow we managed to drive right to the boatyard. None of us knew where it was located; so the fact that we drove straight to it was sheer luck. As we drove across the little bridge into the boatyard the first boat I saw was a very long, ultra-narrow strange craft. It had a small house-like structure on the aft. And the ornately designed metal covered stern looked more like a bow than a stern. Ornately metal also ran all along the side of this boat. And the freeboard was exceptionally low. This boat looked like it would belong on a river or lake, not on the sea. None of us were familiar with this type boat. Anyone know what it is?
We each wandered off in different directions to check out the big gulets in the yard. Brian walked into a large building where 2 ships were under construction and he was rather sternly reprimanded for taking photos.
Guess those new boats are top secret designs?
Next we backtracked our route and then turned north to the next, longer peninsula out to Datca. I do not have a Turkish keyboard so I cannot display this city name correctly. The Turkish language has several letters of the alphabet that change pronunciation when a squiggly line is added either above or below a particular letter. The only 2 I have learned so far are the "c" and the "s." Nor do I yet know what the squiggly line is called that one adds to these letters. But a regular "c" has a normal soft "c" sound. A "c" with a squiggly line on the top is pronounced "ch." The town of Datca has such a marking over the "c" and is therefore pronounced "Datcha." An "s" with a squiggly line beneath it is pronounced "sh." The large supermarket in central Marmaris is called Tansas, with a squiggly mark beneath the final "s" -- pronounced Tonsosh.
Datca was a bit of a disappointment for Jackie and Brian. They had visited Datca many years ago and it did not live up to their memories. Bill and I enjoyed it just fine. But not sure that it was worth the long drive out there on the upper peninsula and then back on the only road. The scenery on the mountainous roads on the first smaller, lower peninsula was much prettier and more interesting. The only interesting thing we saw on the trip to Datca were a huge modern wind farm of those big 3-blade wind generators -- and nearby a group of very ancient windmills in various stages of disintegration. Only one of the old windmills had been fully restored. There was a parking lot nearby and it was plainly intended for visitors, but we were all tired by this point and in a hurry to get back to Marmaris before midnight. So we skipped visiting the only interesting thing on the long drive to Datca.
BTW, I spotted this contraption in the back of a kitchen in our favorite doner kebab restaurant in Marmaris Old Town. I recognized it immediately. We had a horizontal version of one of these when I was a child. My older brother should also recognize this. So, how many of our readers know what this device is used for?
The prize for the first correct answer is a berth on BeBe while she in on the hard in Yacht Marine in Marmaris for a couple of weeks; no expenses paid.