The views of the Turkish Med were just as breathtaking as the driving skills we were experiencing and how I wished we could stop and really take them in at their full glory. We’ve arrived at Kas thoroughly shaken and became extremely stirred up when we see how quaint and laid back it is.
It’s love at first sight with the little guesthouse I’ve booked us into, only eight rooms with the sweetest little front veranda where breakfast is served every morning. A bow of vines covers the veranda, which is then framed by bright pink oleanders and pottered geraniums. Above the vines sits a row of windows with black laced wrought iron fringing contrasting against the stark Mediterranean whitewash. We can’t believe our luck with this place. It’s cosy, internally adorable and extremely cheap at only $30Australian dollars a night. Unfortunately I think they’ve forgotten to put a mattress on the bed. It is cement hard. Trouble is I’m finding all the beds rock hard in Turkey and wonder if perhaps it's my namby-pamby bones that are the problem. When I mentioned this to another Aussie we meet later down the track she agrees with me and imparts that she thinks it’s we Aussies who are too soft and maybe the beds are perfectly fine.
As we only have three full days in Kas the first thing we want to do was organise a kayaking trip over the sunken city of Kekova. In fact this is our whole reason in coming to Kas, so you can imagine our utter disappointment when we discover that none of the tour operators have been issued licences for kayaking tours and it’ll be at least another 10days before they can possibly have them. We just can’t believe we’ve missed ‘the boat’ again in our timing. We jump at the next best thing in touring the site and sign up for a one day boat trip that includes seeing a number of sites and a BBQ lunch. The operator announces with pride there’ll be no music on the boat. I think this a little strange at the time because I’m not adverse to music at all and begin to wonder if we’ve signed up for the ‘aged pensioners’ trip.
Once booked we take up exploring Kas village and I develop a case of the “OMG’s”. I can’t stop gushing over the adorable windows and door fixtures of the cottages, the single enclosed timber balcony rooms that jut out from the middle of the second storeys and the vine shrouded streets hung with lanterns.
Along the walls, fences and verandas sit rows of old olive tins potted with geraniums. Geraniums and pansies also fill old shoes, tea cups and at one place two pairs of jeans with healed boots. Evil eye amulets and colourful beads dot the marble and slate pathways and cobbled roads and lush vibrant kilims cover tables, chairs and cosy daybeds throughout the laneways.
We wander up ‘Slippery Street’ and find tombs carved into the rock mountainside Kas clings to. The view across to the Greek Island – a ‘stones throw away’ – is stunning. The Med is the most amazing blue I’ve ever seen, so incredibly clear and iridescent. M announces “chill time” and we amble down to the Tea Gardens which sit near the village square and face the port, and order Efes beers to cool away the afternoon heat. I notice a wreath being placed near the main squares statue and a small gathering of people holding a ceremony. After a speech, heads are bowed and people who were sitting around us or walking past all stand up and bow their heads for a moment of silence. I don’t know why they are doing this, but out of respect we too stand up and faced the wreath. Then people return to what they’re doing. M and I surmise this day must be some sort of remembrance day, similar to Armistice Day or our Anzac Day. Later in the evening I catch our guesthouse housekeeper crying as she watches the TV in the common area as I walk past. I ask her if she is alright but she speaks almost no English and so I don’t understand her answer. I smile kindly to her, nod and continue on my way. I don’t look at the TV. Because we’re so tired from the lack of sleep on the bus, we grab a Kabap takeaway, eat it on the veranda and retire early to bed. We’re still getting over our flu sniffles so we’ve booked the cruise for our last day in Kas, thus today we’ll hire a car and drive back towards Fethiye to actually see that part of the coast. There’s a town everyone on TA is raving about, Oludeniz, and I want to see for myself what all the fuss is about. We head up onto the highway and begin driving when we notice that Kas has a peninsular so we double back to take a drive around it. I’m disappointed to see that wide scale development of ugly square block buildings cling with the hillside and cascade down to the beaches, they are all the same, oversized and characterless. Despite this, from the peninsular we have a great view of an incredible gouge that hangs over the coastal road across from the bay – it’s as if the mountain has split in two.
Though not very big, it’s quite a lovely site, flecked with ancient olive trees with the gnarliest trunks I’ve ever seen.
Keeping tabs on time in Turkey is hard. In the spring/summer, the sun doesn’t set till late and it’s a super strong sun that belts down giving you the impression it’s only about midday, so imagine our surprise to find that we are lunching at nearly 4pm. Plans of going to Oludeniz and Fethiye disappear as it it becomes a quick gobble and go of lunch as we want to walk the Gorge and last entrance is at 5pm.