Saturday, 17 May 2014
The Turquoise Coast..... Kas - part 2
The next day we’re up early and in the square to catch the shuttle for our boat trip. It’s another dazzling blue sky day with a sun that’s belting down and our spirits are high. We board the bus, smiles bright and wish everyone a cheery “Morning all!” Various Hi’s and hellos pop back, but what resonates loudest to my ears is a dry “oh don’t you hate it when you’re stuck on a tour with loud people,” from a woman who then proceeds to discuss at length at her neighbour in a strident voice how she thinks tours are for people who can’t organise their own lives or don’t have imagination. I try hard not to take her comment personally, telling myself I’ve probably stepped into the bus in the middle of her conversation and turn to the woman next to me and smile. She picks up her book and proceeds to bury her head into it and doesn’t resurface for the full 45minuets of the bus trip (or for that matter, the next 7hours - obviously a good book!)
We’re taken high into the hills then back down through small shanty like villages (we’re told by the guide they are nomads) to the port at Ucagiz where we board a beautiful timber double-decker boat and head out into a glorious blue on blue on absolute blue bay. The water is so clear you can see metres into it. Straight down it is the prettiest palest aquamarine, look outwards a few meters and it’s the most luminous blue.
Our first stop is the ancient sunken shipyard where we bob for an hour to enjoy a swim and sunbake. I dip my toe into the Med and pull it out in an instant. The water is like ice. The guide laughs and tells us it is sitting at about 20degrees which doesn’t sound all that cold. M dives in and gives a gasp. It’s freezing he tells me. I retreat to the top deck and enjoy an hour of clicking the scenery and chatting with fellow passengers who are also too chicken to face the water.
An hour later we pull up anchor just as another boat is approaching and I begin to understand the comment of the “no music”. It’s not about having pleasant chill-out beachy music playing in the back ground. It’s obvious some of the boats are full on party boats and this boat is one with it’s fast pace beats and lots of raucous voices emanating across the bay.
Out of earshot we glide past the sunken city of Kalekoy, the captain taking the boat as close to the city's watery edge as possibly allowed. It’s beautiful and mesmerising as we stare down into what was once houses and streets. A set of stairs goes to nowhere in the deep, further along the curved outline of a church can be seen. Above the waters line, crumbling ruins cascade down the steep mountain side. Kalekoy was once the bustling town of Simena until a series of destructive earthquakes sunk her six meters into the sea way back in the 2nd century AD.
I stare at it trying to get a grasp of the enormity of something so old. In Australia the oldest building we have wouldn’t even be close to 250years old yet. As much as it is glorious to drift close to the ruins, I would have loved to have kayak over the very top of it and be able to look directly down and see what once was. The sun flickers across the waves blurring the lines of history and shrouding it in a glaze of mystery.
We’re awarded with the most incredible views of the surrounding countryside and endless blue sea, it’s stunning. By time we do a quick look the fortress, take in its turrets, small theatre and spy a beautiful mosaic floor from a distance, we have less than 15minutes to walk the ridge line to the Lycian Tombs of Teimiussa. This miniscule timeframe confirms to us the reasons we’ve always been so reluctant to undertake tours ourselves and this last stop makes us feel like we’re running through a ‘tick it off your list’ process. Thinking of the words of the opinionated woman from this morning, I find myself wondering aloud, “just imagine what an extra hour in this landscape could unfold.”