From Dervishes to Samba - Fall 2011 travel blog

blue crab

rock tombs


loggerhead turtle

the galley


theater ruins


tower of power


dinner table


in the shade

Traveling by gulet is a wonderful way to tour the Turkish coast. The ten of us are waited on by a crew of four - the captain, his assistant, the cook and a young man who seems to be a gofer. While the cabin is not spacious it has a bed that is comfortable for me and too hard for Ken. The shower eventually has hot water and the lights are bright enough to I can get my contacts into my eyes. We only have two electric outlets, but when the generator is on the two multi plug power supplies keep us fully charged. What more could we ask for?

The day began early as the captain turned on the engine in the darkness and raised the anchor with its clanging chain. It’s been a long time since we got up before the sun, but it gave us the chance to take multitudes of photos of the sun working its way through the clouds and over the hills. Eventually a cup of what they called American coffee welcomed in the day. Turkish coffee uses extremely finely ground beans that are not filtered, so half way down the cup your tongue runs into sludge. When you drink American coffee here you don’t encounter the sludge until 2/3 of the way down.

After a hearty breakfast on deck, we boarded a smaller boat which took us up the Dalyan River to see the ruins at Kaunos and the town of Dalyan. Along the way we stopped to visit a local crab fishermen who sold us blue crab to have for lunch. He also used crab as bait to try to attract the loggerhead turtles which live in the area. As the river comes out to the sea is creates large sandy beaches where the turtles lay their eggs. It’s not egg time now, but they are still hanging around the area. They were hard to photograph since they stay under the water except for a brief breath every five minutes.

Although the hillsides look fairly devoid of human habitation, this is a vibrant tourist area as we discovered when we got into town. A huge flotilla of river boats was in the marina. During the high season this area must be hopping. The local travel agencies had poster advertising mountain bike trips, kayaking, thermal hot springs, mud baths, and a large fresh water lake. The signage in town lead us to guess that Dalyan must be a favorite of the Dutch and Germans. The restaurants even served pork dishes, which are a no-no for the local crowd.

While the ruins of a Greek/Roman theater at Kaunos were impressive in their unrestored intactness, a bigger draw is the massive tomb structures built into the rocks about the river - an ancient Turkish Mount Rushmore.

We sailed along the coast line for much of the afternoon anchoring in a little cove for the night.

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