Backtracking with Backpacks

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May 1st 2016
Published: May 1st 2016
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Woolly says – its been a strange few months, Jo seems to have spent her time racing around Alanya on the back of scooters in an attempt to visit every official building there is in the city, sometimes returning with a beaming smile but more often than not looking teary eyed and bedraggled. Endeavouring to keep myself occupied and between counting my ever growing pistachio collection I set to on the planning of our next adventure. As the day of departure came closer it was lovely to take a week off and take on the mantle of Tour Guide for friend Dave’s visit and the usual trips round the harbour, castle and the other delights that Alanya has to offer. Having waved him off I barely had time to recheck my latest nut acquisitions before daughter Zoe arrived and packing began in ernest. It’s so entertaining to watch Jo try and pack the whole apartment into her newly bought backpack and then unpack the three million things she will never need, before trying all over again, hehehehehe.

Listening to his furriness chortling away as my efforts we finalised our arrangements and started our farewells.

Woolly says – having had a fabulous evening with friends John and Gwen, we then faced the last expats Friday where all of my fans turned out to wish me well on my travels, strangely Jo managed to contain the tears and after a last wander around the harbour and the most scrumptious meal at my favourite eatery, Bistro Floyd our final night was over and the fun could begin. Watching Jo attempt to lift her backpack and daughter Zoe bent in half with the weight of hers we hugged our dear friends Ali and Julia and headed for the bus station and the start of a new life for us all. Dozing through the trip to Antalya I happily jumped from the coach and headed to the ticket booth for our next part of the journey, collecting our directions I was slightly disconcerted to see daughter Zoe looking tearful and frantic as she realised that her camera had been left on the first mode of transport! As she raced back to where we had alighted returning with a look of anguish I plonked myself down to wait and see how Jo was going to resolve this predicament. Just over three hundred kilometres and the women were already driving me nuts!

Heading to the ticket sales area a kind Turkish man started to ring the bus companies in his bid to help us out. Zoe was talking to another man and suddenly took off across the terminal building at a run, trying not to worry that a possible Zoenapping was taking place she reappeared waving her camera case above her head with a beaming smile on her face....all was well.

Woolly says – one bus down and they can’t manage to remember everything, I think we might need a sheep dog to keep them in order! With our next tickets purchased we made ourselves comfortable for our next leg of the journey. Jo and I were backtracking to allow us the chance to take a trip to the underwater city of Kekova close to the town of Kas (see our previous blog The Wheels on the Bus go round and round Part One - Kas ). As the coast road took it’s many twists and turns I could see that Zoe was turning a rather fetching shade of green, choosing instead to watch the wonderful views she appeared to doze happily enough. Stepping down from the mini bus I hurried across to the nearest café and plonked myself down, the rather nice owner obviously realised my needs and arrived at a startlingly fast rate with a cooling bottle of water and a bowl of pistachios.

Having just been sat for four hours I wasn’t sure why the mammoth felt the need for a rest but it looked like we would be stuck until he had finished.

Woolly says – having tucked some nuts away for later (you can never be to careful in the need for a quick snack), I watched with great amausemenent as Jo attempted to put her ninety tonne backpack into position. A smiling gentleman came over and asked if we had accommodation for the night, as she explained that we had he asked where before telling us that he ran the Santosa Hostel where we had stayed on our previous trip, asking her why we hadn’t re-booked with him Jo being Jo and as honest as they came told him that the one we had booked was cheaper! I picked up my rucksack and trotted off while she tried to smile sweetly whilst turning a beetroot red.

Hmm not my best moment perhaps but I couldn’t think of what else to say.

Woolly says – having booked into our nice clean room at the Meltem Hostel a short wander to the harbour led us to a rustic bar on the seafront and a huge plate of fish to share as we looked across at the amazing view. Once Jo had tided me up and wiped me down we set off to find somewhere to book our ultimate boat trip. I padded off in front leaving the girls to ask at each boat if they were doing a trip to the sunken city before being turned away each time. Finally taking things into my own paws I marched into a travel shop and asked there, no problem, ten tomorrow including lunch and we were sorted.

I really don’t know how he does it! The morning dawned with bright sunshine and the biggest breakfast I think any of us had ever faced.

Woolly says – Even I was defeated and had to leave some fruits and tomatoes behind much to my dissatisfaction. Climbing onto a mini bus we appeared to be sharing our day with a bunch of Brits which would make a pleasant change with the language barriers. As we wended our way up and down the mountainous roads the views just got better and better. Suddenly the bus came to a stop as millions of goats flocked past us causing great excitement for everyone, with Zoe videoing for her vblog (I can supply the details) it was hard work taking a snap for myself but finally my patience paid off and the mini bus set off once more. Arriving at our boat for the day I set about telling Zoe and Jo all about our destination. Kekova is a small Turkish island near Demre (home of Father Christmas as you may remember from my early blogs), once occupied by the Italians it was finally granted to Turkey in 1932. On its northern side there are the partly sunken ruins of Dolchiste/Dolikisthe, an ancient town which was destroyed by an earthquake during the 2nd century. Rebuilt and still flourishing during the Byzantine Empire period, it was finally abandoned because of Arab incursions. Tersane (meaning "dockyard", as its bay was the site of an ancient city Xera and dockyard, with the ruins of a church) is at the northwest of the island. It was something that I had been looking forward to visiting for quite some time.

As we motored out of the bay the scenery of rock formations was incredible, mooring up it appeared it was time for a swim.

Woolly says – SWIM!!!!! Who on earth wants to swim!

As he sat and stamped his paw it seemed that most of the boat did, having peered into the beautiful turquoise sea and heard the shrieks from the others as they jumped in we decided to give it a miss.

Woolly says – After what seemed hours our skipper chugged our vessel back into the open sea again and I started to get excited, surely we couldn’t be far away now. Pulling into another cove I saw what would have been the shipyards, not the most impressive ruins ever but certainly enough to set Jo to work as I looked around. Five minutes later and she had taken as many as she could as everyone stared diving off the boat again!!!! Get them back on I have a sunken city to find!

After a further wait we headed off again before my small friend starting getting vocal in his demands to find his city.

Woolly says – An announcement came over the tannoy and I race to the side of the boat pushing the humans out of the way, below the waves was a wall, at last my sunken dream was to be realised. As we slowed I could make out what have been the harbour buildings on the land with steps, walls and windows leading up the mountainside. I kept glancing back at the underwater wall waiting to see more and then the boat sped up and we were off again! Where was the rest of my city? What was going on?

As his beseeching eyes looked at me I could only shrug, I could feel his pain and it certainly wasn’t all we had thought it would be, trying to reassure him that maybe there was more later he sat and sulked in a corner. As we pulled into yet another cove the usual swimming started and Zoe and I thought we should make the effort to join in.

Woolly says – well that cheered me up watching Jo enter the freezing but beautiful waters I could see her turning nearly as blue as the sea around her. Zoe lasted marginally longer before she also climbed out. I might not of found much of a city but at least the BBQ seemed to be started so I stood a chance of being fed.

As my little friend finished off his salad and rice the boat plowed on, Zoe and I looked at each other in the hope that we might finally find some more of his hearts desire, it was not to be.

Woolly says – Ten minutes and we stopped again, can you guess what for!!!!!! The three of us were muttering at this point and sadly disappointed in our fnds for the day. Sighing deeply, I decided to mammoth up as the boat moved of once again. As the town of Simena hove into view I refused to get excited even as the boat moored at the jetty, I really couldn’t face watching any more wet bodies. But strangely the women were shoving everything into the rucksacks and moving quickly onto the stone broad walk, as I raced to catch up even Jo was panting as she scaled the large uneven steps, I paused for a moment and looked at the reason for rush and there above me was a castle, halluah something to finally see. The ancient city of Simena goes back to the 4th century BC with the castle being was used during the Middle Ages by the Byzantines. As I charged through the entrance I found the medieval walls of the inner keep and some blocks of all that remains of ancient temple. Climbing higher I came to the small natural theatre carved into the rock, with a capacity for about 300 people, which meant that this was a minor settlement in Roman times. My excitement new no bounds as I scurried up the rest of the steps and peered over the castle walls at the most incredible view below.

The look of glee on his small grubby face made my heart glad and as he ran over to the cannon I could hear his small tuneless voice signing away in delight. With little time left I felt rather mean removing him from his reflections of Romans but I thought he might like to see one further small delight.

Woolly says – as we pounded back through the small town dodging through tiny alleys and places that looked like peoples back yards I couldn’t imagine what we might find but I panted on. Coming to a small area of grass I stopped and sighed happily at the sight of a semi sunken sarcophagus greeted my eyes. With not a minute to spare Jo picked me up and we hurried back through the small spaces that appeared to be streets making back to the boat with moments to spare.

At least we had seem something and as we headed back to our dock at the end of the day it hadn’t been a complete disaster.

Additional photos below
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2nd May 2016
Goat Watching

Cheap entertainment
2nd May 2016
Goat Watching

It did keep him occupied for a while but he has now decided that he wants a goat!

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