Tuesday, May 11, 2010

African Queen? No,wrong movie!

We left the luxury of our sailboat this morning and boarded a little putt-putt river boat for a trip out of our cove, across the gulf, and up a nearby river. Both the boat and the river were, as Joe Stabile pointed out, very reminiscent of the African Queen. But our pilot fell short of Bogart's manly charms, alas. Daniella thought it was like the jungle boat ride in Adventureland at Disneyland, sans hippos and pith helmets. Anyway, we wound through a labyrinth of reedy marshlands, somehow following a main channel that would have baffled all of us. We were headed to another ancient site, Kaunos at Dalyan.This river was full of loggerhead turtles (huge) and blue crabs. Along the way upstream we encountered crab boats pulled up into the reeds where big turtles were circling for crab scraps, and men were BBQ'ing crabs. We put in an order, to be picked up upon our return downstream, and continued on upriver to our destination. Kaunos is a lovely spot, high on a promontory looking out over that gorgeous river/marshland area on one side, and on another down into a valley full of pomegranate and citrus orchards and red-tiled rooftops. There were a few shepherds up there with cows, and thousands of honey bees buzzing in the dappled sunlight. Turkey has a huge honey business, and we have had honey every day, some of it flavored with rose petals, divine. And yogurt three times a day, super divine! But I digress.

The amphitheater and mostly unexcavated ruins at Kaunos date to the 2nd century BC and were lovely small in scale compared to what we have seen so far, although there were some lovely chamber tombs. We wandered around up there in the heat of the morning, then returned to our river boat and back through the marshes, lazily, making sure to pick up those crabs to go with our lunch. Not that we needed more food.

Meals on the ship were lavish, succulent, and varied. Our lunch following the river trip was eggplant moussaka, greek salad, rice, mixed vegetables, bread, and fresh fruit for dessert. Every day at tea time we get tea with freshly baked cakes or cookies. Then there is dinner, a huge feast. Last night we had sauteed chicken breasts, shrimp, fried eggplant with yogurt, steamed cauliflower, Greek salad, marinated red cabbage, bread, couscous, and fresh green melons. As long as I'm digressing, I'll let you know that our typical shipboard breakfast consist of tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, a yellow cheese, cucumbers, yogurt, an egg dish, orange juice, tea, coffee, two kinds os honey, several jams, and muesli cereal. It seem impossible to ever feel hungry, yet at each meal, we rush to the table, mouths watering! Maybe the relevant film for the day is "la Grande Bouffe".

After lunch and a swim in the choppy blue sea, we pulled up anchor for a bracing two hour sail into the wind and spray to Marmaris, a party town, where we docked for the night near a pine grove at the foot of the mountain. We were within sight of the town, but out of earshot, so we fell asleep to the sound of owls in the trees and the gentle lapping of waves outside our porthole.

-- Posted from my iPad

Location:Gazi Beğendi Sk,Kuşadası,Turkey

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