2004 – Postcard 4 - From Greece to Turkey
After our friends flew home from Kos Barry and I had no specific plans until other friends were due to join us in Turkey in early September so we had five weeks alone to contemplate. What to do? In the end we decided to sail back north up the Dodeconese and on to Ikaría and Samos in the Eastern Sporades then cross over to Kusadasi, Turkey. However, we remained in Kos for four extra nights as the wind was strong from the north. We left on 13 August and sailed back to Lakki, Leros. We had enjoyed our first visit to this very small marina and found the people there pleasant and helpful. We had not really explored the village previously so we took advantage of this second trip to do so.
Sunday 15 August was a day with no wind so we set off north again to Áyios Kirikos on the island of Ikaria. Áyios Kirikos is a small port on an island described in the Rough Guide as "a narrow, windswept landmass between Samos and Mikonos". We arrived in flat calm to find only one possible berth stern to the quay. Later a sailing boat left from alongside the quay and a motor yacht arrived and tied up next to us stern to. All was peaceful until the wind got up in the evening and started to cause us all considerable trouble as it pushed us against the concrete quay. In the end helpful fishermen took a long line from the bows of our neighbouring motor yacht to the shore and we hitched up to the motor boat. And that is how we stayed for two days and nights in this windy corner. I was wondering if we would ever get away. We did discover what a nice town Áyios Kirikos was.
There is plenty to see when the wind blows and one day we watched a rescue at sea. A traditional boat was anchored off the island at some distance from the harbour. As we were shopping each time we looked it seemed to be drifting further from the shore. Eventually we became so concerned that Barry actually went to notify the port police. He found an animated discussion going on as to who would go out to effect a rescue. Finally a small coast guard rib set off but only after persuading the Samos ferry to come and help tow. (The coast guard boat was too small.) And that is what happened leaving the passengers of the ferry to wait on the quay for the rescue to be completed.
A drifting gulet being rescued by a ferry.
Leaving Áyios Kirikos
On 18 August we eventually up anchored, and waved goodbye to the motor yacht crew with whom we had become acquainted. Note that the owner's party did not seem to be part of our world and it was the crew with whom we had greater affinity. We had a wonderful sail in Force 4/5 touching 6 to Pithagorion, Samos. We tied up stern to the town quay and promptly found ourselves patrons of Gregory's bar. This was only ten paces from the boat and Gregory turned out to be the sort of fellow you felt you had known for ever. If I lost Barry I was fairly sure to find him having a beer and a chat with Gregory. Pithagorion itself had more foreign tourists than Áyios Kirikos but still was small enough to be pleasant and not overcrowded and it seemed to have all one could need right in the centre of the small town. We settled down there for 4 days and didn't want to leave. We are just beginning to realise that we can actually stay longer in each place we visit - we don't have to rush home with only a three week holiday. It is delightful to start to feel part of a community. There are of course two sides to everything. It is very pleasant to be able to stay as long as we wish but my roots start to grow and the longer we stay the less I want to leave. This is another place we would love to revisit one day.
Moored opposite Gregory's
On 22 August we tore ourselves away and headed to Kusadasi in Turkey. This is a real marina with a swimming pool, shop and laundry, very different from where we had been since leaving Kos. We organised a trip to Ephesus. We had the choice of a trip in a taxi with lunch and a guide or a trip in a taxi no lunch, no guide each costing the same, $25 a person. The catch was that the guide would take us to a shop or two but we were told this was much better value and of course we didn't have to buy anything! Ephesus is amazing but Barry and I have seen so many incredible sites this year that we were not as overwhelmed by Ephesus as it probably deserves. We were then taken to an attractive garden setting to be shown carpets at a co-operative training centre. Help! As it turned out the managers were a Turkish fellow and his English wife and it was Sally who showed us around. We have never thought of buying a carpet and were completely unprepared. We were also the only prospective customers so couldn't cower behind other enthusiasts. Sally though as she admitted was not the pushiest sales person and we escaped without buying. We are wondering now whether we would like to buy a Turkish carpet. we were shown a large number of very attractive carpets and kilims. We will certainly look at home and see whether we think there is a need and if we do decide to buy we would like to revisit Sally as we were so well received. We were served a very good simple lunch in the garden which we eat with our guide and Sally and for dessert we were treated to a peach plucked straight from one of the trees. Quite the best peach we have ever tasted!
From Kusadasi we have meandered down to Port St. Paul, Asin Limani, Gümüslük, Bodrum, Palamut, Datça, Serce Limani and finally to Göçek to meet our friends. Most of these are places we have visited before and we enjoyed each one as much as ever.