‘Turkey’s last leg’ Kekova and Kas,Turkey

We were told we had to hire a direct bus to Kekova if we didn’t want to spend a whole day mucking around waiting for minibuses and taxies. Kekova is off the beaten path and supposedly not an easy place to get to, but obviously well worth the trouble since everyone we met in Olympus told us it was a must see and we couldn’t leave Turkey without it. It was the pearl of Turkey!!  After our mojito afternoon in Olympus, we walked to a travel agency, splurged on a ride for a pick up at 9am, and felt psyched on our new committed destination. 9:15 the following day and no van, the hotel calls and it looks like they’ve decided on a new time, they will come around at 10 am. Well, I guess there’s nothing we can do about that and I guess that means going to town on more of the amazing breakfast spread laid out for us. 10:15 rolls around and a van finally showed up, took us to the top of the main road and dropped us off at the bus station that would normally cost about 4 Lira or $2. The driver was never told we paid for a direct trip and had zero interest in driving us there. OK, we put down a bit more than $2 and were definitely not happy with this situation. Nerves were touched and though I was pissed, I wasn’t as much as the show I was putting on. A bunch of angry back and forth phone calls with the travel agent that didn’t get us any further, I felt it was time to demand our money back. We storm over and grab our packs and I hold out my hand for the money with a look that he better fork it over or else. Our whole day had been shot now since it would probably be hard to make it over there before dark. We’ve missed the main bus, etc. and I’m ready to walk out to the road to hitchhike. To our surprise he gladly gives us back 50 out of the 60 Lira we put down and takes off. Two minutes later he drives back asking us to please wait since a car has been sent our way. “Please wait! OK?” A driver and decked out van showed up 5 min. later and we made our way to Kekova for a lot less! The driver was really nice though and introduced us to his sweet wife and kids working at the grocery store he quickly stopped by at to say hello. We started to feel bad that maybe he would be taking the hit on the ride because we definitely weren’t going to pay full price, but we convinced ourselves it would be the agent instead.  Anyway, we made it and it was beautiful and we still had plenty of time in the day to enjoy this town. We found a captain right away that took us on an underwater ruin and snorkeling tour and then a drive by to the 4 hotels on the Kekova peninsula. The main ruins were off limits to snorkelers as of recently unfortunately, but we could snorkel everywhere else. He suggested we go check out one of the hotels on the ‘island’, the one his brother owned of course and consider staying there instead. His cousin showed us the way, it was like the island was mafia run, everyone was a brother or son of someone and all the women were wives of one of them. One look at the room and Simon was hooked. I’m not sure I’d ever seen him so gung-ho about a place yet. It was a little piece of paradise for sure, four hotels, no cars, a beautiful ruined castle at the top of the peninsula, everything family run and stunning turquoise water up for exploration all around. We swam, we kayaked, we jumped back up on the pier and devoured salad and bread with homemade olive and pomegranate oil that we literally sucked dry, then made a sunset hike to the castle viewpoint with a bottle of red wine! It was my Mediterranean romantic getaway bucket list and I got to cross it off! Dinner was on the water with no menu, we had to walk up to the front and make our choices from whatever was fresh that day. No chemicals, nothing processed, nothing genetically modified, hormone free, everything straight from the garden, farm or neighbors farm, and bread dropped off fresh daily every morning! Breakfast was on the terrace, an unbelievably laid out meal covering everything from fruit to eggs to vegetables to olives to fresh bread straight off the 9am boat to fresh juice and strong Turkish coffee. I don’t know how many times a day I said, “why does it taste soooooo good???” and I may have added an expletive in there! It comes straight out of the ground and the difference is so huge, we already said this trip will forever change our eating habits when we get back home. We were told a story that an American stayed there for a few months and had a care package sent over from home. He offered up the food and no one could eat it. I don’t know what it was, but people were apologizing because to them it tasted like plastic! Wow. Like I said the taste is undeniably different because everything is undeniably fresh! We watched the town run to the pier at 9am sharp and stand in line for the bread boat! It was pretty fricking cool. We grabbed kayaks and took off for more exploring. We came up to a cove with murkier waters and found loads of turtles popping their heads up all around. We couldn’t find a place to tie off and snorkel after them unfortunately but had fun waiting around and turned it into a little turtlehead safari. Around 4pm we got on a day-tripper boat and paid for a one way to take us to Kas, almost like hitchhiking on a boat. They fed us cookies and tea and a half hour snorkel about 2 hours later. We got to Kas and the captain hooked us up with a friend of a friend who was also a cousin, who knows someone, who had a connection with a hotel. They showed up and told me to get on the back of one scooter and Simon on the back of another. Drove us to the hotel, dropped us off and that was it. Thankfully our room was great and we could relax and enjoy Kas for the rest of the night. It was a quaint fisherman’s town with beautifully lined cobblestone streets, loaded with restaurants and bars. I’m sure it had tons more to offer, but the isolated, quiet is what we were enjoying, especially after our Kekova experience. Our morning consisted of a quick wake up swim in the sea, waiting for the bread to get loaded in a bucket and hauled up to the terrace for breakfast and having to say goodbye to Turkey. As excited as we were about heading to Greece, we weren’t sure if we were ready to say bye just yet…

Picture credits: Simon and Alice


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.