How wonderful to be back in beautiful Turkey!!
Our departure from Australia was a couple of weeks earlier than the two previous years of cruising in the Med. On our arrival back in Gocek this year, the weather was considerably cooler than the high 30’s we left behind in early October 2012. Our many local friends in Gocek were all complaining about the unseasonal cool temperatures experienced this spring. Having the warmer weather starting later makes the tourist season start much later too!! Gocek which is quite a small town depends on the tourist industry. It becomes extremely busy in high season with many visitors arriving by air, boat or road. The Dalaman Airport, which is the major entry to this part of south east Turkey is only a short distance from Gocek. The cruising waters of the Fethiye Gulf, in which Gocek is located is one of the most beautiful cruising waters of southern Turkey. The gulf has many small islands and many small coves and inlets with lush wooded hills that sweep down to the waters edge. There are many delightful family run restaurants tucked into a corner of some of the small bays in the gulf. Often the restaurants offer berths on their restaurant quays, however dropping an anchor in the bays and tying a long line ashore is always a great option. Swimming and snorkelling is a great pastime when cruising in the Fethiye Gulf. Although it is not a Barrier Reef, the water is quite warm, clean and clear which is ideal for escaping the heat and getting some healthy exercise.
Every year there is quite a lot of preparation before setting off for the cruising season. This year was no exception, however while some of the works were being completed on the boat, Ric and I decided to take the opportunity to drive to Bodrum for a few days. Business meetings had been arranged and a booking was made at the delightful Manastir Hotel. With wonderful views overlooking the water and the ancient castle which still stands proudly in the middle of the port, this boutique hotel is our favourite in Bodrum. As the season was early and the weather was still cool, the town appeared very quiet compared to the usual hustle and bustle. Ric had organised several business meetings during the work hours which gave me time catch up on photo editing and a few emails. That evening we once again dined at our friend Huseyin’s favourite restaurant called Memdoff, which is near the Bodrum Marina Yacht Club. The delicious Turkish food on offer this evening was as fresh and fabulous as we had experienced on previous visits.
On our return to Gocek the Tangaroa was returned to the water and we secured a berth in the Municipal Marina for a few days until we were ready for our departure. This also allowed us time to make our preparations and finish any work that still needed doing to the boat. We also took the opportunity while still in port to catch up with some of our new acquaintances. To our surprise we were lucky enough to experience a weekend of exciting activities which brought out all the locals and visitors in Gocek. The Saturday was “Children’s Day” and many activities for the youngsters we organised in the main street and the town square. A concert with live performers attracted big crowds during the evening which ended with a fine display of fireworks. The following day, Sunday was the start of the Gocek to Marmaris leg of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey 2013 which starts in Alanya and finishes in Istanbul. Once again the quiet little town of Gocek became a hive of activity with all the excitement of the race and also having an official navy ship in port with many dignitaries aboard. Fortunately after many cool and overcast days the weekend brought sunny and warm conditions for the special events.
Finally it is almost time for our departure!!!