Paddlers: Geoff, Hugh and Ken

The Bozburun Peninsular

 

Day 1:    Weather: Cool, Overcast and Breezy. Distance Covered 8.5mi

Having arrived at our apartment in Marmaris at 04.30 we were up to meet Dean, the kayak supplier and advisor, at 10am. A short trip to the supermarket and Hisaranu and we ready by 1pm for an afternoon’s paddle.

The most memorable feature of the afternoon (apart from the Scottish weather) was a huge luxury hotel complex, featuring swimming platforms on the rock edge with curtaining to enable the more serious Muslim ladies to enter the sea with complete modesty.

The campsite was a small grove adjacent to a shingle beach.

Day 2: Weather: Rain and Breezy   Distance : 12 miles

This part of Turkey is dramatic even in the rain.  A couple of miles after the start we crossed to an island to find a ruined Greek Christian monastery deserted in the ethnic cleansing of 1917. It was sad to witness the disintegration of such a beautiful historic site.

After a slog into the wind,rounding the first major cape was surprisingly easy if a bit lumpy. We

 made camp in what appeared to be a semi-deserted farm.

Just before camping we had noticed in the previous bay a concrete platform and a building just above. In camp a gentleman with no English passed through on foot and indicated that the building was a restaurant. We waited until around 7.0pm and set off along this “path” which became steeper and, from the sound of the sea directly below, precipitous (it was pitch black). Eventually, after a couple of heart stopping moments, we arrived at a fence above the building which appeared deserted. Just as we set out to return, two torches flashed and we were guided over the fence and down the cliff to the building. The building itself was a candle lit single room with a cooker, table and bed. However we were invited to order and amazingly a super meal of omlette, chicken and peppers, and local cheese, bread and olives was concocted. Two bottles of wine completed an evening to remember, before being guided by our hosts back around the cliff to our tents.

Day 3:  Weather: Bright and Windy. Distance covered 9mi.

The previous day the wind was 3/4. Today it was 4/5 with gusts of force 7. Our journey however had the wind behind us and the sun was shining. One extraordinary feature was what we now believe to be a huge half finished hotel. 

Bozpurun is an attractive tourist village and the “Gulet” building capital of Turkey. Gulets are traditional wooden two masted craft that make tourist trips along the coast, normally providing accommodation and food.  There are thousands of these craft, parked in countless beautiful coves all along southern Turkey.

The best sheltered site we could find (and get to) was located next to two new ship building sheds of aircraft carrier proportions. The main features of this site were a huge supply of firewood and some of the nastiest thorns in the world.

Day 4: Weather: Sunny and Windy       Distance 7.5mi

Although the worst gusts had abated the wind was a strong force 4, strengthening as the afternoon went on. This time we were again paddling into it, resulting in extremely slow progress and growing tiredness. At lunch time we pulled up at an old temple/bath house to wait for the wind to drop before attempting the exposed Capes ahead. The wind did not drop.

Day 5: Weather:Sunny with Light Winds  Distance: 20 miles

At 7am the wind was still blowing, at 7.30 it went and at 8.30 we were out on the water. By chance we had stopped at the last available place for 15 miles and the sea was still very lumpy from the previous few days . But the sun was out and the views across to Symi (Greece) spectacular.

Around the final headland we came upon a spectacular pre Roman fort built over 2500 years ago by the Lycean (Greek) people .

The weather was now wonderful, sunny, not too hot with a light following breeze.The cliff and marine scenery was excellent with cliffs of shining limestone, twisted and turned by earth’s movements and eroded by the sea.

Progress was excellent, but camp sites limited and at the end of the day we found ourselves going back over 2 miles to camp.

Captain Nemo’s bar/restaurant provided a welcome alternative to expedition rations.

Day 6: Weather: Sunny with Light Winds.    Distance Covered: 19 miles

We had been warned that the next 10 miles or so had no places to get out, and so it proved with one party member proving he had excellent out of cockpit balance when nature called. Again the scenery was spectacular and progress excellent.  Increasingly the caves were becoming deeper.

A particularly bizarre moment was coming across this lone fisherman in a spot completely inaccessible from the land and with no boat.

Early evening took us into Tedcik Bay and civilisation (or showers as they are known).Permission was sought and obtained to camp adjacent to the restaurant and another excellent night followed.

Day 7: Weather: Sunny with light but increasing winds.  Distance Traveled 15 miles

From our beach camp site the view was beautiful, none more so than at dawn (about 7am).

After breakfast in the sun we headed off for the final headland and into the Bay of Marmaris

The final paddle saw both the best natural arch and the best cave we came across this trip.

Marmaris is a very large beach city with two adjacent towns/villages catering for the thousands of tourists from all over Europe that flock to the area. We paddled to the central beach area, arriving about 3.30.

Dean collected us just before 6 and after another excellent meal en route we were back to Dalaman Airport for the 01.05 flight to Glasgow and home by 04.30.

Conclusion

We paddled 92 miles in a mix of weather, losing over a day in the process. Scenery is spectacular and the sea is bath temperature (literally). Turkey is cheap and accesible; flights were £280, kayak hire and transfers £180, and we spent another £180 on food and wine, giving a total cost of £640. We will be going back , join us.

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