This summer I spent a month in Turkey with my 72-year-old dad. We couchsurfed the entire time and it was Amazing! But that’s a story for another day because what I want to share with you now is about the best week I’ve spent in a very long time.
We were something like three weeks into our holidays and after the chaos of Istanbul and time spent in other cities (Izmir and Denizli/Pamukkale) I was in dire need of a beach break. A relaxing beach break.
Like I said above, we were couchsurfing in Turkey so when I decided I needed some relaxing beach time I took to CS looking for a small town by the Mediterranean. Anywhere between Fethiye, and Antalya. Scrolling through the listing I found one that intrigued me, and after a few messages they agreed to host us.
To say this place was remote doesn’t quite cover it. The only way of reaching it is by a 20min speedboat ride from the nearest town and there’s absolutely nothing else in the surrounding area. As isolated as you can possibly get without actually being in an uninhabited island. There are no roads, or obviously neighbours. (Well, I say no roads but the Lycian way passes right by so there is a foot bath if you like trekking). Nature was overwhelmingly raw, trees and shrubs unperturbed by the wooden structures they had put up. And the sea? Some places it was a crystal clear turquoise, others a deep blue. In other words SPECTACULAR.
My first day there was spent being a bum. I was on my back and reading practically the entire day. And although this was a great way to spend the day after all the rushing we’d been doing lately it was only on day number two that I realized I had found heaven on earth. You see, our host was a water-sports aficionado. He made his living by cruising the surrounding coves and bays on his speedboat and providing water-sports services to the heaps of daily cruise boats that brought people from nearby Kas or Fethiye to spend the day in our slice of paradise.
As for me, well, having grown up in Mozambique, spending all day in a bikini and being able dive into the cool water whenever I wanted to is, and always will be, my idea of bliss. Therefore on day two -and the next few days- I went with them on the boat, helping as much as I could, which admittedly was not a lot. We often left around midday and returned at sunset. Spending all afternoon catering to the tourists. When I say catering to the tourists what I really mean is handing them lifejackets when they got on the inflatable sofa and maybe shooting a video of them on their phones. As you can see really hard work. and what if no tourist wanted a ride? Simple, we swam! And once, we just anchored for a while in the shade of a bigger boat and napped.
What did we do for lunch? Easy, we traded in the sea market! What’s the sea market? Quite simply, because my host was born and raised in the area plus he has been doing the same work for a while he knows the people running the tourist boats. Meaning, we would just approach one of the boats, and ask them to give us lunch! Boats with Russian tourists where the best, Russians like prawns… did I mention that lunch was free?
If daily doses of prawns for lunch and hours swimming in clear turquoise waters aren’t enough to convince you that this was paradise then let me add that in the week I spent there I also had my first ever waterskiing lessons! It took a while just to manage to get out of the water and stand on the skis for a second but when I finally did it was awesome!!! Unfortunately a week wasn’t enough for me to actually master it, hell, not even enough to say I was comfortable on them. But I did manage to go for a while in a straight line without falling. Score!
As if that wasn’t enough the place is on the Lycian way and very close to Kekova, an ancient Greek city that’s now partially submerged. Yeah, let that sink in (pun totally intended).
Oh, I almost forgot to add that we were there when the lunar eclipse happened. Alone with nature, no artificial lights to get in the way. I dare you to tell me of a more magical setting to witness it.
Talking about magical and nature our little inlet was home to a sea turtle!!!
And last but not least, the final ingredient that made this week stand out: the hosts. I know many people dislike the very concept of couchsurfing but the more I use the platform the more I fall in love with it. This time round our hosts were beyond generous and hospitable. Providing good conversation and a week of water sport related fun I could never have afforded on my budget plus a quiet place for my father to relax and recover from the previous weeks traveling.
Seriously, it was GLORIOUS! I can’t do it justice. I travelled for 9 weeks this summer and I can easily say this was by far the best week.
p.s. I was having so much fun I completely forgot to take photos consequently you’ll have to make do with the few my father took.