They do say a change is as good as a rest and staying in Finike marina (for free as part of our Kaş Setur marina annual contract) proved that saying to be a true one.
The atmosphere at Finike marina is very laid back and we met some lovely old and new friends while we were there, including Michele and Steve who caught our stern lines when we arrived; and Krista and Mark who invited us on board for sundowners before going for a brisk walk where they pointed out where some of Finike’s useful shops were.
Then there was the family two boats away from us – who have a YouTube channel called Freedom Sailing. This delightful couple, Tim and Silke and their two teenagers, Luca and Nina (and dog, Lucy) invited us over to their boat one evening to share in their homemade Chinese style dim sim dumplings. Tim rolled homemade dough into little rounds and Silke and I stuffed them with ground chicken, vegies and herbs and spices that she’d also mixed together. I loved learning a new dim sim folding technique, and we all thoroughly enjoyed them once they’d been boiled to perfection. The dip she’d made was divine and a fantastic blend of soy sauce, ginger and garlic, with a surprise addition of balsamic vinegar that gave it a nice bite.
A crafty group of women
Michele invited me to the Pontoon C craft group one afternoon, and I enjoyed meeting more ladies, who were busy crocheting and knitting some pretty neat things. As I didn’t have any crochet projects on the go, I took along my silver wire and some sea glass and made up a couple of pieces while I was there. It was also fun showing Nina how to use wire to wrap a couple of things too. I had a great time and I was very grateful to have been invited. It’s certainly on my To Do list if we go to Finike again.
Trusting shop keepers and incredible cakes
Baz and I explored Finike town one morning. He was on the hunt for a multi SD card reader and I was on the hunt for a top class cake shop that our friend Kev had told us we must visit. (Yes, keto was going to take a back seat on our Finike trip)!!
The card reader turned out to be a difficult find, but one shop owner Baz talked to told him to return the following day as he was visiting Antalya and would look around there. The funny thing was, initially, the shop keeper left us alone in his store and shot off down the road to ask a couple of other electrical suppliers if they had a card reader. Baz and I hovered just outside the shop while we waited. We joked that in the part of the world where we were brought up, that just wouldn’t happen, because the shop owner would return to an empty store!
Anyway, true to his word, the following day the cool guy returned from Antalya with a newer version, and Baz returned to A B Sea, very impressed, and eager to discover if the reader was quicker than the old one he’s been learning patience with.
Klass Pastanesi is an exclusive patisserie on the main road just past the marina entrance further along on the right hand side. The chef there makes and decorates all the cakes. I’ve seen a few high end cake shops in my time, including Nur in Kaş - and this was up there with them. The gateaux on display were a feast for the eyes, and the Turkish pastries we brought home with us were delicious. I scored a very good cappuccino to take away as well.
Great for kids. Not so great for sea life
There’s an entrepreneurial guy that Krista and Mark pointed out on our previous evening’s walk along the sea front. This fellow has set up a little ‘fairground type stall’ in the shallows near the pier. He strings fishing line across a few pairs of sticks parallel to the pier. On these strings he ties balloons (that contain a little sea water for ballast). He then hires out pellet guns and people get to aim and try to burst the balloons.
We felt so torn about this guy. On the one hand he’s got a very innovative business idea there. On the other hand, we wonder what happens to all of those burst rubber balloons that float away into the sea…
The Sunday barbecue
It’s a bit of a tradition at Finike marina apparently. There’s a patch of grass with tables and chairs set up next to a large barbecue and people bring along their own meat to char grill, and swap stories with other sailors while they eat.
Once we learned it was still happening despite covid, Baz and I decided to go. I made some chicken and veggie kebabs with homemade coleslaw and around 3pm we rocked up ready to eat and meet! Not sure where to go, we sidled up to a couple of guys who were turning their food over on the barbecue and they invited us to grab a plastic table and chairs from the adjacent tent, and sit near their table. In good covid fashion, there were quarantine crosses on two diagonal positions on the table, so we knew where to sit! It was good to share food and chat with a few more Finike marina residents.
Feedback about the Red Sea to Australia route
One Aussie guy we got talking to at the barbie, called Stephen, had recently made the trip up the Red Sea to Turkey and had some very pertinent information to share with us. Baz went over to his boat the following day to get more details. I must say, we’re very grateful for everyone’s input as to the positives and pitfalls of the Red Sea / India route to Australia. We will be carefully collating a side by side comparison with the Atlantic route over the next few months before we make any firm decision on our Australian return route.
A hike up the hill before we leave
A businessman has funded the building of a new mosque, which sits atop the hill behind the marina at Finike and has a stunning view. We’d learned that we couldn’t fly the drone over the marina because it’s the Coast Guard’s home and is a Red Zone. But we wanted to give you a good aerial view of the bay, so Baz suggested we hike up the gazillion steps and check out the sight from the top.
We were glad we made the heart-pumping ascent and marvelled at the beautiful buildings, one of which is a school. The mosque isn’t open yet, so we didn’t intrude upon any worshippers, but we had a good look around the outside, eventually finding ourselves leaning against the railings looking at the yachts in the marina, and Finike bay in general. It’s definitely worth the climb if you ever go to Finike.
Our six nights flew by and it was soon time to leave. But not before giving the residents at Finike marina a huge thank you for their hospitality.
As you know Baz and I are fans of ancient sites and Tlos turned out to be an incredible find! First of all we had an enjoyable drive into the countryside and up the hill range to where this ancient Lycian site is situated. We went there in the first week of January when we hired a car for a week, and it was a lovely mild day when we arrived at the location.
Tlos is one of the rare ancient sites that has not only been inhabited by Romans as well as Byzantines. It was also taken over by the Ottomans Turks, who lived there until the 19th Century. It was one of the six principal – and apparently most powerful - cities of Lycia. In 168 BC, Lycia was given autonomy, rather than being a dependent of Rhodes, and it was also one of the major members of the Lycian League.
Tlos is a large site and is well worth visiting. Even if you don’t have a museum card, the entrance fee is only 20 TL, or about AU$ 4 per person.
There are the ubiquitous tombs set into the necropolis, and further up the hill on the acropolis stand the ruins of the large Ottoman castle. From here you can overlook the stadium where spectators watched horse races.
A decent walk will take you over to another section where you can gaze upon a basilica, temple, market building and Roman baths. A lot of these have been rebuilt using original stonework after a couple of fairly powerful earthquakes, but there is a lot to see. It took us a good couple of hours to walk around the massive site, and read the information boards that are in Turkish and English.
Further down the road is the very large and very badly ruined amphitheatre which is obviously worse for wear after the earthquakes. But looking at the size of this theatre, one can only imagine how large the population was at its height.
Intricate Turkish lacework
As we were leaving, some fine lacework caught my eye at a stall by the side of the road. The Turkish lady who tended the stall said she’d made the lace herself and I couldn’t believe the intricate detail. I had to take a piece home and support her business at the same time. For 30 TL or about AU$ 6, I have to say this was an absolute bargain. She also let me take her photograph, which I was very grateful for.
Returning to Kaş
Join us next week as we return to Kaş marina, staying one night at Gökkaya Limanı, a beautiful bay at the eastern end behind Kekova island.
To watch the YouTube episode that dovetails with this blog, just click here.
Until next week, I wish you health and happiness, as you take the actions that bring your dreams to life.