Jul 012015

cindy & peter on their yacht

“insha’allah bozburun geri gel” is an expression we have heard a lot in the last few days, “god willing you will come back to bozburun” – as we visit all our friends here and tell them it is nearly time to move on, that is the standard response, and we can but agree! i dont often like to go back to a place i have visited, ultimatley it means i dont go somewhere new. i think in the case of bozburun it will be an exception and we will be back fo another stay in paradise.

our run of meeting interesting people has continued up to the last minute. a couple of days ago we were down at the boat harbour and sal noticed a yacht with a huge australian flag, we were having lunch at one of the restaurants overlooking the harbour so while i was waiting for coffee i went to say hello, i asked, “is that a flag or a sail?” – the tongue in cheek question was well received by the boat’s owners, peter & cindy.

although they did get me back by roping me into helping them with retrieving a pulley sheath that had dropped into the boom while they were trying to grease it, it turned into a major operation with us having to remove the boom! needless to say my coffee was cold by this time!

anyway after an hour or so fiddling around we managed to recover the pulley and reinstate everything to its correct place, peter and cindy offered to take us out to dinner for our help, but we suggested instead that they bring some food along and we would have a bbq at our cottage.

once again theirs was a fascinating story, peter did an electrical apprenticeship when he left school, but after he finished his time he went straight into the catholic church as a priest and worked up in the torres straights with aboriginal communities and missions there. he gave up on the church when he decided that he wanted to have a wife and children.

some years ago he bought a yacht to set off sailing around the world, it was a well known yacht he purchased, “silver spirit edition” – that Ken Gourlay ftom tasmania, sailed round the world, non-stop in 180 days – becoming the fastest, single handed, unassisted circumnavigation by an Australian, a record that still stands.

while on his trip, peter met cindy in florida, living on her own 38′ yacht there, love blossomed between yachting neighbors at the marina and so 2 boats become one and their jouney continued together.

they arrived in turkey 3 years ago and have been teaching english since, they both work in a school in gaziantep – a city that is only 40kms from the syrian border in the far south east of turkey. not exactly the sort of place many westerners hang out! they love living there despite the proximity to the troubles and say the food is the best and most authentic in turkey!

they keep the yacht on the hardstand at bozburun when they are working and then during the holidays come down, put the boat back on the water and go sailing! what a life!!

anyway we had a fantastic night with them, they bought over plenty of beer and wine, a lovely salad and marinated chook ready for the char grill. i reckon it was one of the best paid hours work i have ever done! we have certainly been blessed with the amazing people we have met in this little town – reinforcing the “travel slow, stay in small towns” message.

today we are off to marmaris on the bus, then this afternoon we catch the ferry to rhodes, have a night there and fly to frankfurt to stay with carl and dorethea for a week or so.

Jun 262015
looking back at bozburun

looking back at bozburun

following on from the theme of the previous post, we have a family staying here that we also would never have met even if we had visited their home city of ankara, but here in quiet little bozburun and staying in the same property it was inevitable – especially as they have a 7 year old son, hamzah!

esam is Iraqi, his wife marie is scottish and hamzah is born in turkey – he already speaks arabic, turkish and english and hopes to learn spanish next! esam is a maths teacher and marie an english teacher. i have really enjoyed talking with esam, he is a very interesting guy, thoughtful, intelligent and gentle – he has also fuelled my interest in iraqi food!

meeting someone like esam also makes me reflect on the despicable way australia treats refugees and i wonder how different his story might have been had he sought refuge in australia?

its been great for kai to have a friend to play with again – especially one that speaks english! there is also a young turkish boy who is part of the family here at the apartments and the three of them spend most afternoons in the water together playing.

yesterday esam and i took the boys for a hike round to the other side of the bay and up a ravine that runs up from sea level to the top of the surrounding hills. its a dry creekbed and quite interesting with ancient stone walls built by the greeks to control the water in the winter and create small gardens along the side of the ravine. we also found an old well, it was surrounded by oleandars and still had water in it. there was some sort of water snake in it and as i moved closer to look lots of orange frogs jumped off the oleandars and into the water!

it was a day for animals really, we walked past the usual goats and sheep on the stony slopes and then came across the elusive tortorsises on the beach – i had been told about them but this was the first time they were out and about when we were there.

we also met a wild donkey on the track beside the ravine that we were climbing. all in all a fun boy’s outing!


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Jun 242015
aydin & hale at the wooden beach

aydin & hale at the wooden beach

one of the great things about staying in smaller places for a siginificant amount of time when you are travelling is that you meet people you would otherwise never cross paths with. aydin & hale menguç live in istanbul – but we would never have met them in the 2 weeks we spent in a city of 17m people!

here, they are staying in one of the apartments for a month and we have moved from polite ‘hellos’ to a real friendship and socialising. yesterday afternoon they joined us for a few beers and nibbles at our table under the grape vine and I actually recorded the conversation because they are such an interesting couple and i wanted to capture their story.

aydin is 95, born in 1920, 3 years older than the Turkish Republic! hale is a younger and sprightly 88! they have been coming to bozburun for 30 years and staying with the Ünlü family that own the apartments we are staying in. they will have been married for 65 years next week – on the 1st of july. they swim nearly every day, and are pictures of health and happiness. both aydin & hale speak perfect english and are both sharp as a button mentally.

aydin went to school in istanbul and went on to do law at istanbul university, he graduated after 4 years and then did a further 2 years study before becoming a judge in the turkish magistrates court, eventually he became chief judge in the supreme court and later the senior public prosecutor. he spent a year living in london during this time where he was sent to study the british legal system. after some years working as a judge and public prosecutor he retired and became a lawyer.

meanwhile hale had started work as a librarian for TUSLOG (the us logistics group), part of the NATO operations, as a result of a chance meeting at a party at hale’s work he met an american captian who was a judge advocate for TUSLOG and they needed a legal advisor so aydin became the chief legal advisor to the american forces, he started this role in 1963 and worked for them for the next 28 years, until his retirement at 72 years of age.

hale has held many interesting jobs also, as well as a librarian, she was an english teacher and a swimming teacher. she also worked as a technical interpreter for the building of the bridge over the bosphorus joining european istanbul with asian istanbul, the bridge was designed by the british hence the need for an interpreter.

aydin’s father, feyzi was a four star general, he fought and was wounded at canakkale (what we call gallipoli), and later became chief of the general  turkish staff and a personal friend of eisenhower’s. i found an amusing anecdote about him HERE

(click the play arrow and wait, to hear aydin talking about his father.)

their love story and marraige of 65 years started when aydin travelled to istanbul for his sister’s wedding, he ended up falling in love with his brother in law’s sister – so brother and sister married sister and brother! its a beautiful thing to see a couple so obviously in love with each other after such a life together, their passion for life, energy and enthusiasm with a very positive outlook on life must be a contributing factor to such longevity – both individually and collectively.

(click the play arrow and wait, to hear aydin & hale talking about how they met.

i think we are very privileged to have met them and to have aydin and hale share their life story with us, they are an inspiration and I can only hope that i am still swimming at 95 – as well as enjoying a few cold beers and a lengthy conversation with youngsters like us!

aydin after his morning swim!

aydin after his morning swim!

there was much more conversation last night of course, but hopefully these words paint a small and simple picture of this amazing couple and their interesting life. its surely a big part of why we love travelling.

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Jun 102015

the view from the road to taşlica

we have been in paradise for another week or so, i took the car back to marmaris on monday so its shank’s pony to get about now. sal and i had a drive over to söĝüt and taşlica on sunday while we still had the car. we enjoyed a lovely seafood lunch at denizkizi restaurant in söĝüt. the road from söĝüt to taşlica climbs near vertically from sea level up to a couple of thousand metres and the views were breathtaking (again!).

we also met an interesting couple on a large power boat from new zealand, robbie & jo had steamed from NZ and then had the boat shipped from asia thru the red sea and into turkey where they rejoined it. they are travelling with another couple on a yacht, peter and heidi left germany 3 years ago and have been travelling the world on their very smart and practical aluminium yacht.

they all came over for dinner last night and we had a lovely time eating, drinking and chatting at our dining table under the grape vine. i knocked up my go to meal here, char grilled butterfly lamb marinated in yoghurt, olive oil, lemon juice, spices and herbs with grilled vegetables, potato salad and a “fresh from the garden” green bean and red cabbage salad.

we have really spent very little time with other travellers on this trip, but this was really a special night and really enjoyable to talk to such interesting and genuine people. i must have been concentrating on the discussions too much because i forgot to take any photos of us together, so once again its just more damn images of food!!

on friday we pick up a charter yacht from marti marina at orhaniye and have 8 days seeing this amazing country from a different perspective, we are all looking forward to it with much excitement! we will be sailing a Beneteau Oceanis 343, the next post will be from on board Zambak!

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Jun 022015
kai & sal in the rental

kai & sal in the rental

yesterday we headed off for a day on the road, we thought we better use the rental car while we still have it! the plan was to explore the large peninsular to the north of bozburun so we drove out of town, across the hills and past the next town of selimiye. its also a very pretty town, just a little more touristy.

then it was on thru the other towns and out the peninsula to datça for lunch. other than marmaris, datça would be the biggest town in the area. its an amazing drive out there, with a wonderful winding and steep road up and over the mountain pass before plumetting down into datça. truly a road that you would expect to see the top gear team tearing up with a lambo, porsche and ferrari! amazing views of the sea from high above, both on the south side towards the greek island of symi and to the north side towards the bodrum peninsula.

we had a bite of lunch in datça before heading on out towards the town of yaziköy, near the ancient greek city of knidos. again the road was amazing, mainly sealed with some gravel sections, narrow, winding and steep, stunning views of the mountains, valleys and sea on either side, passing thru tiny, traditional villages.

i dont think many people ever get all the way out to knidos, the road is pretty intimidating, its a long way and not many people – even turkish people, seem to know about it. we were told about it by an english couple on a cruising yacht – they were not even sure if it was possible to drive there, but said it was an amazing anchorage and worth trying to find by road!

the ancient greek city of knodos is right on the tip of the bozborun peninsula and was established in the 6th century BC, it had a population of around 20,000 at its height and was famous for various reasons throughout the empire. it was an amazing experience to wander amongst the ruins, overlooking the twin harbours.


we went for a swim off the jetty and the water was chrystal clear – even by mediterranean standards, not hard to see why its such a favourite anchorage of the yachties!

anyway, i will let the images speak for themselves!


Jun 012015



our little french chateau

…so we had arrived in bozburun, i had hurriedly booked a night at Ünlü Apart Pansiyon before we left selçuk – they appeared to have a range of apartments and i figured it would do for the first night, and if we liked the spot we could stay there longer or find somewhere else.

when we arrived they offered us either an upstairs apartment with 2 bedrooms and balcony, or a quaint little stone cottage – once we saw inside and heard the story it was a no-brainer! the apartments are owned by Nail and his wife, and run with the help of his son, fadil and his french born wife, laetitia.

the story with the cottage is that friends of laetitia, a french couple, had fallen in love with bozburun and had the little stone cottage built on nail’s land with the intention of spending their spare time here.

from the photos it looks like they now have 2 young children, and i suspect the spare time is short and infrequent, so they let the family rent it out to people like us. its filled with the owner’s furniture, fittings, knick knacks, artifacts, art, cutlery, crockery – basically an entire home down to some clothes and toothbrushes in the bathroom!

so we just fell in love with it, though small there is a sofa bed for kai in the lounge area, and a separate dining area, small kitchen and bathroom as well as our double bedroom. it has a flat roof with a marble floor so we can sit up there and look over the harbour, it also has a small verandah with a table we sit at for breakfast and then a large tiled patio with a huge grapevine shading it and comfy seats and dining table as well as a hammock.

then its straight onto the small street that runs along the waterfront, across that and onto our ‘wooden beach’, at first i was more than a little dubious about the wooden beach – essentially a wide wooden deck along the foreshore with a ladder to get in and out of the water and comfy deckchairs with shade umbrellas.

i have to say i am totally sold on it now, no sand to get in tricky places, no rocks, straight into deep water, comfy deck chairs and back across the street to grab a snack or beers – and if you forget to stock the fridge its 50m to the shop to grab a few coldies for the ‘wooden beach’

anyway, the long and short of it is that we have just fallen in love with both bozburun and the cottage – or chateau rick as i am calling it! we have decided to stop here for a month or so, we dont believe we will find anywhere this special again and even if we found another village we loved as much, we certainly wouldnt find another french cottage like this!

we are also enjoying being stopped again and being able to cook again – although we havent had to do much thanks to the owner’s generosity! they brought over a huge pan full of dolma yesterday at lunch time – stuffed zuccini flowers, zuccini and grape leaves, as well as a bowl of baby potatoes, cold in lemon juice and olive oil with a big lump of home made yoghurt!

we had a bit for lunch, then ate it with some lamb i grilled for dinner and again with grilled fish tonite! they are already talking about the next dish they will cook for us!

if you never hear from us again, you will know where to look!

Jun 012015


bozburun harbour

bozburun harbour

i figure i better split this into two posts, one about the village of bozburun and one about the specific place we are staying, so here is the bozburun post!

i first heard about this town when researching for our drive down the south west coast of turkey, i came across a mention somewhere that alluded to the fact that bill gates had rated it as one of the world’s most beautiful spots. now as an apple man, and someone who regards windoze and M$ as the work of the devil incarnate, i wouldnt normally take any notice of what bill gates says.

lets face it though, if you were worth a rough $80b, you should have some idea of where the good spots are on this planet (and a few others in nearby solar systems), and hence my interest was piqued.

when we discovered we couldnt get the ferry from bodrum to kalymnos to visit the gove cafe because it doesnt run until the summer season after mid-june, we decided to skip bodrum and head to the next spot on our list – bozburun – based on no more than the hearsay opinion of one of the planet’s richest individuals.

it proved to be an inspired decision, this is truly one of the planets best spots. there are so few places like it. it has everything you need, ATM’s, fast internet, supermarkets with all the day to day essentials, local restaurants at local prices, fresh produce grown locally, BUT, almost no one knows about it, no big hotels, no masses of holiday homes (even the turks dont know about it.).

the locals still own and run the place, the owners where we are staying are a turkish family born and bred in bozburun, their son, fadil, married a french girl, laetitia, and she told us that as far as she knows she is the only local not born here!!

so the locals own the restaurants, bars, bakery, butcher, shops, pensions, boats and everything else. i cant think of anywhere other than nhulun that has this level of services and yet almost no tourism.

we are about 150m from the center of the village and right on the water, we can walk about 1.5km along the water front in one direction, back to the boat building yards the village is famous for, and in the other direction we can walk about 2km to another little boat harbour on the outside of the peninsular.

we actually just walk out the front door of our cottage, walk 10m across the front patio, under a grape vine and across the ‘street’ to the ‘wood beach’ and the waterfront.

anyway, enough about bozburun, next, the perfect little french cottage that has become our new home!



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