Saturday, 12 October 2013

The Pause

Hanging in there above the ramparts of the newly-restored Marmaris castle
When I last wrote, we were hanging off a buoy in Deep Bay, thinking that five days would see Alex up and running again (well, not quite running, but you get the drift). The weather was closing in, but with our friends Cathy and Ian on Sea Cloud coming out to the anchorage, and the prospect of smart company to lighten the cloud that inevitably descends over Enki when the skipper folds, things looked manageable.

Sea Cloud picks up a mooring in Deep Bay

Lentil soup weather

When the sun came out, coffee was on Enki
And they were. A mean north-westerly blew day and night, the temperature dropped precipitously and the turtle dived for cover. Alex stayed horizontal during the day, the flicker of Kindle pages accompanied by the rustle of foil (panadeine forte being the drug of choice). But the evenings were for dancing. We had a good time with Sea Cloud, and when we left them last Monday to head up to Marmaris to renew our residency permits, I imagined that we might perhaps see them again in Cappadocia this coming week. That is if we weren't out sailing. We hadn't yet made up our minds what we'd be doing in these last lovely weeks of October.

Helping Cathy into the Hobie hot seat

Then the prof put the kayak through rigorous on-site stability testing

Call this the long Pause. We're still in Marmaris, at Netsel marina, parked in between the charter fleets and suffering the frenzied tribal beat of Bar St's notorious clubs until the wee hours of the morning. The back dictates the timetable, and it's being perverse. This morning Alex has again put himself in the capable hands of Norbert. Norbert knows his job. He used to run a big chiropractic business in Dusseldorf or some such cold northern city until he mislaid his work ethic. He sees one or two patients a day now and otherwise seems happy tending his garden in the backblocks of Marmaris. He has a black belt in some martial art too. Norbert seems to be fixing Alex's back, which is a very good thing.

The magnificence of Marmaris harbour,  seen from the castle

Friday afternoon regatta on the bay

Charm offensive
Marmaris (where people have lived since 3000 BC) is sited on a stunning natural harbour, but it's not a town you want to hang around while there's any warmth left in the sun. It attracts the ugliest kind of flesh from sun-starved English cities to the cheaply-built hotels and bars which stretch for kilometres around the bay. The beaches in front of the hotels are covered in blubbery bodies, copiously tattooed and scantily clothed. Fair enough, you say. It's their holiday. But what's a sight for sore eyes on the beaches is downright offensive in restaurants, on the streets and on public transport.

Torso from Knidos (in Marmaris castle)

As a rule, your Manchester man doesn't like to wear a shirt. He likes to let it all hang out - as does your Manchester woman (sorry, Manchester - the name trips easily off the tongue, but you stand for a type, and I'm stereotyping like crazy here).

This can be bad news on a packed dolmus (public minibus), as Alex found today on the way back from Norbert's when six shirtless, overweight Englishmen squeezed in alongside women and children (and a man with a bruised back). Those who dared to mention the stench coming off the fat naked torsos were given looks that could kill.  Marmaris makes its tourist income at a high cost.

It's my town too

Inside the old town, where the sun doesn't shine

Come November, when the tourists go home, things change for the better. We'll be happy to be back in Marmaris then....if and when we get out of here. It's not only Alex's back keeping us tethered to the marina dock. There's a pesky problem with a leaking CAT pump which goes back to the workshop for a third time later today. Then next week it's bayram, Sacrifice Feast, when traditionally families would slaughter a sheep (think back to Abraham and his son). They make a meal of the long public holiday, sheep or no sheep, as we do of Easter. More fodder for the Pause.

The heart of town, looking back up into the hills
 I'm holding onto the memory of the turtle. Ian and Cathy stayed on in Deep Bay all week after we left - and report that the turtle frolics around Sea Cloud at least twice a day. I like the thought of a turtle frolicking and look forward to getting back into a bit of frolicking myself.

Bronze hand from the ancient city of Knidos


  1. it's not an apples-for-apples comparison, but you'll be glad to know that the sunburned Kiwi tourist flesh on display here in Fiji is a lot less unsightly then that of Tribe Manchester...with exceptions.

    By the way, what's a CAT pump?

  2. It's a high pressure water pump - and here I thought that everyone (except me) knew about these things! It is an essential part of our watermaker kit, and though we can do without the watermaker, the absence of the pump breaks the circuit which has implications for pickling and longevity of those expensive smart tubes called membranes. Got it??

  3. Hi Alex and Diana, Love the description of the beautiful southern coast of Turkey and realising how much we missed. Enjoy the change in the weather. I looked forward to rain all summer but we left too early. Maybe we'll stay longer next year. look after your selves and your backs! Sandy

    1. Rain aplenty now...and the wind changes direction too! Autumn is a glorious season, and we're making it go further this year. Recommend it to you, for sure.