Updated: Mar 26, 2022
Well, I’m now planted in Turkey’s ‘mini-France’ Riviera, little place called Kos, just southwest of the conurbation of Antalya. I've included a picture of the little town's 2,200 year-old amphitheatre. It held an audience of 4,000 so, as a result, they guesstimate the town's population at 12,000 in 200 BC . . . normally their amphitheatres were built to accommodate 1/3 of the population.
There are more three-star hotels here than there are plastic water-bottles discarded in the Greek and Roman ruins. Each hotel boasts a Turkish breakfast which consists of little packages of cheeses, olives, a kind-of shredded wiener, tea, lots of tea, cherry jam and as much bread as a squirrel’s family can eat.
But who wants to eat anyway. It’s hot . . . 35 to 38 degrees starting in around 10am and finally cooling to a frosty 28 degrees by 7pm. Shade . . . my kingdom for shade! and a breezy place to sit. I’d throw in my Tundra as well.
I think if they’d dial down the temperature a bit, we – tourists - would appreciate their seaside resorts a touch more . . . but, no. The temperature was set in 365 BC and no amount of ballot-casting can change this course.
Speaking of which . . . there ARE tourists here. 65 per cent are from Ukraine . . . 30 per cent from Turkey, mainly Istanbul . . . 4.998 per cent from States, Europe, England . . . .001 per cent from Canada. (I did a poll today.)
Yes, it’s a lonely world to be hearing about the Oilers being shut down in four games. Oddly, no one around here seems to care much! When I attempt explaining the concept of ice and hockey they look rather perplexed, shrugging and pointing hesitantly to quickly-melting cubes in their drinks.
Who knows what they’re saying when I leave the room. (The next time I come in everyone stops talking . . . and bursts out laughing when I take my leave, so I think I know.) What I would do to induce a hail storm here for three minutes. Three minutes is all I’d need!
So, I have nothing to report really (as you can see) – I’m just wasting time, hiding from the sun, and thought I’d waste a bit of yours as well.
Something a little funny happened this afternoon though.
This morning at 9 I decided to take a 9-kilometer hike along the edge of a peninsula, jutting out into the Mediterranean on the north-west end of Kos. I have remarkable energy at 9am . . . which seems to fizzle out by 9:30am - the sun making a mockery of any cool intentions.
Although this Lycian Way trail is above the shore line, I had planned to get to the beach at some point and jump into the sea. Surely there would be little pathways down to the water – surely. But this proved very difficult to do . . . and as the morning wore on and the heat became increasingly angrier, I became more and more desperate to find a way to one of the little bays below.
Much of the water property is privately owned and is not friendly to miserly travelers with little to contribute . . . but where there’s a will . . .
Now faithful and gentle reader, we’re at the part of the story where you might want to turn away, head back to the first boring paragraph from which we began. We're coming to a bit of an uncomfortable part...
In other words, completely embarrassing for the normal person.
I saw from my trail above the shoreline, a way – seemingly – towards the sea . . . through the thorny bushes, I caught glimpses of tables and even some sand and movement. I could hear voices below. But I had no idea how they got down there but . . .
I figured if the beach was somewhat exclusive . . . well, perhaps I could discover a ‘back’ entrance and no one would notice another body. (My body was noticed – spoiler alert.) But I figured it would be like crashing a wedding – everyone thinks that you’re with someone or other . . . in their merriment, even the bride and groom figure you’re with someone or other. And being a Canadian, surely, makes me special. Aren’t Canadians delightfully special? All I needed was a ten-minute swim, that’s all for pete's sake.
Speaking of merriment, I could hear laughter and commotion down below as I bushwhacked my way through thorns and thistles and sharp rock. It was tough sledding. That water had better be good, I thought more than once.
I knew I was close, the surf somersaulting the tiny pebbles on the shore; but before I burst through the last series of tall greenery, I steadied myself, calmed myself, groomed myself – kinda, and casually backed through the two remaining bushes – like I was meant to be there - . . . and turned around.
Yeah . . .
I heard eeks and shreeks . . . and not the kind the Beatles heard in 1964. Eeks - more like panic. Shreeks - more like fleeing. Split seconds were spinning chaos with my understanding.
I had stumbled into a nudist-beach-colony. So far almost two seconds had passed since I had backed into the party. But wait! I had stumbled into a woman’s nudist beach! All this because I wanted a cool swim and a leisurely walk along the beach!
I averted my eyes and stammered – “sorry, sorry” . . .
“Only womans!” . . . “Only womans!". . . I heard again and again as I was escorted by clothed people up a long driveway and off the property and back on my miserable trail.
Apparently, the Turkish men’s beach was up the road.
The Lycian Way is a pilgrimage for those searching truth and meaning and energy and direction . . .
I find myself quite distracted at times - and so much for the leisurely walk along the beach and the cool swim.
And, as always, I miss my children.