Monday 18th January 2021
We woke up to a very cold morning. On those days its hard to get out of the warm bed. I wrote my morning pages and some of my blog and sorted my pictures. It all takes up quite a bit of time. I take notes in my diary every day as to what we did and where went and I take a lot of pictures too. When I write the blog I go back through my diary then I have to copy and paste into our Patreon account and to our website. The pictures need to be sorted for duds and good ones and then be saved into different folders as its hard to figure out what pictures where taken where with us moving about so much. The uploading and internet connections are often dodgy or we are low on data, so the amount of times that all ends up in loosing the work I have just done, because the internet conks out or the images not uploading because the connection is bad or really slow. Once its done its nice to have the record though, not just so share our experiences with family, friends and people who enjoy following our adventure but also for ourselves. When we look back at all the different experiences we had over the past 11 months and all the places we have seen we find it hard to track and remember already sometimes what was where.
We had a walk with Jaynee and David in a little bay across from our boats. It looked like an abandoned resort and had a few ruins out on top of the hill. There was a fair bit of clambering over rocks, with me now being double anxious after Tim’s fall, paranoid that something could happen to one of our precious crew. The views from the top of the hill where amazing. The day finished with rain coming in.
The rain was followed by a sunny day with not too much blowy wind, something I had been waiting for for ages. The water was clear enough to make water and our dirty washing pile was huge – so I declared it being a wash day. Also on the previous day Jaynee told us that they had hot showers and upon enquiring with Tim how that was possible since we hadn’t motored anywhere (When we motor the hot water in the cylinder heats up) I found out that our generator can achieve the same thing. I thought for the past 11 months we could only have hot water if we are plugged in a marina or if we have had the motor going. It still takes a bit of petrol and about 20 minutes to heat our our small hot water cylinder. But in the winter months it isn’t all that appealing to stand naked in front of a tiny skin with a puddle of warm water from a kettle. So it was such a treat to not only have clean washing hanging off every nook on Polly in the sun, but to also get sparkling clean ourselves. I never knew how much joy and gratitude I could feel about having a 2 minute warm shower.
Our generator worked pretty hard that day. That little red piece of equipment is one of the most essentials on our boat. That morning we used it to make water with the water maker, to heat our hot water, to power the washing machine and to top up our batteries.
Luca and Tim went back to the blue cave for a dinghy ride as the go pro camera didn’t work last time we went. I made them wear their live jackets as it was exposed to the sea and I could feel the fear factor last time we saw it from the outside. I guessed the 2 daredevils would go into the cave without the scared mama bear in the dinghy and sure enough they dinghied in and saw bats and pulled up the dinghy on a little beach in the cave to take photos and footage.
We used our last drops of petrol in the generator that day and ran out of data, so a visit to Demre was on the cards the next day. David and Paul figured out we could park in a little bay and dinghy up a stream and walk to town to get data, petrol and groceries.
So the next morning at 9.15 we left for 2 nm sail to Demre. We took the dinghy up a stream and found a rubbish bin to dispose of our rubbish on the way – a constant for us as we only have space for 2-3 rubbish bags and it starts to stink after a few days. Often we are in places where there are no bins to dispose of rubbish.
We parked our dinghies by a little café that was closed and walked to town to find data, food and petrol. It was quite a long walk, so we hoped to find a taxi for the ride back, especially since we needed our petrol containers filled – too heavy to carry. After doing our rounds in town we asked a Marine shop by the main road if they could call us a taxi and a lovely driver took us and all our groceries bags back to the dinghy. He then took Tim and the petrol containers back to the petrol station to get them filled and delivered all of that back safely to the dinghy. Once we had our groceries, the petrol containers and ourselves all stacked in the dinghy we motored back to Polly.
As we arrived at the boat a gulet approached our yacht and a couple with their young son said hello and said they had watched our channel and where really interested in our lifestyle and would love to see the boat. Tim went to the port to check in with them while I stored away our groceries. They told Tim that they had been in quarantine and been tested for Covid and keep to themselves. They are renting an apartment for a month in Demre to wait out Covid and lockdown in Israel and where hoping to return there to see their family and friends before continuing their travels in Mexico. They had their own rental car and where by themselves on the gulet without other guests so Tim thought it was safe to ask them over for a coffee and show them the boat. With Covid numbers still high, we don’t usually socialise apart from our little bubble. It feels really weird as meeting people and exchanging stories is one of the best of things of this journey. To feel edgy about human connection and see everyone as potential virus carrier just sucks.
We had a lovely catchup with them exchanging our travel stories and they loved to see our floating home. Its hard to imagine how it feels to be in a big yacht if you have just seen pictures.
The anchorage felt a bit rolly and the skipper from the gulet with the couple had told Tim that parking up at the town key is free and that people where friendly. So we upped the anchor to check it out. It was quite shallow though with rocks and the tide potentially lowering more, so we decided to free anchor again.
Once we where safely anchored we made dinner and snuggled in, as the nights get really cold at times now.
The next day we called our lovely taxi driver again to take us up to the ancient town of Myra. Myra is an organised site with an entrance and entrance fee. Now that Tim has his residency card he can buy a museum card for 60 TL and get free entrance to all public museum sites. As compared to the 45 TL for each of us for just this one site. I think this is such a great idea. I wished New Zealand would adopt a similar program for locals to visit local attractions at a reduced price.
The 2 main parts of the site are the ancient tombs and the Acropolis. Here are a few excerpts from a little brochure:
“Myra, originally called Muri. The origin of the the city’s name is the myrtle plant, from which the renowned Myra oil (Myrrh) is produced. The city is associated with Artemis, the goddess of the forests and the moon. As one of Lycia’s most important settlements, in the Classical Period, Myra was a member of the Lycian Union established at the beginning of the 2nd century BC. Even at the beginning of the first century BC, Myra was considered a metropolis.
Myra’s notable residents include St. Nicholas, who lived taught and died in the city. During the reign of Theodosius II, Myra was the capital of Lycia and a regional metropolis, religious and administrative center. However in the 13th century AD, an enormous flood buried Myra under alluvium soil. Myra and the port of Adriake owe both their existence and destruction to the Myros River.
Today’s Demre rests on alluvial filler ranging from 4 to 10 meters in depth covering the ancient period of Myra. Excavation studies and geomorphological investigations point to the presence of numerous remains under modern Demre, including a large – and most likely, well preserved structure below and alluvial cover.
The most magnificent building group from Myra’s classical age are the rock tombs. The represent an important element of Lycian classical culture, with rock facades that mimic Myra’s fourth and fifth century BC wooden architecture. Variations in the type and quality of the tombs offer information about the social status of their inhabitants. Mainly dating from the fourth century BC, 23 tombs have inscriptions, 13 are Lycian and 10 are ancient Greek.
The Myra theatre was the largest and most splendid of the region, with a capacity for more than 10,000 people. The roman theatre was completely rebuilt, leaving the much smaller Helenistic theatre underneath. The cavea, divided into 13 kerkides, has 38 rows of seating, it is placed on two-story vaulted galleries in the east and west and on the slope at the central axis. In the three story stage, friezes are engraved with a Ganimed, and eagle, Mithras and Medusa, along with a wide range of masks, siren and garlands carried by maenads. For the first time in Lycia, the outer surface of the stage building features a garland frieze with reliefs of various gods inside. “
Its so special to these amazing places and the site was really well preserved and well kept. One thing that stood out straight away where the carvings of masks with open mouths. I caught the kids posing in front of marble slap taking selfies with the same open mouthed expression. The site of the tombs looked very similar to the rock tombs in Fethiye. Another thing I noticed is the impressive size of the Theatre and the beautifully preserved rock carvings.
We walked back in to Demre and bought ourselves a doner for lunch and then went looking for a barber for the boys. Their heads looked rather wooly and I had seen a barber the day before. We saw a modern looking barber shop and Tim asked if they had space. It turned out it was a barber academy and that all haircuts where free as the barbers where students. While the boys had their cuts Nina and I went to a nearby shop to buy a few bits an pieces. And then we called our trusty taxi driver to take us back to our dinghy with the boys feeling a bit cold around the ears.
If you enjoy reading my blogs and watching our videos you might want to consider buying us coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Its easy, safe, quick and we really appreciate your support.