Our second full day of cruising took us accross the Gulf of Fethiye and to it’s eastern shores. Emerging from Keppi Creek we motored through the narrow channel between the mainland and Domuz Island. After drifting for half an hour or so in the glassy waters beyond, the breeze piped up right on cue and we had a splendid reach across the gulf, probably the best of the week.
Within a couple of houses the eastern shores were drawing near. This area is far more barren than the western side, rockier, more rugged and somehow seems much more exposed to the open ocean. You feel as if you could so easily plot course for the coast of Egypt, then through the Suez canal and on to unimaginable exotica.
We did none of these things however, and we turned north and headed for the anchorage of Karacaoren. Karacaoren is protected from the open sea only by a thin and low lying isthmus to the south. It can feel a bit exposed but the weather was calm in the late afternoon. At the tip of the isthmus is an island on which are the ruins of a Greek settlement, possibly a monastery, it looked very enticing indeed and I set off in the tender with my camera to explore. The only possible landing place was a set of steps which must have once led from a wooden dock up in to the complex. However on closer approach the first step had become a precarious stepping stone and the characteristic jagged volcanic rocks which surrounded it made landing impossible.
The restaurant at Karacaoren, which shares its name, is one of the most characterful in the area. Perched on a steep sloping shore and overhanging the water; it’s rustic and rickety and puts you in mind of Tortola in the days of piracy in a way few places in the Caribbean do today. There is a well stocked bar, a small market selling fruit, bread and other local delights, and a fabulous restaurant with a dramatic wood fired oven. Being slightly elevated, the view from the terrace over the small bay is sublime and the whole place is teeming with animals. Cats, seemingly dozens of them, patrol the dining area for scraps, vermin and scratches under the chin. Goats and chickens roam the hillsides. Birds and butterflies teem in the trees. The overall impression is of a paradise, a land of milk and honey indeed.