Kamel had organised a private boat hire for us as we didnd’t want to be part of a large tour with a regimented timetable. Ramazan, the captain of our boat, came to collect us at 9.45 and we followed him down to the harbour. He took us first to the mud baths which are reputed to have healing properties. Entrance here would normally cost 4TL per person but we explained we only wanted to look around for 5 minutes – imagine paying for the privilege of covering yourself in mud but there seemed to be plenty of people who wanted to do just that!
Back on the boat we then headed inland towards the lake. When Ramazan cut the engine of the boat and we drifted through the reed beds the song of the warblers and croaking of the frogs was deafening. We then headed back downstream where we stopped near another boat (behind the beach) hoping to lure a Caretta turtle to take the blue crabs offered as bait, but no luck.
We went on to the beach and had a drink. I dipped my toes in the water but it was cold and the sand was almost too hot to walk on.
It was breeding season and there was a stretch of no-mans land on the beach which you could walk across but not lie and sunbathe on as this was where the nests were. Back on the boat we tried again to see if we could lure a turtle and this time luck was on our side with at least 2 turtles putting in an appearance.
On the way back I asked Ramazan if he knew of any restaurants serving crab at the moment. He said he did and took us to the Safran restaurant, right on the water’s edge. We had a lovely, leisurely lunch sitting at the waterside with views across the river towards the Lycian tombs carved into the rockface and my crab casserole was delicious.
We walked back into town to where we had left our car and then returned to the hotel where Chris had a swim before we left.