Our first night on the boat was a lot more pleasant than expected. We watched the shooting stars from the upper deck, wrapped in our blankets, before dragging them behind us to our cabins, drifting off to the gentle rocking of the boat and the sound of peaceful nothingness.
We were up refreshingly early for hot cups of tea and coffee before we plunged into the first yoga class of the trip, and my first yoga class full stop.
Feeling well versed with our Sun Salutation, it finally worked and the clouds broke apart to reveal beautiful blue sky before breakfast as we set off to our next stop; Bozzukale.
Breakfast was a delicious spread of fresh fruit and veg, bread, honey, jams, yoghurt and eggs washed down with tea and fresh fruit juice. Feeling incredibly gluttonous, we clambered up on to the top deck to rest our full swollen bellies in the morning sunshine as we motored on.
Three hours later, a rocky, landscape surrounded by turquoise waters and guarded by a long-defeated castle, emerged from the sea. The deck hands and the captain leapt to work; effortlessly untying and tying knots and bounding back and forth from the front to the back of the boat, before we came to a gentle stop in the beautiful waters ready for lunch.
It’s typical of Turkish meals to have a vegan breakfast and lunch followed by meat for supper, so we were slightly worried (and especially Ben) that we would be left unsatisfied on the trip. Aytekin our Captain, also happened to double up as the chef and an experienced one at that. Having graduated from cooking school and subsequently working in the kitchens of 5-star hotels, our stomachs were in capable hands.
Couscous, salad, bread and green beans in a delicious tomato sauce had us all in food heaven, followed by fresh apricots.
We ate and chatted whilst the donkeys and cockerels on the island crowed and brayed.
Before long, it was time to capture the castle. In a James Bond-esque manner, the speed boat sped over to us to take us from the Gulet to the Jetty. I’d like to say I was standing there ready for it in a gown and heels, with The Gent next to me in bow tie and suit, but the reality was a little less glamorous;
Although, how fab are these amazing trainers – such a bargain too. I always find if I’m wearing amazing shoes or they have a great colour, it instantly improves my mood. This orange, just happens to be one of my favourites.
We climbed to the top of the Castle, marching up to the gates and hoping that we would be let in. We were. Standing in the hallway of the cool, imposing Roman Fortress. Pillars separated us from the sheer cliff and beautiful cooling water below. Guards stood in their helmets and metal breast plates holding spears to stop you entering certain rooms.
We chose our moment carefully before pouncing, wrestling the guards to the ground and attacking from the inside. There were a few minutes of struggle, before we came out victorious – surveying our new home…
The ruins are incredible – it’s so strange to me that there is this amazing ancient structure built by the Roman’s that’s just left to the elements and to nature. Gold diggers have visited this place on numerous occasions and dug holes into the rocks to find buried treasure that has long since been forgotten. Some have been successful, some have gone away empty handed. But there’s no doubt that this Island is magical. Huge insects jump from rock to rock while wild tortoises crawl about, trying to get away from the heat of the day.
After a while, we decided that Yacht life was more our style so handed the keys to the castle back to the Roman’s and set off to our boat for a dip in the ocean before leaving Bozukkale for our next Island. But not before a spot of afternoon tea…
When you’re moored up on islands, small boats filled with goodies will pull up along-side you selling their goods. From dresses to nuts to ice creams, you name it, you can buy it on the water. The ladies throw up garments for you to try as everything is so beautifully displayed on the front of their boats.
The anchor was hoisted for the last time that day and we set off, chasing the sun to the next island.
We got there in time for a last dip before the sun set. Hanging over the edge of the boat with our wet hair drying in the evening warmth, we dangled strings over the boat to catch fresh fish.
This island (Adabogazi Cove) was my favourite that we visited. We spent the evening watching the boys playing backgammon and drinking Raki (not me, I’ll stick to Champagne) whilst watching the three resident bunnies (one white, one brown and one black & white) hopping back and forth across the beach. Our evening fitness session was at 6pm, just before dinner. Every evening it was a hilarious affair that had us all collapsing onto our mats in fits of giggles.
I wish I had taken more photos of the beach and island to show you, but the camera was below deck somewhere and I was just too relaxed… until the food came.
This picture just sums up the mood of the entire trip and brings me so many smiles. These two; Jill and Ali were hilarious and kept us entertained and laughing throughout. It’s so true that you don’t just bring a tan back from holiday, but so much more.
The sun set over the boat as we all climbed on to the top deck, once again, lying back on the loungers to watch the stars appear one by one in the inky sky. As we felt ourselves drifting off, we crawled back to our cabins and let the sleep win.