Day 4: Swimming Greece to Turkey

Around day 4 we all start to get a little tired ! Lots of swimming, sun, dinners out, talking , walking, not to mention the odd Gin & Tonic. It all adds up.

In fact, instead of Swim Trek, Ali and Helen call it Gin Trek! Love it.

Sensibly, Swim Trek have built in a rest half day. Knock us out with a big swim in the morning, great lunch, then an afternoon off.

Perfect.

Our goal today was to swim from Greece to Turkey. See the map above.

Looking out from Kas, in the distance you can see an island. It’s actually a Greek island and we are going to swim from it towards Kas. Two crossings from island to island then along the coast to a lighthouse.

We set off at 8.30 and the conditions were perfect. Calm waters. Barely any chop. We motored across from Greece.

Pink group first, then the mighty orange group followed by the yellows ( the fast swimmers!) The idea is we all catch each other and finish together.

Off we went. We touched the rocks of Greece and set off. It was perfect.

The swim went according to plan and we all more or less finished together. What an exhilarating feeling.

But not everyone rested!

Free diver Diana gave B1 a lesson on how to free dive. She’s amazing in diving deep. Pam lost her googles overboard and Diana was the only one able to go deep enough to rescue them.

Today we had not only a beautiful lunch but a beer ! No swimming this afternoon.

Eoin produced a brochure for a spa not far from the hotel. Who was going to have a Hamam? A Turkish spa treatment! Yes said 9 women.

Something to look forward to.

After arriving back at the Marina, Betty and I walked to the Friday markets. Good idea, until we got a little lost and walked further than we should in the searing heat. Finally we found it and were impressed by the variety of beautiful coloured fruits and vegetables.

I bought a Turkish towel and some Turkish delight and we made our way back to the hotel to prepare for our 3pm spa Hamam.

Four of us left together Sth African Pam, US Betty, Irish Noirin and myself. The others were coming later.

The spa was in a modern building near the marina. We were greeted and shown to the change room and then into the sauna wrapped in striped Turkish towels. Ten minutes was more than enough for me.

Next was the wash room. Two marble slabs awaited Pam and I. Onto the slab in the buff and the exfoliating began. She had on what looked like a pair of Brillo gloves. It was harsh! Then came the cream wash and lots of buckets of water. Next was the bubble treatment.

Not us! Photos from the brochure.

A large bag was filled with water and then swung around and emptied onto you until you were covered with bubbles. The massage continued until ……… I felt her grab my ankles and pull. Wow. I was as slippery as an eel and flew along the marble slab. I thought I’d end up on the floor. Then she pushed and back I flew the other way. This happened three times. I screamed I’m not sure why! But it was fun! And scary.

Next step was being helped up and sat next to the fountain and having containers of water sloshed over my head.

Next Pam & I were shuffled out under a bucket of icy water which was tipped all over us. Brrrr.

Recovery time on a lounge wrapped in a towel was a treat from the trauma.

Next up a great massage and face mask. Much more restful though she found my poor aching swimming muscles.

What an experience. When in Turkey try a Hamam. You will be refreshed and entertained all at once.

An hour of recovery time at the hotel before regrouping and heading off to a beach bar for dinner.

Last swim day tomorrow

Day 2. Perfect Day Perfect Swims

We’re getting into routine. Up, dressed, sunscreen on, breakfast – which includes fruit, yoghurt and lots of vegetables and cheeses – we would consider lunch but here it’s breakfast. And delicious.

Then the walk down through the town to the boat. It’s a very different atmosphere in the morning. Very sleepy. All the party people are still asleep.

US swim buddies Zippy Bazza and the Silver Speedo, now B1& B2 keep up the banter of jokes and everyone is starting to relax and get to know each other. They are an interesting talented bunch of people. And some seriously good swimmers.

Taking advantage of our swim instruction from last night we all worked on our stroke as we swim along the coast. Especially Rachel! She has improved so much already. Ali, our fish lady, is a keen fish spotter and keeps us informed.

But it’s the bat cave that gives a thrill. In we go with the wave behind us. It’s a deep cave with enough light to spot the bats flying around above us. I don’t think they enjoyed being disturbed.

The 2.5km swim finishes in a perfect bay. While lunch is prepared we scatter around the boat, chatting or reading or taking an extra dip.

Today – yet another delicious selection of salads this time with little beef patties. It’s such a treat.

More rest on the sunlounges. Mustafa points out a turtle which gets a few back into the water. John gives Rachel another swim lesson. Effie plays around with Eoin. Altogether we very restful.

We tackle a 3km Swim in the afternoon but it’s easy swimming, especially compared to yesterdays 7 island crossings – which are always a little tougher to swim. Check out the map of the crossings.

By 4pm we are back at the Marina and into the restaurant to order ‘takeaway’ Turkish style. (We’re going to pick it up later on our way to the amphitheater ) Of course that involved a beer and lots of chat.

Tonight John, our guide, suggested a visit to the amphitheater, right on dusk to enjoy the view It dates back to 1st century BC. It is magnificent right by the sea. It’s hard to imagine enough people living in the area to fill it.

We climbed to the top, the cheap seats and enjoyed the view and the food – though B1& B2 went off for their own dinner. A boys date? We wondered. Swim Tactic talk? Planning their song for the concert perhaps ?

Yes, John wanted us all to perform. As night fell the stars came out. And I’m not talking in the sky. John first. He performed a Ballad followed by Irish Eoin who sang a traditional song and was quickly joined by Noirin who has a strong lilting voice. Next the Aussies. Not shy, but unsure what to sing. After waltzing Matilda we offered up Kookaburra Sits in an Old Gum Tree. For those who don’t know- that is a fun Aussie song about our famous bird. It comes with a strange second verse.

The concert continued with the USA’s B1& B2 who sang up a storm along with Betty who provided the real talent. She followed up with a ‘hand on heart’ performance of America the Beautiful.

Others sitting in the amphitheater either left or decided to join in. A trio of Young Turks got going with a traditional song followed by a hip swivel song and dance and dragged Betty in to join them.

The English were hesitant but warmly encouraged and the South Africans had us drumming.

The night was in full swing. What the locals thought ? We didn’t care. We were having fun.