After breakfast this morning, we disembarked and boarded a minibus which will take us to the ancient site of Kaunos. The boat will sail along the coast and pick us up later this afternoon.
The scenery is dramatic, with steep hills, pine trees, lakes, pomegranate trees and orange groves. It was about an hour’s drive to Kaunos and this was a perfect day for exploring this well preserved site. The sun was warm and bright, but there was a cool breeze.
Serdar has worked on this site for thirty years – he began here as a student and did his master’s thesis on one of the round temples. He was the perfect guide, so knowledgeable and so passionate about the site. We also visited the famous cave tombs carved into the side of the mountains, similar to Petra, but much older, dating from the 4th century BC.
We dined at lunch with a local Turkish woman called Seher, who lives in the tiny agricultural village of Candir. She entertained us in her immaculate home, and we dined on her patio under the grape arbour. She demonstrated some of the dishes she makes for her family – rolled grape leaves (sarma) and a stuffed chicken and rice dish with mint and a liberal dose of the ubiquitous red pepper paste. It was a delicious meal, casual, tasty and full of local flavour. Seher’s cat, Smoke, ate the crumbs under the table and stole our hearts.
After this late lunch, we drove along a hairpin curved road down to the ocean – with spectacular views of hills and water- and met up once more with our boat, looking cool and pretty at anchorage in the harbour.