Well it’s bloody hot, no surprise there then.
The sages tell us that the hottest period is between July 15th and August 15th not sure about that I’ve never been one to overly rely on sages and I’m pretty sure I can remember some pressure cooker style early Septembers too. In Gökseki, where I live, a good many of the older folk have retreated to the sister village inland and higher up where the summer temperatures are a little cooler and the animals are more comfortable.
Expats, of course, remain here and fry.
Going into Kaş centre during the day is pretty unpleasant so anyone with a grain of sense who doesn’t have to work in a bar, shop or café hits the beaches and Kaş comes alive at night when everyone is showered, cooled and in strolling mode. That equation is also further complicated at the moment by the recent commencement of Ramadan or Ramazan as it is known here. The holy month began a few days ago so those observing will be denying themselves food and drink during daylight hours for the duration. Many of my neighbours are observing so strenuous work has to be a non-starter as I have just found out with the postponement of a building job until the guy doing it can properly fuel himself whilst working. On balance probably a good thing as a workman’s corpse is pretty high on my list of things I don’t want on my property. That’s closely followed by a scorpion or two but for me that’s wishful thinking as I found quite a big bugger in my front room last week the killing of which is not advisable in flip flops but a hammer does the job more than adequately.
It is of course the season for visitors, our English family and friends tend to flock here in numbers during the hotter months and this year has been no exception especially with the weather we all keep hearing reported from England. One recent visitor, a friend of ours, celebrated his 50th birthday whilst in Kaş and to celebrate decided that the paragliding experience with the Bougainville team was the way forward.
In all the time I’ve lived here (getting on for five years now) I’ve never had a go not particularly because I was nervous of it (well maybe a bit) it’s just something that I haven’t got round to that I’ve always said “I’ll do soon”. So he’s up for it and it would be rude of me not to accompany and Angela a friend of ours felt pretty much the same as me so the three of us turned up for our flight. We were met by Veske and his team who immediately put us all at ease by telling us that two of them had nigh on twenty years flying experience and the other over seven. That sort of information kind of makes you feel better. So it’s a twenty minute drive up to Cukurbağ to the take-off site and we all get kitted out with flying suit, helmet, knee and elbow pads.
Photo opportunities are taken and off we go one by one. There’s no scary edge you have to go over as some might imagine it’s more of a gradual slope which you walk down and after a few paces hey presto you’re airborne. Never has the Steve Miller song “Fly Like An Eagle” been more appropriate, it’s a remarkable experience as you soar above Kaş looking down from above the Sleeping Giant on everything below. If you’re going to Paraglide then you may as well do it here, the views are staggering and are a constant reminder to me as to why I live here in the first place, what’s not to like? The flight lasts 25 minutes or so and remains fascinating for me as we come down lower as I can pick out friend’s houses and various landmarks. A couple of friends and my wife are waiting for us by the harbour to watch us land cameras at the ready and I of course make the most almighty cock up of it failing to get my legs going on contact with the ground and end up in bundle with my pilot on top of me.
All that is damaged though is my pride and we are quickly escorted back to the air conditioned TV room at Bougainville where we are shown the DVDs that have been made by the pilots of our individual experiences. We gobble them up and off to Café Corner to tell tales of brave deeds.
Bottom line? My friend had a 50th birthday experience he will never forget. Ace.
He could potentially have had another one too; he was staying at the hotel district and swimming most days at Little Pebble beach. One day he heard some yelps coming from the sea and was amazed to see an extremely large (size of a dining table he reckons) turtle having a good nibble at the backsides of a couple of swimmers. You couldn’t really make that one up could you? Cue a rash of comments along the lines of “revenge of the killer turtles” “ninja turtles attack” etc. etc. A discussion around the subject certainly livened up an evening spent in the bar and needless to say the size of the turtle gradually increased as the beers went down. I’m pretty sure this won’t gain Kaş the reputation of being the Amityville (town where Jaws is set) of the Eastern Mediterranean but it certainly kept a group of us interested for a night or so. No recent reports of any incidents though maybe the turtle’s gone to nibble the folk of Demre?
One thing that has certainly kept me happy for the last few weeks has been Eurosport’s great coverage of the Tour de France. I’ve been pretty much glued to it each afternoon as the incredible Bradley Wiggins has earned his place amongst the British sporting greats of all time with an astonishing performance to become the first British rider to win this gruelling competition and ride into Paris in yellow. Kind of puts the histrionics of some of the footballers we all see weekly into perspective. No rest at the end either he now moves on to targeting Olympic gold, sportswise he’s made my summer. Well that and seeing Andy Murray who doesn’t fit in to to the “Tim the Toff” mould quite so easily only succumb in the Wimbledon final to the best tennis player of all time.
On to charity matters. Kaş for Kids, mentioned previously in this place continues to support local children in need. On August 20th, which is the end of Ramadan, they are holding a fund raising sale on the harbour. If you or a friend or relative will be in the area anytime between now and then your help with raffle prize donations would be very much appreciated. A duty free bottle or toiletries for example, anything, however small can be taken to Soveda Emlak (Estate Agents) which is on the harbour. All money raised goes directly towards helping local children who are in difficult circumstances much needed practical help such as buying school uniform and shoes, warm clothes and baby items and transportation to Antalya for consultant appointments. Once again any help would be marvellous. Thanks.