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Loco for Lokum: on assignment inTurkey The lowdown on winning the 2011 World Nomads/Rough Guides Scholarship...

How I Learnt Not to Kayak – A Sojourn on the Mediterranean

TURKEY | Saturday, 18 June 2011 | Views [1637]

After a long drive from the Taurus Mountains and a short but sweet stopover at the Dogan Hotel in Antalya, we finally reached the bobbing turquoise waves of the Mediterranean, coupled with, thankfully, a sticky shot of sunshine. We spent the afternoon lounging on a charter boat, diving into the crystal clear ocean, dancing outrageously to a mixture of Turkish pop and Michael Jackson and mastering the art of wooden spoon castanets, before piling back into our trusty tour bus and finishing the last leg of our journey to Kaş.
Swimming in the Mediterranean
A bubbly fishing-village-come-tourist-haunt, Kaş has a laid back ambiance enforced somewhat by the crippling cobblestone hills that soar up into the surrounding mountains. Characterized by its streets of quirky handicraft shops, pebble beaches and abundance of seafood restaurants, the town makes a perfect backdrop for unwinding and recouping after a long journey.
But first things first. Adventure trumps relaxation on a BikeHike tour and we were soon launching into the water from Kaş harbor and paddling the Mediterranean in a rainbow of brightly colored Kayaks.
Now, not being one at ease in rippling waves and unsteady vessels, I was less than enthusiastic about folding myself into a kayak for a 4 hour paddle. Truth is, I can’t think of a better way to ensure disaster than sending me out to sea strapped into a bobbing plastic tube and the only great surprise was that everyone (including poor Kate, who was stuck in the tandem kayak with me) survived not only intact, but unharmed. Of course it wasn’t all smooth sailing - steering a kayak, it turns out, is not a skill that comes naturally to me, my body was clearly not designed to sit still for more than 10 minutes and it turns out it is possible to get a nasty bout of sea sickness in a kayak. By the time we pulled up on Limanagzi Beach for lunch, I had decided that, beautiful as the scenery was, my Kayaking experience was best not prolonged.
Sadly, my choice to ride back in the rescue boat did little to sooth my nausea, with waves so choppy that the 2-hour voyage was more akin to riding a bucking bronco and left my thighs with the burn of a hardcore spin class.
But make no mistake, kayaking may not be top of my list of ‘things to do again in a hurry', but I still had a lot of fun trying. 
Our guide, Turan, showing off the latest kayaking fashion

Tags: beaches, boat, istanbul, kayak, mediterranean, sea, travel writing, travel writing scholarship, turkey

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