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Chris Sayer’s Travel Diary

Monday, 09 May 2016

Location: Kas, Turkey

MapNext, south to the quaint little port town of Kas. First, however, we had to cross the Taurus Mountains. I think we may have been spoilt with Morocco’s mighty mountains, for the peaks of the Taurus were not as high or spectacular, but the views became outstanding as we drove higher. Fertile valleys were growing crops or grazing animals on little family unfenced plots. We eventually came down out of the mountains to hit the Mediterranean coast, and I use the word “hit” quite literally. Coming around a bend to be greeted by a deep blue expansive sea, it really does smack you in the face, causing a sharp intake of breathe. The Med was as we remembered it seven years ago, a brilliant blue, with every connotation on the word “blue” that you can think of. The water is so clear that the shallows reveal whatever lies on the bottom, but the sea floats to the horizon in a blue vastness until it gives way to a blue cloudless sky.

Our Kas hotel is built into the side of a hill (appropriately called the Aqua Princess), and therefore takes in a commanding view from the balcony, bar and restaurant. Your gaze is drawn out to sea. Just a few kilometres away is the Greek island of Meis, which is the closest of all the Greek Islands of the Turkish coast. After checking in and a swim in the Med from the hotel’s own landing, we walked a short way into the town square for yet another delicious Turkish meal (haven’t had a bad one yet). We then scouted the square for a pub, and were drawn towards the origin of some loud music. The pub attendant had his laptop sitting on the bar which was plugged into a sizable P.A. system, belting out some very recognisable rock tunes. The place was empty, so we sat at some tables outside with a drink.

Jim Baba made a request from the barman (Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water”), and he was invited to find it on Youtube. Then it was Mike’s turn, and he found Chris Rea’s “Josephine” in honour of Josie in our tour group. He then issued a challenge to play more songs with girl’s names, so I found Status Quo’s “Caroline”, Pete chose Elvis Costello’s “Alison”, Jim got Pavlov’s Dog’s “Julia”, I chose Richard Clapton’s “Angelou”, Nick played Stevie Wright’s “Evie”. We realised that we were attracting a crowd.

We learned that one couple were from Holland, so Mike played Golden Earring’s “Radar Love”, and I played Focus’ “Hocus Pocus”. The Dutchies were most impressed. The crowd had grown some more. The Dutch guy requested AC/DC "Whole Lotta Rosie", so we then got into a whole spate of Australian rock – Midnight Oil, The Angels, Rose Tattoo, Skyhooks, Russell Morris, Billy Thorpe, and a couple for Phil, the token New Zealander of our group, with Dragon and Crowded House. The place had become packed (admittedly it was a small space), and I reckon the guy behind the bar was very happy to have a bunch of crazy Australians commandeer his music. He was too busy serving drinks to care anyway. It was a surreal two hours, playing some great Oz rock ‘n’ roll to a small cross-section of the world’s population in southern Turkey. They'd probably never heard the songs before, but some were up dancing and several thanked us for the music. We felt some patriotic pride for flying the flag.