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Chris Sayer’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Location: Antalya, Turkey

MapFurther along the Mediterranean coast, east from Kas, the road is cut into the side of mountains that fall into the sea, giving the most incredible views at every turn. It is still the extravaganza of blue in both the sea and the sky that we saw yesterday. A huge city appears in the distance, announcing itself with an alarming panorama.

Antalya is a large sprawling city, the largest Turkish sea resort on the Med, population one and a quarter million. Its main attraction is an ancient Roman marina that is still surrounded by a protective Roman stone wall, and associated stone structures of a similar age. With a rest day in hand, we were treated to a 3-hour cruise from the harbour along the coast to the Lower Duden Falls. Dropping anchor adjacent to the falls, most of us jumped overboard for a swim in the beautiful warm waters of the Med Sea.

I didn't want to get out, it was a surreal time - swimming in clear, blue, deep, warm water, as a big boat with white wine on ice and a whole bunch of new and old friends waited for me. Passenger jets flew overhead every few minutes after taking off from the local international airport. Before me were high cliffs and a cascading waterfall that roared to make its presence known. In the distance across the wide bay, the Taurus Mountains provided a multilayered backdrop as its peaks faded into the distance. It's obvious why this city, known as the Turkish Riviera, is so popular with tourists.

Tomorrow we continue heading east along Turkey's south coast. Tomorrow, however, will also be a significant day, for it was this day seven years ago that my motorcycle circuit of Turkey came unstuck. Barish and I have discussed finding the offending corner where the accident happened, as apparently the road now bypasses these twisty bends. We’ll see how we go, but it will be a strange and confronting return.