The Call to Adventure

The lights of Kas rise steeply from the waterfront. The moon reflects from the bay’s rippling black waters. The air is humid, yet cool, the streets alive with late-night chatter and the furtive movements of cats.

We are awoken by the call to prayer, a tumbling cascade of Eastern scales and semitones.

Kas is transformed by day, the sea and sky a vivid blue, with it hard to determine where they meet. The impression is of a vast turquoise dome. Sumptuous scents of grilled meats and spiced concoctions drift up from street vendors and restaurants.

kas

We stretch and apply sunscreen, preparing for an action-packed week of activities.

We hike trails through the hilly countryside, winding, rocky, coastal and lined with lemon trees and scrub. We pass goat-herders, local men and women dressed in older fashions, guiding their precious flocks to new pastures. We later bike down these same roads, wind massaging our faces and tousling our hair.

cycling

We eat at Saklikent, one of the world’s largest canyons, in a charming restaurant, where a stream runs beneath and puppies gambol around your feet.

We dive beneath the crystalline waves of Kas’ coast, revealing a blossoming ecosystem of coral and fish. There are countless species and countless colours. A barracuda flashes past, streamlined and swift, scales shimmering in sunlight that seems undiminished even below the surface.

diving

We pull on wetsuits, tighten boots, and venture into the canyon. At first it’s simply wading through cool, knee-deep water. This gives way to swimming, hopping from rock to rock, and leaping from high ledges into churning pools below. Canyoning is an adrenaline-fuelled, high-octane narcotic - we end our day exhausted and content.

canyoning

We climb into kayaks and take to the sea. The rhythmic splashing of paddles carving through water, waves lapping against the hull, sun shining down from a searing Turkish sky. We glide over the ruins of an ancient Lycian city, stopping for lunch on a remote island, eating sweet peppers and grilled chicken skewers. We hike to a ruined castle. On the return journey we spot a turtle, just below the surface.

kayaking

We depart regretfully, with the sun still beating down and the call-to-prayer echoing distantly around the mountains.

kas2

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