Before we go any further let’s just clear one thing up: the spelling of this island. Why does it have so many different spellings? I’m not sure but a quick Google does give a good explanation of the different spellings and origins of the name(s) . In the meantime I’ve settled with Castelorizon because it’s easy to remember (think ‘castle on the horizon’).
Factoid #1: David Gilmour brought out a superb ambient Pink Floydesque album a couple of years ago called ‘On An Island’ and the first track of the album is called ‘Kastelorizo’. Apparently it was inspired by a night he spent on the island. And inspired this island is…
Castelorizon is supposedly the eastern-most Greek island (doesn’t Cyprus count?) yet it might as well be part of Turkey because of its close proximity to the Turkish Lycian coastline. It’s just an hour’s motor-sail away from Kas and is useful not only for doing a visa-run but also to stock up on non-Turkish wine and cheese, which can get a little tedious if you’re a fan of either. Or both.
Castelorizon is beautiful. It’s also very tiny with a population of just 200. Many of the residents are Greek-Australian as Castelorizon’s ancestors went to Australia a couple of generations ago and are now returning, thus investing a bit of money into property development. This isn’t necessarily a great thing though as the island does not produce its own water and has not a scrap of soil on it to grow produce. Everything is imported. Everything. Including the 2kg of gouda and 12 5lt boxes of wine we purchased!
“Factoid #2: ‘gouda’ is pronounced ‘gow-der’, not ‘goo-der’, but then we knew that anyway. I’ve even been to Gouda, so I should know ;)”
We spent a few days at anchor to the west of the main port, watching other boats come and go, including an angry Frenchman who shouted at us for anchoring too close to him. We didn’t, by the way. In fact Liz and I are pretty competent at anchoring now, but it seems some yotties still get nervous when it comes to dropping the hook. Other people are just a-holes though, like this twat of a French arse who screamed and shouted at us whilst hopping about from one foot to the other. After safely anchoring well away from him I spent the next hour raising my arms at him in a “so what’s your problem?” kind of way. Of course that wound him up even more, but then that was the point. (I’m writing this in Finike Marina and it just so happens he turned up yesterday afternoon and is now two berths away from us. I wonder if I should go over to him and tell him he’s berthed too close to us.)
We were warned of the ‘angry restauranters’ in the main bay who take your lines, give you a free beer and then over-charge you for your evening meal, which you feel obliged to eat because of their apparent friendliness. Before we arrived we were given a hand-drawn chart of the port that had been scribbled on by a number of yotties who said ‘don’t go there’ or ‘avoid this place’ etc. Even the pilot guide warns of these unfriendly restauranters. Anyway this was all irrelevant because we took Geoff from ‘Concerto”s advice and anchored in Mandraki instead of taking a line ashore in the main port. We dined at The Olive Garden instead, which is set back off the main promenade and is run by Dameon and Monica. It was through them that we stocked up on parmesan, bacon, beer and wine. They placed an order for their restaurant and added ours onto the back of it, and we hung around until the Saturday night when the ferry from Rhodes brought in our order. I’m now perched upon rather a lot of boxes of wine that have yet to find a home on Esper. Not to worry, they won’t hang around for long.
This page includes some pics I took of the island taken from the very top of the hill that surrounds the town, to which there is a path. It’s well worth the walk up there but you’ll need a refreshing Mythos when you return!