The weather was hotter than ever, with not a breath of wind. The bay seemed even more barren than usual. Sitting on the boat we smelt the heady scent of fresh sage bushes slowly baking in the heat and wafting their aroma across the water.
However, despite the torpor which naturally sets in on days like this, we decided that our last day in BB should be a bit more active than the previous one. Having slept well and feeling a little fitter we decided to take our walking boots and head over the other side of the bay, where there are more ancient ruins to clamber over. Jamie rowed, and as he did so the wind picked up slightly and helped us on our way.
To be honest the other side of the bay is very little different to the side we had based ourselves. It has a “castle” of sorts, which is a poorer equivalent of the citadel standing on the promontory. We climbed up and had a good look though. Once again we were impressed with the scale and precision cutting of the stone walls, many of which were still standing, untouched by 2 millennia of earthquakes and man. The amount of scattered fragments of pottery was staggering. In a few yards I picked up amphora handles, rims and general pieces. I also found a solid, slightly heart-shaped worked lump of pot that looked like it could have been a stopper or… who knows? I put it in my pocket. Having reached the top of the castle and having walked half way down the other side we were nearly out of water in the sweltering heat. I suggested we carry on down to the other restaurant in BB for a beer. J was all for turning back. After about a minute the allure of Efes was too much for him, and the decision was made to sample the beer in this part of the bay.
Loryma Restaurant is lovely. We didn’t eat there, so cannot report on the food, but the atmosphere is very welcoming and the place itself quite charming. We stayed for an hour or so and chatted to Sengül who owns it. It was clear from conversations with her, and with Mustafa’s family, that it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that they are highly competitive… I’ve decided that while it’s great to get to know the locals, it’s sometimes best not to pry too deeply and to keep a discreet foreigner’s distance in local affairs.
That evening we headed back to Sailor’s House and Jamie had a private lesson in how to play tavla (backgammon). We had asked for a board earlier and as we slowly plodded around it, counting out each roll of the dice, we were watched by the Big Boss, Ali.. It was rather nerve racking having him watching us as tavla is a game in the blood of every Turkish man. They play it from birth and they play it at a million miles an hour. He gave me a few tips, nods and winks as Jamie and I played. I won! We then suggested that he play Jamie. Like the last man standing Jamie bravely battled on, but all in vain as Ali trounced him in the first game. The second game, however, was a different matter. Jamie actually won. He beat a Turkish man at tavla. Extraordinary. I think that Ali’s masculine Turkish pride was slightly hurt at losing to this Englishman, so he relinquished his place to Osman (the cook) to really show us how to play.
What we learned that evening was this:
1. Throw the dice hard and fast.
2. Slide and slap the counters down even faster.
3. When executing a particularly clever move do it in slow motion.
4. If you can take an opponent off the board… do it!
5. Play aggressively.
6. Luxuriate in your opponent’s discomfort.
7. Leave your counter on top of your opponent’s if taking him off the board, just for the thrill of further humiliation.
8. Move the counters so fast that your opponent cannot see you cheating.
10. Do it all with a smile.
Thanks Osman! What a lesson. Jamie and I are now hard at work trying to emulate your style.
One thing I promised to do was to include the email address of Danielle, the Belgian who is based at the Sailor’s House and who provides educated and well-informed guided tours of the surrounding area. Having worked with the original archaologists she knows her stuff and we spent a some time talking to her about the place. Should you ever wish to find out more about Bozuk Buku, or Loryma as it is correctly named, then please email Daniele HERE.