Having left Kalkan on our way east along the coast, we decided to stop for the night outside  a town called Demre.

That night we bumped into Omar, who runs boat journeys to the nearby island of Kekova. Being late, he knew that he didn’t have much chance of getting us on the boat till the morning, but he did invite us on board to join him for tea.

That was fine until he said he was leaving for five minutes to get his car so we could join him for a drink at  a nearby beach bar. Five minutes turned into half an hour while we waited on the boat for him to return.  Even his fisherman friend,who spoke no English,  got bored waiting and left us alone on the boat.

Omar finally arrived in a fresh change of clothes and a dilapidated rusty old banger. When we got in Alan tried to adjust the seat and Iso and I cracked up because it was clear that he would be unable to. The guy whizzed off and I said to Al sit back and enjoy the ride. He slowed down next to one bar but it was very busy so he shot off again until we got to an empty one.

When we had finished at the bar, which was extremely strange,  he drove us back at high speed to town. There we got a bottle of Raki from the supermarket and joined him on his boat. Before long we were off to sea with a bottle of Raki and loud music to make a night of it. At one point Alan and Iso decided to dive overboard for a freshen up.

Four hours later we headed back when suddenly the boat got caught in fishing nets. We knew it wasn’t good when, after Omar dived in, he came up and said it was a ‘big problem’. We spent the night on his boat a few hundred metres from land, which was frustrating because we just wanted to get back to our tents.

The next morning we woke up feeling a little bit worse for wear. Omar stripped off  again,  donned a diving mask and grabbed a large knife. He then plunged overboard to cut the propeller free from the nets. Every now and then we would hear a gasp for air, a lot of spluttering and the words “too much, too much”. After half an hour of this we finally set off for land. Looking forward to getting the hell out of there!

He never did get us on that boat trip!

We are crossing the border  into Syria today. We spent last night in a hotel in Antakya, 60 km’s from the border. Possibly the worse weather so far to get here, as we followed the coast. Torrential rain and wind slowed us down but we arrived safely.

We had the Landcruiser looked at by a Toyota garage in Antalya a few days ago They looked over the vehicle for free whilst we had a coffee and used the internet. No problems found!