June is here and the temperatures are definitely on the rise. For most folks at 112 degrees it would seem like a great idea to find a shady spot inside somewhere and enjoy an ice cold beverage, but for me it was time for another adventure. To me there’s no better place to go when it’s hot other than the beach. I have to warn you, I have never been to the beach under the extreme heat conditions that where out that day. Some friends and I went to a place called Kizkalesi, or Castle by the Sea, which is located on the Mediterranean Sea near the town of Silifke in Turkey. Also shown, briefly, is Korykos. Korykos is a landside castle that was built near Kizkalesi. The largest nearby city is Mersin.
We went on faith without a hotel reservation during a busy weekend and were fortunate enough to find a place right on the beach………..go figure. Once we arrived we checked our stuff and hit the beach. I was surprised to see it packed with families and people from all over. It was so HOT that we decided to grab some food and drinks in the shade. The plan was to check out the castle which was about a 1000 meter swim from the bank. We also wanted to hit the shops and other ruins in the area.
With a full belly I pulled my shoes off and stepped onto the most shocking super-hot sand that has ever touched the soles of my feet, it was like walking on hot coals and it was torture. I watched the local kids walking on this stuff like it was a carpet. I made a mad dash for the umbrellas where the sand sat in the shade so I could cool my burning feet. By time we found seats it was time to rehydrate because the sweat was pouring from all areas of my body. I figured I’d cool off in the water that was so clear you could see your feet as far out as 100 meters out. The only problem was the water was hot too. It was like jumping in a Jacuzzi tub with hundreds of people. I walked out as far as I could to try to find a cooler spot to discover the temperature was not changing. I walked out about 200 meters before the drop off started and the water was at my shoulders. At that point the water started to feel a tad better.
So I’m cool and ready to relax in my chair under the shade and my buddy decided to take a brisk swim out to the castle to show me how it’s done. He was gone for about an hour and when he came back he asked me if I was ready to get my swim on. I figured if he was ready to go again right after getting back that it shouldn’t be a big deal. Now something you should know is my buddy is 15 years senior to me and I thought that I could hang with him and learned the hard way that he is a beast when it came to swimming in the Mediterranean. He is from Hawaii and I should have put two and two together that he has been doing this for years. We started our journey toward the Maiden of the Sea in the shallows, and the further I swam out the current started to roll in I realized that this was going to be tougher than I thought. I consider myself a pretty good swimmer and swim regularly in the morning two to three times a week for exercise and this swim was far from swimming in a pool. Plus the water was so warm that that took a little out of me as we crawled our way out. It took me about twenty-five minuets to cut through the currents until we made it to the other side.
Suggestion for anyone reading this that lives in Turkey………Don’t swim to the castle by yourself. Banana boats, jets skis, and other water vessels cruise the area and might not see you so be careful. After I caught my breath and took in the scenery I realized I had to swim back. I will say the swim back is a lot easier than the swim there because the current will carry you toward the shore, but don’t rely on that to get you back, you need to be prepared. It was still hot and all I could think about was getting some fresh water. That was some of the saltiest water I had been in as well.
Later on that night we all went to dinner and I was exhausted. I filled myself with all the treats and actually feel asleep at the table like a little kid. I was tired, but my buddies insisted that I walk my food off so we went and checked out the mini strip. Thankfully nothing was going on and I retired for the night. Kizkalesi was different from the other places I’ve had the opportunity to visit. I may go back………………..when it cools down.