Sailing! Wall Bay….. They Paved Paradise!

IMG_1716 (002)IMG_1717IMG_1718sdr_HDRBcofcofsdr_HDRBoznoroznorsmacap_Brightsmacap_Brightsmacap_Brightcofsmacap_Brightcofcofrhdrrhdroznoroznor

Our best day of sailing on the holiday so far! We spent a really peaceful night on our mooring. Because the restaurant in the bay is closed, few boats stayed overnight and it was very quiet, just the usual massive star show overhead. I wish I could capture this with my camera. I’ll have to try a few different settings.

We set off after breakfast and had about 4 hours great sailing out in the bay, tacking back and forth. It is such an exciting feeling to be zipping over the waves just under sail power. Much smoother than the ride with the engine on, and of course, much quieter. Most of the time we were achieving around 7 knots and we made steady progress down the bay and between the islands, heading to Wall Bay at the south end.

The wind always picks up around midday and our last two hours were especially good, really fast. Everyone had a turn on the helm – even Fi had a go. We made our turn into Wall Bay just before 2pm. It was already busy. When we were here ten years ago, this was one of our favourite spots, on every visit we made. A deep, quite narrow bay with a wonderful restaurant on the north side, which had wooden pontoons out for yachts to moor alongside. A very peaceful spot with great food. I’d heard there’d been some changes but I was absolutely amazed by how many yachts were in the bay. Big, posh motor yachts.

We arrived just at the right time, and took nearly the last place on the inside of the main pontoon. I was quite surprised that there were no services on the pontoon, given the other facilities of the place and I suppose that should have been the first warning. The restaurant has been considerably redeveloped and A LOT of money has been spent on it. Instead of a simple typically Turkish place, it is now very upmarket, with a large glass and teak room for cold days, snazzy tables set amongst the gardens which have been landscaped and planted with banana trees. There are fire baskets loaded with logs dotted around and along the stone jetty! 2 djs set up decks as the evening approached!

We had lunch on board after we’d secured the boat and then Stuart, Fi and I headed to the beach adjacent to the restaurant. A nice area of gritty sand and clear water. Spent a couple of hours there and I swam twice. Bob had a “peaceful time” on board!!!! On my way back, I smelled woodsmoke and came upon an old chap spit roasting an entire sheep over a wood fire! He was basting it with butter. I hoped he would save me some for dinner. He was so proud of his task!

And I suppose that marked the end of my satisfaction with Wall Bay. I’d gone into the restaurant as soon as we docked to reserve a table for dinner although this is normally a given if you are moored on their pontoon as a visitor. However, the head waiter wasn’t very welcoming and indicated that we could try at 8pm but it might not be till 9pm…… “what about if we came at 7?” I asked. “HA” he replied, “No chance, far too busy”. We went along for 8 and nearly every table was empty. Good! But no….. “I told you to come later, madam”. “You told us to come at 8 and look at all these empty tables, you can seat us surely?” “No, I am still waiting for them to turn up”. Whoever “them” was. We sat at the bar till 9 when I went to find him. “Yes I have a table for you, they havent turned up”. Well, he was busy yes, but there had been empty tables throughout. Frankly he could have seated us at 7 and we’d have been out of his hair before it got busy!!!!! There were nowhere near enough waiters and those that were there were running around like mad, carrying trays of premium spirits to tables. The barman came to serve us, he’d got drafted in…. So, we ordered, Turkish flatbread sharer starters and then mains. Bob and Stuart ordered burgers, I ordered lamb chops. Fi had lamb stew. About 5 minutes after ordering, our mains turned up. The starters never arrived. The bill at the end was quite expensive. The lamb on the spit was for a large party who had come ashore from somewhere, probably one of the big gulets moored in the bay. And that’s the problem with the Wall Bay restaurant if you are a visiting yachtsman. They no longer actually cater for you or welcome you. Their target guest is on a gulet or one of the posh crewed motor yachts. It’s a shame because this place used to be paradise and superficially still looks great. But we will never be back again…