Hi, Reg here. I’m back to tell you a bit more about my holidays in Turkey. The Old Boy went diving on several days and on one of them, I took the Old Girl and Young’un out on the bus to Patara. We weren’t expecting very much – just the remains of a few walls if we were lucky and perhaps some rocks strewn about. But we were all very surprised.
Patara is the place where St. Nicholas was born and there is evidence that there was a settlement there as early as the Bronze Age. At one time or other, it was run by Alexander the Great, the Egyptians, the Romans and the Turks. It was an important sea port for many centuries but it became a bit of a backwater – literally, when the river began to silt up in the 16th century. So, as you can see, there’s more history there than you can shake a stick at.
The bus driver dropped us outside a shop, which proudly proclaimed ‘Jimmy’s – Cheaper than Tesco’s – Asda prices – Harrods of Patara – We sell everything – Santa buys his toys here’.
We must have looked a bit confused as the driver pointed down the road and said ‘Beach’. We weren’t actually intending to visit the beach but we thought once we reached it, we might pick up some signs for the ruins, so we set off. Gradually, we started to spot ruins on either side of the road, first some pottery kilns and then we came across a church and necropolis (see first picture). Then we saw the Arch of Mettius Modestus, the Roman who governed Patara around 100AD.
We’d probably have been quite impressed with that but there was more, lots more and we could see it in the distance. Being thorough, we turned off the main road to explore a small ruin that was covered with a corrugated iron roof and was surrounded by a fence. The sign told us it was a ‘Castellum’, which turned out to be an underground water reservoir – not terribly exciting really, until we got attacked by a goat. Well, ‘attack’ is probably rather overstating it but it ran towards us as if it was about to attack. And then we realised what it was actually doing. It was asking for help. Not that I speak goat or anything but it became obvious when we spotted the two tiny kids inside the fence of the Castellum. I think the goat must have somehow climbed into the enclosure and given birth. She’d then got out but the kids were left behind and she was becoming increasingly distressed. The two kids just lay there and we thought perhaps they were too weak to move. The Old Girl moved some rocks which were blocking a gap under the fence and tried to entice the kids out but they didn’t take any notice. We finally decided that they were scared of us, so we left them and promised to return on our way back, fully expecting them to have escaped through the gap.
We carried on down to the beach and then returned to visit the main ruins, which consisted of a 1st – 2nd century BC amphitheatre, the main street with columns, the Assembly Hall of the Lycian League and various baths. The Assembly Hall has been partially renovated and has large wooden doors, which unfortunately, were closed but we went into the amphitheatre and strolled down the main street, trying to imagine what it was like when there were shops behind the colonnade and crowds of people rushing up and down the street.
With just enough time to check on our goats before we caught the bus home, we set off for the Castellum. Sadly, the kids were both still inside and they were now on their feet, bleating piteously, while mum bleated back outside the fence. We considered climbing over but weren’t sure that the ground was solid – it was strong enough for a couple of kids but not necessarily strong enough for a human. The Old Girl found a rock and started scraping away soil to make a large hole under the fence and miraculously, one of the kids escaped. He ran to his mum and started to feed but for some reason, the other one didn’t follow him out of the gap – he followed him but inside the fence and ended up on the ledge to the right of the kids in the photo to the left. We tried to entice him back down to the gap but he just stood their bouncing about bleating and to make matters worse, Mum and suckling kid had wandered off. We just couldn’t leave the trapped kid to his fate, so finally, the Young’un managed to grab him and liberate him. Even then, he couldn’t find mum, who’d wandered even further away, so we had to shepherd (or more accurately, goatherd) him towards his mum and finally, both kids were reunited with their mum. Job done.
Unfortunately, this took so long, we missed our bus. However, we decided to go back to the amphitheatre to have a longer look round and fortunately, the Assembly Hall was now open and we got to look inside. There was quite a long wait until the next bus which broke down on the way home. However, we finally got back to Kas, rather later than planned, but then it’s not every day you get to rescue a goat or two.
So, have you bought the Old Girl’s ebook yet? It’s called ‘Daffodil and the Thin Place’ and can be found here on the Muse It Up Publishing website. It’s not as exciting as the story about the goats but it’s well worth buying. And remember that all the profits go to St. Nicholas Church, Laindon with Dunton, Essex. #MuseItUp #DaffodilAndTheThinPlace