Three weeks left in Turkish waters

Arrowtown book buyer Miranda Spary continues her regular column about her recommendations for a good read, and life as she sees it ...

Turkey is starting to cool down - it's still 30degC during the day, but once the sun goes down, it is time not just for a sundowner, but a jersey as well.

Paddleboarding before breakfast is now cool enough to try hard not to fall in, tricky when a whole school of skittery flying fish startle me as they tickle and prickle the silky, salty surface of the water.

Turkey is home to the Lycian Way, a 500km-long walking trail that runs along the southern coast of ancient Lycia. It follows the tracks formed by people over time, but the Romans did their road building thing on it a couple of millennia ago, so as you walk, you trace ruins from the Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Persian civilisations.

We had a few goes at finding it and getting hopelessly hot, cross and very lost, but suddenly I discovered it started just near the Fethiye marina.

Off I went, and although I managed not to see the very clear red and white markers a couple of times and nearly turned back, the Lycian Way found me again and I made it all the way to the ghost town of Kayakoy.

I felt so proud, especially when a van-load of Romanians stopped and asked me for directions!I love our walks at home in the Wakatipu, but there is something pretty special about walking on 2000-year-old trails past tombs and ruins that are far older. It's fun to peep into people's houses and watch the baggy trousered, headscarved ladies scything fields, or drying figs and chillies. And even more fun when a group of them sitting under shady grapevines offer you grapes and cups of herb tea.

Now I'm hooked and want to do more and more of this walk which is billed as one of the world's top 10.

I've only got three more weeks left on the boat as I'm off to Frankfurt for the Book Fair. New Zealand is the guest of honour this year, and the theme of our pavilion is "While You Were Sleeping", which will showcase all the amazing things little New Zealand gets up to while the rest of the world snoozes.

Andrew Patterson has come up with a spectacular design for the huge space allocated. The Hobbit team are putting on a show, and there are all sorts of competitions and culinary wonders and so much more, I can't wait, and nor can Germany as there have been a team of bloggers visiting New Zealand each with a different focus, so we are being much talked about there.

While I'm on tenterhooks about meeting all our top authors, my darling is staying on in Turkey for the World Golf Finals to watch Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy et al battle it out on the beautiful new Turkish courses at Belek. Golf is becoming increasingly important here and Turkey is stealing a lot of golfers away from more traditional golfing locations. Our own clever Lydia Ko is playing here at the end of this month as well, and no doubt she will win the hearts of the Turkish media as she has everywhere else.

And a lot of hearts in the Wakatipu will be sad at Grant Adoph's resignation from the high school. It's hard to imagine the school without him - he's given so much of his time and energy to help so many of our children.

Keep an eye out for Jenny McLeod's new book on the Earnslaw that is being launched on the 26th - the book, not the boat.

If you're an Ottolenghi fan, hold on to your hats - their new recipe book Jerusalem is just out and it's even better than the first two. Michael Guthrie gave me a copy when he arrived two days ago and already it is covered in stains and scraps of food. Middle Easterny type food - loads of salads and vegetables and delicious dressings.

Mountains of garlic, lemon and fresh herbs - mmmmm.

Too many people have asked me about Howard Jacobson's Zootime for me not to have read it. Like many of you, I can't help but put myself in the place of the characters, so this is uneasy reading. Guy, the hero, is an author who lusts after his gorgeous mother-in-law and writes a book about an author doing the same. I didn't enjoy imagining my darling lusting after Granny and can only imagine such a problem would make for very stressful Christmases and other family gatherings.

Apart from that, it's very funny - that delicious, dry Jewish humour.



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