Our reasons for a return visit to Kos were two-fold. The first was to meet Zeynep who was to travel with us to Bodrum, and the second was to officially leave Greece before entering Turkey.
With our plans to visit Turkey fairly well established before we left Roccella we have been chatting with Zeynep about perhaps meeting up in Bodrum; her parents have a house there. As time went on the likely window of opportunity narrowed to mid July and finally settled on Wednesday 17 July, in Kos. It was cheaper for Zeynep to fly to Kos, get an Air B&B and a ferry to Bodrum than to fly direct. It was even better that we could be in Kos when she arrived so she didn’t need the room overnight or the ferry! She arrived at just after midnight and after a welcoming glass of Prosecco it was off to bed.
That was the easy part. The real faff was leaving Greece.
We’d been to see the Port Police when we arrived. They directed us to Customs who would endorse our Crew List which would enable the Port Police to permit the boat to leave Greek waters. The Customs Office was closed so we went back first thing on Wednesday morning. The Customs office was in fact only interested in whether I had paid VAT on the boat; the Greeks are such sticklers when it comes to paying tax!!! Having convinced the Taxman that I had paid VAT we were then directed to Immigration to endorse the Crew List, which did make more sense, but there is no ‘Yacht Crew’ lane at the ferry terminal.
Between Zeynep and Valeria we managed to get around the herds of tourists headed to Bodrum and got the necessary stamps on the Crew List. It was made plain we had to then leave Greece almost immediately, tricky as we still had to visit the Port Police, who happily endorsed the Crew List and sent us on our way.
The trip across to Bodrum was 2 hours, motoring in light winds. Once into Bodrum and tied up to the Immigration jetty we then had to wait for 2 hours while our Yacht Agent conducted all our immigration proceedures. Straightforward, but bloody expensive at €180, but there is no option, you can’t leave the boat until the paper work is all done. Luckily we’ll be leaving Turkey from Bozburun, where it is supposed to be a lot cheaper!
But we have got here. About a week late according to our original plans but that isn’t at all bad and it meant that we could meet up with Zeynep who has already got an itinerary worked out for us for our stay!