The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Ruy Gonzalez De Clavijo

Rhodes Kos islands

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On Wednesday the 5th of September, they were off the island of Lango (Kos), belonging to Rhodes; on which there is a town, in a plain near the sea, with a small castle; and between the castle and the town there is a large salt lake; and there are many houses, and gardens, and vineyards round the town. As they were unable to make head against the foul wind, they put into the port of Lango (Kos), and got on board fresh water and meat. There are always one hundred friars from Rhodes on this island, and a lieutenant, who holds the town and castle. They sailed from Lango (Kos) on Thursday, the 6th of September, but made little way during that day, owing to a contrary wind; and on Friday they also gained very little ground, as they were obliged to go about constantly, owing to the numerous islands, and to the land of Turkey being so close; and at noon, being near an island called 'the Isle of Beasts,' the contrary wind increased, and forced the vessel on the coast of this island, so that they expected to be lost, and were obliged to anchor. They remained off this island, which is without wood or water, during a whole day. At noon on Sunday they got under weigh, and sailed all day amongst desert islands, and in sight of an inhabited island belonging to Rhodes, which is called Calamo {Kalimno}. On Monday morning, they were off a city on the land of Turkey, called 'Palacia nueva,' {Palatia} and they were told that Timur Beg was in that city, when he conquered the Turk, and seized upon Turkey. On Tuesday they were off an inhabited island, belonging to Rhodes, called Berro {Lero}, and, that they might not lose the ground they had gained, the wind being contrary, they anchored in the port of that island, and took in water. This island of Berro has a town, and a very strong and lofty castle, held by a friar of Rhodes: the inhabitants are Greeks, and they say that the Turks of Palacia have ravaged, and done much mischief on this island; and that this very year a galliot from Palacia had arrived, and the Moors had carried off many sheep, and the men who were working in the fields. They departed from this island on Thursday, and on Friday morning they found themselves off a desert island called Madrea, where there is pasture for sheep, and fresh water; the same day they sighted another island called Tatanis {Patino or Patmos}, which is inhabited by Greeks. Next day they were off a great island called Samos, inhabited by Turks; and in sight of another island called Micarea {Nikaria, the ancient Icaria} possessed by a lady, on which there appeared to be many farms; on the same day they were in sight of many other islands, large and small. On Saturday, the 15th of September, and on the following Sunday, they were unable to proceed on account of the calms, and remained amongst these islands; and on Saturday afternoon a fair wind sprung up, but only lasted for a short time; and on Monday morning they were off a cape of the land of Turkey, which is called Cape Xanto {Cape Blanco ?}, and the island of Chios was in sight.