A week of swimming, eating, reading and sleeping
28.07.2012 - 04.08.2012 35 °C
I woke up early again and started the bus trek across from Olympus to Fethiye. A mini-van then a mini-bus overfilled with people including some overly friendly turkish men who wanted to come with me on my boat trip and then a crappy old bus that meandered its way through the mountains and dilapidated farming towards Fethiye.
I checked in for my sail trip which had a total of 48 people on 3 different boats run by a company called V-GO. There was 18 year olds everywhere that I could see and I had a slight panic about spending a week with them. Eventually we separated onto the different boats and I was relieved to find my boat was of people more my age. 15 aussies and one American! although we see the other boats occasionally as we are all following the same route but we tended to keep seperate. Our crew included Captain Orhan, Vulcan also called Volcano, Gengis who was mainly called Sean Penn (seriously he looks like Turkish sean penn), Sam and 15 year old Captain Kid, aka Abe aka Abebabe. They are a good bunch that looked after us and have heaps of fun with us, although at times some of them are slightly sleazy and incredibly cheeky, but we all just brush it off! We set off around 6pm and spent the first bit of sail time getting to know each other. Ivan the plumber from western sydney was "thrilled" when he found out I worked in architecture and spent the next week ribbing me. Ollie was our only 18 year old but we forgave him for that, Troy and Bec were the alcoholics, drinking from after breakfast through to the night, Eden, Loretta, Siobhan and myself were the solo girl travellers, then there was also friends Holly, who lived in London and Heidi who lived in Shanghai and then Bree and Kate from Tassie. Jay and Pedj, friends from the gold coast and Mark and Sommer, an aussie couple living in London. Then maybe not even half an hour later we docked and went for a swim. The water was ridiculously warm and crystal clear blue. So beautiful. We were all starving for dinner by the time it came around at 8:30, and my god we were fed so much. The food on the sail trip seems to be carbs with a side of carbs and a dollop of carbs on top! pasta, rice, potatoes, bread. every meal there is at least 2 of these with fish or chicken or beef and lots of yoghurt. Saying that, it is all amazing and there is soooo much of it. definitely not going hungry this week. By 10 or so on the first night we were all buggered so it was bed time. We all have cabins that we share. I'm with Siobhan who happens to live 5 mins away from me back home which was crazy but it's way way way too hot in the cabins plus with all our stuff there is no room therefore everyone sleeps up on the top of the boat on the beds there. It is so nice. The rocking of the boat sends me to sleep almost instantly, although others had a bit of a harder time.
The next day after breakfast we head to Butterfly valley, a beautiful cove that normally has lots of butterflies but unfortunately it is not the season at the moment. It is a beautiful rock beach and a valley which we followed back to a waterfall! Really glad that we were getting off the boat during the week and exploring places along the coast. Just as the butterfly valley was getting crowded by tourists we headed to an area called the blue lagoon and went swimming and had lunch here. Once again ridiculously blue and warm water. It was lots of fun jumping off the rock cliffs (and Loretta has the bruise to prove it) and going on ride on the water bed dragged by the dingy. Later in the afternoon we moved again for our night time spot. We went to an a beautiful little area that was filled with other boats. Here people tried to sell jet ski rides and doughnut rides but most of us all went for the boat offering turkish pancakes (Gozleme) with sweet or savory fillings! amazing! We climbed up an island called St Nicholas's island (as in Santa Claus) which was filled with phenomenal Roman ruins and watched the sunset over the water! Although I will say it a million times across this trip. It was absolutely stunning!
During the night we had some issues with our boat docking properly so we had to start up and move again which took a little while. But eventually had another good sleep.
We started off super early in the morning to do a few hours in the open sea before breakfast. We were all nervous it would be quite rough, and some people took sea sickness tablets but in the end people slept through most of it. We then came into a little town called Kas which none of us found particularly enthralling, although we did come across free wifi and so for 20 minutes or so we all lost the ability to communicate. We stopped in a few places in the afternoon swimming and relaxing, including going into a cave commonly known as the pirate cave. When captain told us we could go swimming towards it, Mark one of the guys started swimming like he was in it for a gold medal and collided with a boat. So after a little bit of panic and screaming we headed in. It was pretty cool in the dusk light. Then we came into a place called smugglers cove which is famous because it has a boat access bar on the water. We had dinner and drinks and got fractionally more dressed up and headed to this bar where we were able to have a dance (once again to some terrible music) and have some (expensive) drinks for the night. pretty good fun!
The next day we headed out of smugglers cove and went to another gorgeous little inlet, possibly my favourite that we visited and parked for the day. The water here had freezing fresh water coming from underground caves pumping into it so it was a mix of hot and cold spots. We spent hours swimming, chilling in our tubes, kayaking and in doing this we found another little cove that had a path that headed up from the water into the hill. Captain, Loretta, our resident american, who spent most of the trip trying to learn australian and then imitating us, and I decided to explore so headed up the hill then off the path trying to find the edge to see the view. This didn't come easily and we ended up climbing over rocks and on hot dirt and over prickly shrubs (all without any shoes and in bikini's) until we could get a view. Captain then wanted to keep going all the way to his boat as he had never been up here before and so instead of getting stuck and lost we had to keep following him the whole way. It was a fantastic little hike but I've never been so glad to jump into the water! Later in the afternoon after yet another carb-tastic lunch the whole boat, crew and people, took varying lengths of naps. Brilliant. As dusk was bearing down on us we continued to the furthest point of our trip to drop off two people who were continuing on land and then proceeded to turn around to start the 3 days back to Fethiye. Wednesday was kayaking day. I was really looking forward to this although it turned out to be more of a kayak tour then go off an explore the area. 9 of us from the boat joined a group of about 20 other people. After spending an hour waiting around and learning how to use a paddle, we paddled double kayaks (I partnered with Siobhan) over to a large island that is a famous archilogical site as it was a Roman and then Lycian city that is now half underwater. After having a swim at the island we paddled (ridiculously slowly) over the sunken city, which I think you can view better from the boat, and then turned back to the mainland and a little town called Kekova, for lunch. After lunch of more carbs and vegetables and a little explore of this really cute and rough little hill village we went back to our boat and continued again to another bay where we were going to have a bonfire on the shore. On the boat Loretta, Siobhan and Captain Orhan made a giant vodka punch in a watermelon for us all to share and everyone proceeded to have several drinks. Then Mark, Ollie, Jay, Pedj (who never ever went swimming), Heidi and I with Volcano and Abe went to shore and cut down trees for our bonfire. Well actually the boys cut down trees, Jay "supervised" with some beer and cigarettes, Heidi was resident photographer and I, well I'm not sure what I did beside get warrior painted from charcoal! After taking all the trees back the crew set up a bonfire for later in the night and we went swimming. It was possibly one of the most hilarious swim times ever, there were drinks being handed over board, I spent my time hanging off an inflatable dolphin and Loretta did the LMFAO wiggle wiggle wiggle dance on the blow up bed while captain and sean penn where trying to throw her off! One other busabout boat came and joined in on our cool pool toys. It was ridiculously funny. After dinner the party continued with a dance floor on the top of our boat and also the bonfire going at the back of the boat. That night I was so tired I fell asleep face down holding my camera.
We started fairly early on Thursday morning as we had a few hours to get to our next stop. A lovely little town called Kalkan. The hillside town is a popular english holiday spot with over half the town owned by the English and everything displayed in pounds as well as Turkish Lira and Euro. Some people decided to have breakfast in town instead of on the boat as they were craving a slightly more english breakfast! (of bacon). But after breakfast everyone headed in and went for an explore. (although ollie and eden headed straight for the pharmacy!) The town had some very cool shops (with air-con), I could have spent up a fortune, instead I just bought a necklace. We sailed out of the town before lunch and headed 10 mins over to a little bay, where we still had a view of the town. It was a very popular little bay with boats of all sizes (and costs) parked there. We had lunch and then Eden, Holly and myself tried to go snorkelling but there really is not very much to see beside a few rocks, dull fish and sea urchins, but not the bottom. It was a little terrifying how deep it was! The next few hours on the boat were spent relaxing and watching the crew attempting to untangle our anchor from 2 other boats and then from some rocks. Captain was not having a good day! Eventually after the drama and finally becoming free we were able to put the sails up and sail over to another bay for the night. Although short the sail was very peaceful and surprisingly calm. The other boat joined us and we spent our time swimming and eating dinner and then at night we had a waterpipe before heading off to bed. I was buggered. Our last day on the water started early with a 3 hour sail back towards Fethiye. For all of 10 seconds we had dolphins swimming at the bow which was gorgeous. We pulled into a cove where there was a little rock beach, and we went for a swim before breakfast. Delightful. After a few hours of relaxing and swimming we headed again to another bay which was quite open and therefore rough for the last few hours before we headed into port. We we went swimming, had lunch, read, relaxed, went swimming again, watched mark swim through a busy channel out to a pier in the water and then shake our heads as to how he was going to get back safely and then headed into town. Can't believe our time on the water was over. It was so peaceful (yet exhausting at the same time) and I was quite sad to have to get off. Once we docked everyone got off and became anti-social checking facebook and emails and organising how they were to get out of Fethiye. I decided to book a flight to London for 5am in the morning so I wouldn't be stuck hanging around in Fethiye all day Saturday. That night we were heading out on the town in Fethiye and so after getting ready and having our last meal of carbs all together on the boat we headed to the V-GO hostel bar to have some drinks and then watch some traditional turkish dancing. The dancers were just a group of young kids (some of whom really looked like they had better things to do) but it was very interesting. The belly dancer next was amazing though. How on earth do you move all the different parts of body separately at the same time! It was absolutely hilarious when she grabbed Ollie, Mark and Ivan and took off their shirts and made them belly dance. Afterwards we followed captain (and his Central coast girlfriend that magically turned up) and headed to one of the clubs down in the central part of Fethiye. It was fantastic. We were all dancing and drinking for a few hours. So much fun, but then at 1:30 Loretta and I had to leave as we were both on the same flight to Istanbul at 5am. My decision to leave early was perhaps not the smartest. It was so sad leaving everyone. They really were a great group and I had lots of fun with them. Loretta and I then ran back to the boat, took the world's fastest shower and then headed for the taxi to take us to the bus-station. In hindsight we really didn't need to rush quite as we did as we were stuck waiting 40 minutes for a bus and so the night finally started to catch up on us. We fell asleep on the hour bus to the airport and then as soon as we got on the plane (and each had 3 seats to ourselves) we fell asleep again. In Istanbul we separated, and I headed on my way to London.
Turkey has been a fabulous place. I really could spend my whole trip there. The people are so generous, the food is delicious, the landscape very dramatic and the culture is very interesting. There is so much more to discover but if I stayed I'd miss out on the rest of eastern europe!