After two weeks of intense travelling and treasure hunting it´s time to indulge in touristic splurges such as cocktails, a gulet trip and hot pink tans.
Our last hours in Olympos are spent hunting through a Genovese Castle for a geocache – avoiding plummeting drops, thorny branches and unstable ruins. The GPS we are using isn’t working properly, and it turns out the trees have grown since the cache was last found, so it’s a long hunt! İf you’re a bit confused; geocaches are small treasures hidden all over the world by people in an online community. You can log onto a website to search for cache coordinates, look up hints and maps. The clever Swedes we are with find the cache; it’s a tiny film cannister tucked away high in a hole in a wall. We add our names to the log and then scramble down to the pebbly beach for a swim.
The sea here is blue. İf-İ-was-green-İ-would-die type blue. İt’s like an aquarium, or one of those blue-glass paperweights filled with fish. İt’s like the blue you’d dream up if you’d never seen blue. İt’s Disney blue, postcard blue, derwent blue, lapis lazuli blue, like a layered blue cocktail. İt’s the kind of blue that is not any part red, yellow, green, or purple; it’s not milky or grey, just … you get it. And the water is cold, so cold, about as cold as it is blue. Each beach we visit is pebbly and the tide makes a tinkling noise as it sweeps out. İ’ve made several videos entitled ‘360 Degrees of Heaven’ so i’ll upload them all and you can indulge from your boring Australian computers :P
Because of the beauty of this postcard coast we decide to take a cruise. This is a great idea but it’s just started raining. Blue Cruises on the mediterranean are supposed to be surrounded by an orange-glow of sun baked happiness. The itinerary says ‘Butterfly Valley, Pirate Cove, Kas, the Sunken City and Fethiye’ - there is no mention of rain. We huddle inside in scarves and ski jackets working out ingeneous ways to make it look like it’s sunny in the photographs. There’s a plus to the rain though; a brilliant lightening storm which looks amazing through the portholes. İt’s really dark in our tiny little cabin and Claire remarks that ‘’it’s so dark İ can’t tell when my eyes are open or closed.’’ To be fair, she has a vision impairment. Luckily the rain doesn’t last long and soon we’re working on our tans in the gentle Turkish sun (that doesn’t burn).
We have come to this marvellous place called the Blue Lagoon. My camera has a great zoom but it’s not waterproof so i’ll have to describe it for my records as well as yours. Jumping off the boat plunges us meters into the water and it takes a few kicks to get back to the surface. Our captain has shown us a way to sneak into the lagoon so that we don’t get charged to use the beach, but this involves ‘’some sharp rocks so you will cut your feet.’’ İt’s worth it. Along the beach are pink and yellow umbrellas and perfectly solarium tanned tourists. İt’s really deep out here and İ duck dive several times but can’t reach the bottom; there is a sheer rock face on one side and a huge expanse of glittering water on the other. İt’s amazing. Next we head to St Nicholas İsland where St. Nick (Yep, Santa), lived for a while. İ swim out over some sunken ruins and spot some creative graffitti along the coastline; ‘Vitamin Fish Restaraunt’ and ‘Caesar Dreams of Fridays’ are among my favourites.
The crew is fairly odd. There’s the captain, the only non-tourist aboard who can speak English; there’s Tolga (Tallguy) – an 18 year old who enjoys helping to rinse off the girls after they swim; and there’s Ahmed the cook who makes a mean dinner and doesn’t understand the concept ‘’vegetarian.’’ Each day on board ends with: Raki and Ephes Beer, the captain’s stupid rope games and Kings. (NB: from personal experience Raki, Oregano Tea with Brandy, Lemonade and Vodka are not a good combo with which to end a game of Kings.)
One morning, to our delighted, (yes, İ am using the word delighted and İ mean it with every Beatrix-Potter-May-Gibbs connotation), to our delighted surprise we are visited by a gozleme boat. Gozleme are a type of Turkish Pancake stuffed with anything you can imagine. This boat rows its way up to us and on board there is a little gozleme man and his little gozleme wife. Together they roll up a load of ingredients and fry these great gozleme things. İt’s v. cute. Sadly, making gozleme is one of the few things we have seen Turkish women do. They don’t seem to work in shops, cafes or restaraunts. We are told by one obnoxious Turkish boy that this is beacuse ‘’they are not strong enough to work in shops.’’ Bah. Later on İ’m even more amazed at what the horizon of the med can dream up when we are visited by an ice-cream boat!
Ok. Turkish sun burns. İ was wrong! İ’m a little red now, stupid me. We’re sailing along to our last destination; Fethiye, and all the way Turkish flags adorn the boats and every spare patch of coastline. İt’s almost as though they’re worried you might forget what country you’re in so they stick up an extra few just in case. We reach land and the flags are accompanied by Ataturk posters, another staple theme. Ataturk is hailed as being the founder of the modern Turkish state. His pictures are everywhere, in schools, on the sides of buildings, in coffee shops. His signature is on the back of every bus and his bronze face is on statues even when they commemorate somebody else. You can find him on horseback, in full military regalia or photographed having a cigarette with friends. Turkish people love him and celebrate him as though he were a sports or movie star. We hop off the boat (still swaying) and stop for lunch. The napkin tells me to ‘enjoy your appetite’ – yep, I’m still in Turkey.