Our last 6 days have been filled with brief bursts of activity, looong periods of inactivity and alcohol (yay! may be uncovering a pattern here) We are on the way to Antalya airport now to send Karen back to Istanbul to pick up our passports, so hopefully my liver will be getting a rest soon in the land of 40 degree heat and head to toe black tents.
Our (sort of) private lagoon
Our drive after Pamukkale ended in Oludeniz, where our campsite had access to a lagoon just behind the beach – still warm and perfect for swimming when we arrived after sunset. (Mind you, since we had arrived after sunset, we didn’t see the hordes of people who would be swarming the shore the next day and Amie, not being sure we were supposed to swim, managed to convince herself the lagoon was full of crocodiles). Cook group on night 1 made us enormous chicken sandwiches (as in, half a loaf of bread each) and Graham foolishly bet me that I couldn’t finish two. Camping makes me hungry, and I’m not one to turn down free food on a budget, so I gained 2 sandwiches, a free drink and the new nickname of the Walking Tardis and Graham gained a valuable lesson about my stubborn streak. I was pretty damn full halfway through the second sandwich, but the fishbowl sized daiquiri tasted like victory to the last drop.
Our next day a large group of us (which then dwindled to a fairly small group as everyone else stormed ahead of me) decided it was a good idea to do a 4 hour hike in the middle of the day over the mountains to the nearby ghost town of Kayakoy – more ruins! Woo!
Graham, Caroline and Alex enjoying the view
Chilling out Sweating buckets at the ruins
Gill dishing out orange wedges halfway through
Thoroughly deserved swim afterwards, while the boys were enjoying being manly men (grrr) looking after a spit roast lamb.
Bar crawl that night, should have been a bit of a failure as we somehow managed to show up at a karaoke bar just as the karaoke ended and then a foam party having missed all the foam, but none of us minded, we made our own karaoke (didn’t make our own foam, that may have been taking it a little too far) I have now officially given up on getting glammed up – which will surprise nobody at home – I was still wearing my swimming costume under my shorts when we went out.
The next day we had booked onto a boat trip to take us to various snorkelling spots – I feel a bit sorry for the crew as they clearly looked at the large and mostly young crowd and thought ‘Score, we’ll make a fortune on the bar today’ , but we all spent our time either swimming or sleeping off our hangovers from the night before. Learned a valuable lesson jumping off the top deck – my bikini doesn’t stand up to diving. Luckily I was one of the first in the water at that stop, but someone does still have a picture of me clutching my chest and laughing my head off. Highlight of the trip was my first Gozleme (Turkish pancake) served by a couple who floated up next to us in a little boat. Much like a crepe, but a bit crispier, very yummy.
Wow, that’s an active crowd.
Skilful pancake teamwork
After Oludeniz we moved onto Olympos and 3 nights without camping (yessss). The place we were staying was called Saban Treehouses, which got us all fairly excited, but then they turned out to be wooden shacks on stilts nowhere near the trees with 3 thin mattresses on the ground. Still, no pitching tents and no cook group (and very good buffet food). We’ve decided that we hate the couples of the group as the double huts were fully booked so they got upgraded for free to the rooms with air con and locks and ensuite bathrooms before Karen could say ‘don’t do that it’ll cause conflict in the group!’ They have assured us that it’ll all even out later on in the trip. This may be when the singletons conspire together to fill the couple’s beds with cockroaches.
I have a grand total of one photo from my time in Olympos as I was so extremely lazy that I didn’t even have to apply sunscreen because I spent the whole 2 days on the sofa beds in the shade reading, chatting, napping and refreshing myself on the rules of Canasta. The first night (I have completely lost track of what day it is) was Claire’s birthday, so obviously there was alcohol involved again, which may have contributed to my excessive napping the following day. Not sure if my granny is reading this blog, but just in case I would like to state that the people I’m travelling with are a very bad influence.
I did drag myself out of my stupor on the last night for a hike (yep, night hike this time, much more sensible) up to the Chimerae Eternal Flames. Again, not much information available in English bbut basically THE MOUNTAIN IS ON FIRE!! It seems to be a natural phenomenon, although not quite as eternal as they make out as apparently they sometimes need to relight the natural gas with a cigarette lighter to keep it burning. Dirty cheaters :P
Lauren in the fire
On the way to Cappadocia after a bush camp tonight which is our last real tourist stop in Turkey before a long slog of drive days and bush camps to Iran – got to make the most of it!