A Travellerspoint blog

Turkey

Üçağiz to Konya - that would be 11 hours!

sunny 30 °C
View My Intrepid adventure around Turkey on JanelleK.Woods's travel map.

Breakfast was a very peaceful affair this morning. Even with the terrible tea. I didn't know tea could taste that bad! The water was still and the boats with all their colours reflected in the water made it the perfect opportunity for photos. Like I need incentive to pull out my camera! But I did take a few shots that I think mum might even think worthy of painting.
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Honestly the rest of the day was travel, travel, bus, travel, travel, lunch, travel, travel. We were travelling all up 11 hours! That is insane!!!!!
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typical food provided on any long bus ride
Anyway. The scenery was really quite spectacular. It changes so quickly here. We got stopped by the army at one stage which has happened before. Apparently they check all the male identification to be sure that they have all done their compulsory army training. from ages 19 to 21. Two years. If they haven't...well, it's not good! I'm loving Turkey but there are things that really sadden me here. Whenever I travel and wherever I travel I realise how incredibly lucky we are in Australia. The freedoms we have and what a privileged upbringing I've had.

Konya is a big city and to be honest doesn't really do much for me. That said, I've not really seen much of it. I'm kind of exhausted and I want to have all my energy for Cappadocia which we drive to tonight. Another 6 hours!!!! But I'm seriously considering buying a pillow so I can get a decent chance of a snooze on the bus. Especially after being up until 3.30am.

Dinner last night was Lamb Kabapi, Turkish tea and I tried a bit of Pam and Harry's baklava and rice pudding. İ also tried some sort of sugar thing (just for something different) which was like rose water flavoured compacted icing sugar...not my cup of tea!

I've now been sitting on the computer all morning so I better get out there in the sunshine and see something in Konya! Might even find some karveh!

Hope all of you are well and appropriately jealous of my travels. Sorry I haven't been able to get photos up on my blog but I hope to change that once I'm back in Istanbul.

Love to you all

Bella xx

Hoşçakal!

Posted by JanelleK.Woods 00:12 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Turquoise Coast and return to Öçağiz for Eurovision

sunny 31 °C
View My Intrepid adventure around Turkey on JanelleK.Woods's travel map.

This is an extract direct from my journal...

It doesn't get much better than this. This morning it feels like the good life. All that is wanting is a hot shower. But as that is not going to happen I push that desire aside to full enjoy this. I woke up in the wee hours of the morning to be bathed in moonlight. The moon had only just risen and its glow turned the water liquid sliver. The perfect photo opportunity. My camera was right beside me but I just couldn't quite get myself out of the bed as it was quite...FREEZING!
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I was the first to get up and I relished the solitude it afforded me. Solitude to fully enjoy the gentle dawning of a new day. The boat had a slight rock, enough to complete the magic. I wrote a postcard to Willoe - the perfect time to do it as she loves sunrises so much (I seem to remember her dragging me out of a bed a few times to watch them). I could sit here for hours just watching nature reveal herself...oh but I hear the sounds of Turkish tea downstairs!.

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Honestly, it would be so easy to just stare at the water for hours and not get bored. Well luckily (or not) I didn't have the chance to disprove that theory as we had a breakfast fit for a sultan then headed off to another cove.

Off the boat to explore yet more ruins and scramble over rocks and startle (and be startled) by a goat and her kid. We were walking for probably an hour or two and it was hard work in the sun that had well and truly climbed to it's zenith and was doing it's best to beat us into submission. But it felt great to do something strenuous.
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Back on the boat we sailed to another fishing village called Simena to pick up lunch then sailed pasted ancient Simena which is well and truly under water now. It's known as the sunken village. Well, it was pretty sunken so that you couldn't really see anything. Before lunch I was taught a Turkish game called Yuvak. It is interesting being taught a game by three men talking in Turkish most of the time. It sort of looks like scrabble but with numbered tablets. But that's where the similarity with scrabble ends. Then it is more compared with gin rummy. Once I grasped the rules of the game (which requires a little too maths for my tastes) I of course had to win. And, of course, I did!

After lunch it seemed appropriate to have a little nap on the roof of the boat until we arrived at back at the fishing village Simena. I had all intentions of staying on the boat until I heard the magic words...no the other one...ice-cream! Famed as being the best ice-cream in Turkey. Hazelnut and banana. Not the best I've tasted but I'm glad I took the time to visit the village as I got some fantastic photos.
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Back on the boat we headed back to the fishing village of Öçağiz which is where we were to stay. The most exciting part about that was that it had the most spectacular hot shower!

Dinner was kalamari and the ultimate of Turkish experiences was sitting in the restaurant watching Eurovision! Wow, Greece had some impressive popping action by a Ricki Martin look-alike, Germany had some seriously psychedelic sparkly pants and Romania (I think) had a very tragically tortured woman. Turkey came fourth!

Eurovision will never be the same for me again!

Posted by JanelleK.Woods 00:10 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Kayaköy to Kaş to Öçağiz to boat

31 °C
View My Intrepid adventure around Turkey on JanelleK.Woods's travel map.

This morning I swear the roosters were camped outside my bedroom. But I would have woken to the morning prayers anyway and to be honest - I think I prefer the roosters.

I welcomed the cold shower again knowing karveh was a long time coming. Unless I wanted to subject myself to nescafe and creamer again. A panic pack was undertaken to be standing ready for the bus at 8am again. A short 30 minute trip to the bus station to find a mediocre breakfast. A long bus ride got us to Kaş where Rachel, Jean and I were excited to see the words espresso, cappuccino, latte. Our excitement only slightly wavered when we watched the woman holding a phone to her ear as she pointed at the coffee machine looking confused (her not the machine). I was so tempted to jump up and offer to make it myself. Unfortunately I don't know how to explain that in Turkish so I just waited for my very very very milky cappuccino.

A toasted cheese sandwich for lunch and we were back on the bus on our way to the small fishing village of Öçağiz where we jumped on our boat - our home for the next two days. In a nutshell the two days on the boat were çok güzel! (very beautiful).

We weren't out on the water for long before we anchored in a little alcove and we all jumped into the spectacular turquoise water. It really is that colour. And so incredibly clear you don't need to stick you head into the water to see the fish.
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After a leisurely swim we dried out in the hot sun and then enjoyed some Turkish tea and biscuits. It's hot in the sun but it is perfect in the shade. A gentle breeze sort of glides over your skin and the sound of the lapping water on the boat is so peaceful. Even the sound of the flapping Turkish flag worked in perfect harmony with it all.
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We travelled on to a point where we were going to anchor for dinner. I got a chance to go ashore on some pretty spiky rocks that reminded me of Blairgowrie at home. I fclimbed to a high rock where I could get some great photos of the boat and also of the sun as it began to sink behind the islands.

Back on the boat the rest of the group tried their hand at some fishing with some ingenious fishing implements of fishing wire and an empty water bottle. The bait? Chicken! Two small fish were caught but luckily we were not reliant on that for dinner. The fish bait apparently worked for us too.
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Once the sun had gone to bed Yusuf started a bit of a singing circle. All sorts of songs came out of the woodwork. Waltzing Matilda anyone?

It wasn't long before we were all heading off to bed under the stars. Now that is not an experience you get every day. I must confess the bed was not the most comfortable but the blankets were heavy and I finally found use for my polar fleece! Yep, I brought a polar fleece to Turkey when we have been averaging temperatures of about 28 degrees!

Stars, water and the promise of another day on the water!

Posted by JanelleK.Woods 23:22 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Pammukale to Fethiye

sunny 28 °C
View My Intrepid adventure around Turkey on JanelleK.Woods's travel map.

7am start today and I really felt it. But being determined to never be last on the bus I sped through my morning routine. I think I read the book Ping too many times as a kid!

Breakfast was bought at the bus depot. A cha (tea), ayran (yoghurt drink) and a bready chocolate thing that did not deliver on flavour and almost dehydrated me when I ate it.

Now wait to be impressed... As we stopped along the way for a 'cha on the house' at a concrete slab, I said thank you in Turkish and it was so good that they guy thought I spoke fluent Turkish! Now that's a compliment. Especially after I accidentally said goodbye instead of thank you at my breakfast. Oops.

I was again surprised at the richness of the scenery. We moved from fields to forests of pine trees and as we were in a local bus we had the roof open and the smell of pines filled the bus.
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The entertainment for the trip was an elderly Turkish couple. But the real entertainment was the wife. She was practically screaming instead of talking. We worked out that her husband was mostly deaf and she obviously no longer knew how to talk at a volume suitable outside of a stadium.

We drove through a very touristy Fethiye to our village near by where we are staying in a very cold room. However, the weather has been glorious so I can handle wearing a few more clothes to bed.

We had not had lunch by this stage and I was starting to lose my usual charm. A bunch of us decided to join Yusuf (our leader) at Salkikent Gorge. Well I don't think I would have said yes if I had known it was a 50 minute drive. By the time we arrived I was ready to eat the bus seats. 2.30pm and we finally sat down in a beautiful spot on the milky blue water. Chicken Shish and a cheery juice (way to sweet for me!) But the highlight...A puppy!!! I started to get pangs for a Savvy cuddle but I refrained from doing more than just offering the little black puppy my lunch scraps.

Then can the excitement. Yusuf took one look at my target thongs (sorry, flip flops) and said there was no chance I would be able to hold onto those if I was going to do the walk up the Gorge in fast running water. So we (Rachel and I) were convinced we could do the walk barefoot. So shoes came off, bag left with the remainder of the group who just shook their heads at the sight of the fast running water the colour of a weak latte. I secured my camera in a zip lock bag (are you proud of me Amma?) and stuffed it down my bra (a habit picked up from my workplace!)

In a nutshell. It was wet (I got drenched up to my waist). The water was FREEZING. Coming directly from those snow capped mountains I was admiring so much. And it was fast fast water. The rocks we coudln't see underfoot were not sharp but they were loose and all different sizes. But I loved it. We survived and we have pictorial proof.
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Now for the real challenge. Drying off. Why oh why had I not brought a change of clothes. Back in Fethiye I really did look like I'd wet my pants. Not the best of looks. So I tied my newly acquired pashmere (or at least a genuine fake) around my waist. After a stint at the internet cafe (where I left my sunnies!) I bought a Kadiyre which is basically as super super sweet treat of honey and I think some sort of shredded wheat.

Back at the hotel for an early night (whatever that is) and a freezing cold night at that.

I'm tired. No doubt about that. But I'm deliciously tired.

Hoscakal

Posted by JanelleK.Woods 08:10 Archived in Turkey Comments (3)

Hiking the Lycian trail and paragliding in Ölüdeniz

sunny 30 °C
View My Intrepid adventure around Turkey on JanelleK.Woods's travel map.

I think the title of this next entry says it all!

'Günaydin' say several roosters this morning. But I was already awake in the freezing cold room. More like an extended bathroom. Which I wouldn't have minded if the bathroom provided me with hot water. But in keeping with the theme of experiencing new things I had a cold shower pretty much pressed up against the wall. How is it that a shower head that points directly at the wall can get water EVERYWHERE except on the person wanting to rinse off the soap?

I kept telling myself that this was as good (almost) as a strong coffee in the morning. I'm not quite acclimatised to the idea of nescafe in the morning. Each time we reach a new destination I hopefully ask them 'karveh lütfen?' The answer is always the same...an enthusiastic nod and smile followed by the disappointing word...'nescafe'.

Anyway, enough about my coffee sob story. Today we took the very eerily spectacular walk through the ghost village in Kayoköy accompanied by the two dogs from our hotel. The ghost village is just over 2000 deserted houses, churches and roads during World War I. Walking through the streets of this village it easy to understand why they called it the ghost village. A beautiful tapestry of ruins bathed in gorgeous sunshine and threaded with delicate flowers has the magical effect of tranquillity. Another opportunity to snap, snap, snap.
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We climbed a hill where I got a photo of a two tailed dragonfly! We continued on through forest, over rocks, down hills, up hills, and on we went for about 2 hours. I loved it. For those interested (which I'm sure it may be only two of you) my new shoes have been well worn and most importantly have not given me any issues at all. The hike lead us to stunning views of the aptly named Turquoise coast that promised us a prize swim at the end.
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By the time we got to Ölüdeniz however, I was way too tired to find a dressing room and change into my bathers. Instead I chilled out with a soda water and a bit of relief from the hot sun. We did try to commander an umbrella on the beach but it cost 16.50 TYL! For shade! Ölüdeniz is very touristy as I discovered as I went in search of a new pair of sunnies to replace the ones I lost. Dolce & Cabana - Genuine Fake that is.

We had quite a bit of time to spend here so what better time spendage than booking myself in to do paragliding? I didn't require much convincing as I watched person after person glide onto the beach with huge grins on their faces.

A 45 minute truck drive took us (Rachel, Brian, Jean and I) up and up and up a winding road where we passed a bunch of horses, some goats, a few dogs and a cat or two. To be honest, the ride up was proving to be the most terrifying part and yet I waiting for the nerves to kick in. Waited and waited. The guys who did this jump over and over again were showing off a little on the bus and I watched carefully those stuffing corn chips into their mouths hoping that I wouldn't get that as my olfactory sensory trigger for this memory of this experience.
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Once up the top I put on the very large nappy and accepted the cracked helmet as the guy I was flying with jammed it on my head. Still the nerves did not surface. I was the second last to go of eight people. I was told how important it was for me to 'run like a horse' when he told me to run. Easier said than done. I guess running like a horse pulling a carriage maybe! Finally we started to move and we were speeding down a gravelly hill then suddenly my feet were no longer touching the ground and I was flying! Gliding! Floating! Whatever the right word is.
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Words can't really say how it felt. Nor will photos. But of course I will give it a go.

There were no feelings but that of awe and excitement as we soared over the mountains, flying so high there were eagles flying below us. I felt as though I were sitting in an armchair - like the silver chair from those children's books. You know the chair with the wings? I was comfortable and able to take photos. My guy started to hum some song as we meandered through the sky. I say I felt nothing but awe and excitement but there did come a time that I felt my stomach depart from where it should be when my guy decided to do some tricks. Corkscrew seems the most appropriate name for it. Kind of reminded me of the gravitron.

Landing I knew I was grinning from ear to ear even if my tummy was feeling a little displaced. But what better way to ease a freaked out tummy than soda water followed by the most amazing boysenberry ice cream? Well it worked for me.

The rest of the night paled in comparison to that experience. Except for the part where İ found my sunnies at the internet cafe. After dinner (where I almost fell asleep in my lentil soup) I pretty much passed out and didn't even notice the cold temperature of the room. İt ıs a beautiful thing being too tired to notice discomfort.

Hosçakal

Posted by JanelleK.Woods 22:37 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

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