The boat and the hamam
Trip Start Aug 16, 2010
66Trip End Jan 02, 2011
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Where I stayed
There were only 11 people plus the three crew, quite intimate on a boat that takes up to 60 people during summer. No sooner had I taken off my trousers to sun myself at the back of the boat than it clouded over. Still, I persevered for as long as possible before covering up my lily whites. During the trip we visited 4 beaches. Beaches? It was more like where water meets land with a small rocky area to stand on. Even the beach in town is narrow & pebbly, certainly not the expanse of smooth white sand we have in Western Australia
I braved it & swam at the first stop. The water is amazingly clear; you can see the bottom (it was very deep) & the fish swimming under you. I moved away when the skipper decided to throw bread to them. I was waiting for the champagne & nibblies (on an esky lid) in the water like when we swam in Lake Argyle to no avail!
One of the stops was at a meteor hole which you could jump into from a rock wall about 15 metres above it, which, of course, Blackie was did – three times. Some people don’t know when to age gracefully. I couldn’t go because I had to film it, luckily.
The last stop was a thermal spring & caves. Nowhere near as warm as Zebidee Springs at El Questro, but again, crystal clear. Blackie got a torch & investigated into the caves, but forgot to take the camera, so there’s no proof he actually did so.
It was a brilliant day, topped off with some Turkish dancing on the way back to the marina. Ali, Erdar his brother & even Aegean, the cabin boy, made the day a memorable one
We decided to finish our day with a hamam, or Turkish bath. We were the only people in the place, (apart from his 2 children who were watching TV in the reception area). Sweet. I was assured by the guy that his wife would be the one working on me, so I felt comfortable with the idea, as you are essentially naked during the whole process. We were given sarongs to cover ourselves before going into a large circular sauna where we lay down on a large marble slab in the middle of the room & and waited. And waited. I was beginning to think he had either forgotten about us, or we’d missed the instruction about when to leave when he came back in (this was after at least 20 minutes) minus his wife.
I wasn’t too alarmed because he was scrubbing down Blackie first. They take a kind of loofah glove and rub down your whole body, first your back, then your front, carefully maneuvering the sarong to cover your dignity. I kept waiting for the wife to turn up, but she didn’t. My heart was fairly racing when he finished with Blackie & had him sit on a bench at the side of the room then beckoned me over. It’s OK I thought, he’s just getting me into position then his wife will come in
Scrubbing my back wasn’t too bad; nothing much needs covering there, but trying to turn over & keep my dignity intact & covered was difficult to say the least. There I am, lying there with the dripping sarong in a strip up the front of my body, pulling it at the top to cover my breasts & he just pulls it down & tells me to 'relax’. Easy for him to say! Where was the wife & why wasn’t my husband intervening? Apparently (because I asked Blackie this very question when we left) there was no cause for alarm, he was very professional, which he was, but it seemed wrong; especially because most places have segregated hamams where I’m sure they don’t have males working on the women’s side.
After the scrub came the foam bath where they use what looks like a pillowcase dipped in soapy water that they then fill with air & slap onto you, creating a large amount of foam. My face & hair were also scrubbed till they were squeaky clean. It would have been really enjoyable if I wasn’t constantly trying to keep myself covered! This is finished by sitting you up & throwing buckets of warm then cold water over you to remove the soap. I was then given a dry sarong & told to go back out to the waiting room where there were 2 men preparing to go into the sauna. Another awkward moment as the sarong didn’t cover enough of me to not feel exposed.
Still no sign of the wife, but I did get a drink of water. It sounded like Blackie was being tortured by the moans & grunts coming from the sauna. He told me afterwards that he was pulled & bent like never before & that both of them were grunting, the guy as he was pulling & Blackie in response to what was being done to him. The wife arrived & gave me my oil massage (finally!) A new guy turned up to massage Blackie, as the original guy was still attacking the 2 new guys who turned up.
When we left some 2 hours later, we were buffed & glowing. It had been daytime when we went in, but was dark by the time we came out. Time to grab some dinner & head back to the apartment.