Turkey Part II: Koycegiz to Fethiye
Trip Start Mar 20, 2006
31Trip End Jul 27, 2006
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We arrived at our Pension and headed into the village for a meal with our Aussie mates. When we returned to the Pension, party was in full swing with a cross-dressing Turkish belly dancer doing his "thang" around a huge bonfire. We settled into some comfy seats and ordered our favourite Turkish beer (Efes of course!) and thought we would enjoy the show. Little did we know that we were going to become the show! Ah well, Devorah's time spent in the Maori Club at school came in handy when it came to swinging poi around (luckily they were not on fire!) and we discovered that Tony is a ballroom dancer back in OZ and he wowed us with his fast moving hips!
The next day we headed off for a day trip on the Koycegiz lake
We reached our final destination, Turtle Beach, shortly after that. The beach is off-limits to the public between 8pm-8am as this is when the Turtles hang out on the beach and do naughty things (mate). Other than that fact, it really is just a "standard" beach but it was incredible for the lack of hotels, beach-side houses and any other development for the sheer fact that you have to take a boat just to get there - no roads! We spent about 2 hours swimming and soaking in the sun before returning to our boat for lunch. We zoomed off to our last stop on the way back to the village, the mud baths.
However.....during lunch we sat down in the main area of the boat with all the children but just blocked out the noise. Once the boat started motoring to the mud baths, Turkish and Western pop music started blasting the boat and the kids instantly jumped up and danced. They must have smelt our fear as 5 minutes later they pulled the four of us (Tony and Bec were with us) off our chairs and before we knew it we were getting amongst it
At the mud baths we pasted ourselves with this pretty awful smelling mud (sulphur). Under any other circumstances, covering ourselves with mud is not something we would do. The idea is to let it dry until caked, shower it off then apparently it feels amazing (lots of exfoliating). We felt OK but certainly not quite what the "brochure" promised! After the mud we scalded ourselves in a beautiful indoor thermal pool with some local ladies.
We were all very pooped from our day of suntanning, swimming, dancing and putting on mud and just crashed early. The next morning we walked around the market and bought a few bits and pieces (including Turkish delight in so many different flavours - Chocolate, apricot, barley, banana! mmmm). It was the hottest day for us yet in Turkey so while Bec went for a snooze, we went with Tony to the "beach" just down the road from the hostel to escape the oppressive sun. Wouldn't you know it, the moment we arrived at the beach, the sun vanished and clouds appeared
Our travelling troop increased to six from that evening when Mark and Rachael from New Zealand arrived. That night at the hostel was a treat. In anticipation of a new bus-load of backpackers, the cross-dressing Turkish dancer strutted his stuff once more, grabbing "volunteers" to help out with his show. This was followed by a spectacular display of fire-poi by Ziggy, one of the guys that worked there. It was spectacular. He too invited some of us to give it a go (Gil gave it a shot - see pics) but we proved no match for him.
We left Koycegiz the next morning heading for Saklikent gorge, which is an 18km canyon, formed by the sliding of the base plates and the erosion of the water. We had lunch by the water on tables, half-perched on the water and then trekked up the gorge. It was reasonably easy going until we reached a small waterfall that was difficult to get over so we turned back. Tony, Bec, Mark and Rachael kept going and Bec sprained her ankle! Apparently it got harder!
After the gorge walk we got on the bus to go to Oludinez (A-lude-en-nez) which turned out to be a "little Britain" - a favourite holiday place of the Brits which caters for their every whim - all prices are quoted in pounds and the local resorts will even import pork products to satisfy them even though Turkey is a Muslim country
But we had gone there for one purpose, and one purpose only! To jump off a cliff....
Next morning we gathered our wits, hopped in a truck full of mad Turkish men, drove 900 metres into the surrounding mountains, strapped on parachutes (as well as a crazy Turkish man each) and took a running leap off the cliff. The chap attached to Bec was (hopefully still is) the 5th best Paraglider in the world, Mahone, and he was (and likely still is) a total nutter (think of a dreaded Turkish surfer dude with board-shorts - he is so good, or mad, that he did the entire jump in his socks as Bec didn't have shoes). Oludinez is the second-best paragliding spot in the world so of course we had to give it a go. The pictures will prove this. What an amazing experience sailing high above cliffs and the beautiful blue of the Mediterranean Ocean. It is an experience that we will never forget! Make sure to download and watch the movie clip of Dev jumping off the mountain.
The rest of the day we spent sunbathing and in the afternoon we took a local bus, called a dolmish (basically a mini-van), to Fethiye (Fet-ee-ay), another beautiful sea-side town which would be our launching pad for our yacht cruise on the Mediterranean.....