Swim, read, water, repeat.

Trip Start Dec 22, 2009
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Trip End Sep 23, 2010


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Where I stayed

Flag of Turkey  , Antalya,
Sunday, August 1, 2010

Kas has definitely been one of those little gems you discover every now and then in a big trip - a tiny, quiet little town (a relief from it's bigger, more tourist-filled cousins Kusadasi and Fethiye), with refreshing swimming spots and friendly locals. It was only 2 and a half hours from Fethiye to Kas, and as soon as I arrived at the tiny bus station I grabbed my bag and was ready to walk to my hostel, with directions from the boys back in Fethiye (also Kas locals). However I had barely taken two steps away from the bus when I hear "hello, welcome to Kas! You need a place to stay?" - it was a man selling freshly squeezed orange juice, and when I told him I was staying at Ates Pension, he gets out his mobile; "they pick you up, I am friend of them" - nice one, I thought, as the weather is now at the point where you are covered in sweat after about 1 minute outdoors, so I ordered an orange juice to repay the favour of the nice man, and had a relaxing seat at his cafe. Within about 3 minutes, as I was sipping the last of my juice, a young boy arrives on a scooter - "Ates?"...I guess this was me. I was stoked, and tried to play down my excitement of riding on the back of his scooter, (a love affair that started last year in Thailand) so with my pack under his legs and me on the back we were off, and rode all of 5 minutes up some hills to Ates Pension.  When I arrived at the pension, to the greetings of the lovely owners, I was asked if I minded sleeping on the roof terrace that night, as the dorm I had booked was full. Of course I didn't mind, and the terrace was actually great - with a cool breeze allowing me to sleep very comfortably. Wednesday was the first of many lazy days to come. I headed down to the water, which in Kas can only be reached by jumping off rocks (there is no sand or pebbles), so many of the cafes double as docks - with deck chairs and umbrellas at the ready. I hit Laymona's - simply because it was the closest one to my hostel, but it turned out to be the one I went back to day after day - with nice boys working there who I felt sorry for due to their unco swimming ability, and there was hardly ever more than about 8 people in the place - perfect. Over the next three days, I would wake up, indulge in the free breakie at the hostel, then head down to Laymona's where I would leap in the water asap to cool down, read as I dried off, take a health concious sip of my water, read some more, then swim again when I was dry. The weird thing about swimming in Kas is how deep the water is - I found myself constantly looking around for sharks and stingrays, unable to shake the fact that if back home in water this deep, I would definitely come across one or the other in my travels. As if I wasn't lazy enough, I decided to grab a pool noodle to add to my aquatic experience (why tread water when you sit on this thing), and also got a snorkel set so I could see what was going on in the depths. Come the evening, when the temperature would fall into the low 30s and it was safe to move, I would head into Kas town - a tiny area made up of small streets filled with surf and dive shops, restaurants, cafes and of course clothing and jewellery stores - and window shop, get the occasional iced coffee and scope out my next meal. I found Kas to rival Istanbul in the good food stakes, my first meal consisted of half an eggplant stuffed with mince and tomato - awesome, and with friendly locals all it takes is a quick chat about Australia and your guaranteed a starter, fruit and tea on the house. On Saturday I decided to break my lazy routine and head to Olympos for a night. The winding bus ride took about 2 hours, following the coast and eventually arriving at Olympos bus station (which is basically a deli on the side of the road). I then took a colectivo down into Olympos valley, where all the 'treehouses' are (little cabana set ups in the forest), as well as a huge beach and some ruins.  I had booked a private treehouse, needing a brake from dorms every once in a while, and although it wasn't quite as Swiss Family Robinson as I'd hoped, it was a great little wooden house and it was nice chilling in my own little place. I braved the 40 odd degree heat to check out the beach, which is a bit of a trick because it's on the other side of the ruins, so you have to fork out 3 lira to get there... the beach was really nice - a big stretch with crushed pebble sand and a rocky sea floor, but lack of shade meant I could only take the heat for a couple of hours. I did some snorkelling, got my money's worth by taking a look at the ruins, then headed back for an afternoon nap in my peaceful hut. 
Come 9pm, I headed off with some hostel mates on a tour to the Chimera Flames - a natural gas phenomenon that has resulted in fires burning up in the mountains for thousands of years. It was a bit of a hike up the mountain, but a nice relief from the winding bus ride (one girl was sick on the way down...) and when we reached the top you could see the flames and feel the heat. A strange but amazing sight - huge fires burning from underneath the rocks and you could smell the accompanying gas. At about midnight we were back at the tree houses, and I had the best nights sleep I'd had in a while. 
Sunday morning I headed back to Kas early, as I was already missing my favourite cafe and jumping into the deep water, and it wasn;t long before I was back on my deckchair with a pizza and large bottle of water by my side. I stayed there all afternoon, then took a fellow Aussie to the restaurant that I had loved so much at the start of the week (much to the owners delight who gave us a free desert - baklava with icecream), and we had some awesome dinner. A great way to spend my last night in Turkey.   
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