Ewokin' it up in Ancient Olympos

Trip Start Apr 12, 2006
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Trip End Ongoing


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Thursday, June 8, 2006

And so it be, on day the fourth, Avast ye!..the mediterranean stood conquered and quivering, as the pirates of the blue gulet went land ho, to pillage forth, on to the next adventure...

Faster than you can scream "Parre Lunge, ye scurvy dogs" our brief bout at real piracy had reached an untimely conclusion, and reality of life as landlubbers kicked back in once again. Though it wasn't exactly 'real' piracy, it was a damn sight closer to it than lame piracy, the sort of piracy you inadvertently delve into when you used to copy your mates VHS tape, despite the gruff warning from the voiceover bloke with the most subsonic voice in existence, drawling a bunch of jive about whether you've got what you paid for, the same spiel you've heard 180 million times, and subsequently fast forward through without blinking an eyelid.
But that piracy is lame and it does't count.

Nonetheless, we made the most of our dwindling hours aboard the gulet, sailing through the sunken city of the 'Lycian' civilisation, 2000 year old submerged ruins strafing the coast cut off forever by the risen waterline. The Lycians were an ill-fated bunch of Roman-time geezers, seemingly the foe of every possible rival tribe in the area, copping it not only from human enemies, but from the elements as well, the eventual result being the total destruction of their cities and the extinction of their race. Poor buggers. Must have been doing something wrong. Not even Mother Nature had mercy upon the Lycians.

Post-breakfast and the obligatory aggot-freezing swim off the boat, we pulled in and docked at a nearby jetty and moseyed around the local village, eating some homemade Turkish ice cream and checking out the local stores. But alas, the winds got a little wild towards mid afternoon and the sea followed suit with maximum choppiness, cutting our last day short by a couple of hours, as we packed up, jumped ship, and headed for land. Finding that my bag was quite wet once we got onto dry land, i presumed it had accidentally been dangled in the drink, but soon found that a can of Efes has exploded rather inconveniently in the crux of my pack, and was subsequently responsible for the moistness and ensuing odour. Major drag. Aboard a minibus that was reaking gradually more and more of stale beer, we set off towards our final destination as part of the cruise deal, the one time new-age, hippy haven 'Olympos', a cosy, leafy beachside commune parked in a valley away from the big towns, where you get to shack up in one of the many treehouse pensions and make like an Ewok for the night.

We pitstopped at a small town along the way to Olympos, and i bought a cool white Moroccan style shirt that showed a hint of pirate. After ogling the local camels, we set off along the rounded coastal road, nodding off every minute or so until the weight of my head drooped forward and woke me up, serially thwarting any real attempts at a powernap.

Olympos was once upon a time a fairly pumpin hub of an ancient Lycian city, and though these ill fated buggers have been well and truly wiped from the face of the earth since their heyday in 1AD, Olympos continues to pump, though the patronage of many a boozehound, partygoer or run of the mill backpacker. Arriving at the reputable 'Bayrams' treehouse hostel, we checked into some hilariously flimsy wooden tree shacks, and celebrated the return to dry land with some well-timed happy hour Efes. With the majority of the Blue cruise crew inhabiting the same treehouses, we all hung out, drank beers and ate buffet dinner in one of Bayrams' many decked out Turkish 'box lounges', recapping the wild voyage and continuing on with the good times.

The Lycians of Olympos, whom i kind of envisage to have been like the Irish of the Roman era, used to worship 'Vulcan' - the God of Fire and Gas Heating (and one time participant of 'Australian Gladiator'). The Lycians pledged their worship to Vulcan, most likely due to the mysterious phenomenon of the 'Chimaera' - a small section of land near Olympos where gas seeps from the ground and produces a series of eternal flames that never go out. (As opposed to eternal flames that do). The place is legendary, and reasons for it are largely unknown. We trekked out tonight to check it out, and although i was anticipating a tad more fire and brimstone, we were dumfounded as to how this series of small flames perpectually burn from seemingly phantom ingition. We sang the Bangles hit 'Eternal Flame' as the un-put-out-able collection of campfires burned up the hill in front of our eyes, eventually giving up on trying to explain the occurrence and instead taking photos that made it look like the fire was being shot out of our asses.

Feeling done in by a long eventful day, and too many Efes, i climbed up to my treehouse, made like an Ewok, and fell asleep with a rapidly growing, bold white moon glaring through my picket door.
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