I briefly woke up on the roof of the boat again at 2am, due to the fact that I was completely sandwiched in between Rich and Butch and both of them were laying on either side of my blanket, kind of like a strait jacket and I couldn't move. After I fought myself free I went back to bed and woke up later for breakfast. I made the mistake of telling the boys that they had unknowingly pinned me down in their sleep, which was of course met with many, Come on Kris, it was your biggest fantasy, type jokes. Better sandwiched in between the two Aussie trouble makers than anywhere near that bloody captain I thought.
We left out little bay at about 9am and headed about fifteen minutes around the corner to the Pirates Cave. Which as its name suggests was a cave in the rock face, in which the ocean spewed into. We had to jump from the front of the boat, and it was high, I went last actually having a little trepidation about this and with good reason. When I jumped from the front of the boat, my swimmers went so far up my ass I could taste them, it was the most painful wedgie of my life, but I couldn't dive as I had my camera with me and it didn't want it hitting the water at full pelt as it had been more than a little temperamental of late.
We all swam through the choppy water and into the cave, which was really quite shallow, so I put my feet down for a bit and took some pictures. I even spotted Butch trying to take photos of himself under water. Is this my soul mate? I jokingly thought…and proceeded to copy him. After about half an hour the captain made two trips back to come and get the sixteen of us. I went in the second trip, I looked at Butch and said, I pity everyone who has to ride back with me, Did he show off with you last night did he? You have no idea, I said. The captain came back and hoisted the rest of us into the boat.
When we got back to the gulet he made us all jump overboard and swim back to the boat. He, for some reason hoisted me back in, I thought it was to help me back onto the boat, but no, he sped off with me again, trying to scare me again. He even let me drive the small powerful boat. One of the captains I passed on another boat, made a motion, like push him in, with his hands at me. I gave him the thumbs up and laughed. I would have loved to have done that.
We reached our destination, after much showing off, a deserted cove. Wonderful, I thought, as I was dragged into the water. Maybe he will just let me swim here I thought. A rather naïve thought, and I knew it too. As soon as we were both in the water, his intentions were made clear. That was it, I'd had it. I want to go back to the boat, I said as forcefully as I could, and surprise, surprise, he helped me back into the zodiac and did just that. I was relieved to be back, despite the captain insisting on hosing me down himself before I got back on and went and sat with Butch, Claire and Alison. All of you, I said, Please, please stop leaving me alone with HIM!
I then went to the back of the boat to relax, Alison's husband Paul was back there and he is about old enough to be my Dad so, I was well guarded. I had a couple more dips in the water before we headed off to Demre to get our transfer bus to Olimpos……
Olimpos, just thinking about it, I couldn't even verbalise the way I felt about going back there. The best place in the world, the place in which I feel the most comfortable, my point 0000….I'm either never going to want to leave again, or I'm going to be disappointed and if it's the later, I will regret coming and spoiling this perfect memory I have of a wonderful place that I left for all the wrong reasons.
It took us about two hours to drive into Olimpos, not least because the driver stopped for a twenty minute break, when we were only twenty minutes away. I think I was hyperventilating by this point. We drove into the valley, I don't think I've ever felt so much excitement to be going somewhere, we passed Kadir's and dropped a few people off at Bayrams, before loading back up and dropping me at Kadirs Tree Houses. I said goodbye to everyone and walked through the wooden arch as I had done countless times, feeling like I had come home after a very long journey. The only question now, was had home changed that much in four years.
I attempted to check in, but the reception staff could not find my booking, typical I thought. I was asked what I had booked and I said, a dorm, watching them fill out a new booking card. Just out of curiosity, how much is a single room, I said standing there and sweating in the heat.Seventy five lira without air-conditioning, the man said. That's not too bad I thought. And with air-conditioning? I said. Ninety lira, said the man. I did some quick calculations and asked if they had a room available for the entire time and decided to upgrade on the spot. I was in desperate need of a proper shower and it was way too hot to consider spending five days in an un air-conditioned tree house.
I was shown to my tree house, called Abba's song, not so appropriate for me and was told the power was out for the next ten minutes. Reading between the lines, I knew that meant for the afternoon. I ditched my stuff and went for a walk around, the place hasn't changed much. I walked into the Hangar Bar and upstairs, it was virtually deserted, as it usually is in the heat of the day. Memories came flooding back. Walking in from one of my highway to hell tours, with Fez and falling asleep on the lounge with a beer, Tim trying to teach me card tricks at one of the tables, discussing the merits of drinking beer through a straw with Owen and then testing that hypothesis, playing with Princess the kitten at the bar, the same bar where I had told everyone I was quitting and going back to Australia.
As I sat there, listening to the echoes of the past and of the most fun I had ever had in my life, I felt something I had never felt before. Regret. I should never have left, I should have let my life in Turkey run its course, not go running back to Australia for some boy. The point is, if I could take it back….I would have. I don't even care that, if taking it back means I would never have gone to Africa, or finished my master's degree, if I had my time over again I would stay right here.