Had fun, made friends, got into giant water fight that lasted all day….what more could a girl want from a day out?
I got picked up for my jeep safari to Saklikent gorge at 9:30am, it was supposed to be 8:30am, but Turkish time had struck again. The jeep turned up and I was squashed into the back seat with an English family of five, one of whom a young guy by the name of Ben, immediately stuck up a conversation with me. Ironic considering last nights contemplation's in the theatre.
We drove until we met up with about ten other jeeps, everyone in them seemed to have water guns or buckets filled with water and they proceeded to soak us. After the water fight ebbed somewhat, we headed off to view the ancient Lycian city of Tlos. We only got to view this from the road, but that was enough. It was set on a hill and the tombs seemed really impressive, I would have loved to have gone and had a look around but the heat was insane and I think I would have passed even if there had been time.
After the ancient city, we headed off to this place whose name escapes me, but it just seemed to be a restaurant area with waterfalls scattered around it. Ben and I (seems weird to be writing Ben and I again) pulled up bean bag chairs and sat and chatted until it was time to move onto our next destination.
We reached Saklikent gorge and immediately had lunch and then we had time to go into the gorge. Of course I had done this four years ago when I worked for Fez, so I opted to go in the pool and then sit under a tree in a sun lounger with Ben discussing the Avengers and new Batman movies. Wow, I'm back in Turkey and turns out I'm still a nerd.
I went in the pool a few times, but most of the time and for most of the day in fact I was happy to hang out with Ben and just have some company. We moved on from the gorge to the mud baths, and I decided I wanted to go in and get filthy. Most people on the jeeps went in, Ben didn't as I don't think he's a fan of the sun. We had to wade into the mud baths all holding hands as it was very slippery. Once in out guide, Tofun instructed us on how to use the mud, in a humorous way of course. The funniest bit being when he made all the men in the group slop a hand full of the mud down their pants.
As a consequence of having mud all over us, we all now how to wash the mud off, in the only water available, the freezing cold mountain stream coming from the gorge. Most people whined about this and bemoaned how cold it was. I went in prepare for the worst and was pleasantly surprised. I even had one of the Turkish guys hold onto me so I could get my head under without being swept away by the current.
We all got back into the jeeps and continued to soak each other with water, before getting onto the highway to Patara beach, the longest beach in Turkey. It took us about forty five minutes to get there and along the way, we went through a lot of dust, which is just what you want when you're soaking wet. We also went through lots of little villages, whose children came out to wave at us in the hope of getting sweets and whose men picked up hoses and aimed them at the jeeps and soaked us even more.
We reached Patara beach, which mercifully was a sandy beach, dirty sand but sand all the same and not rocks so my poor feet could have a break. I went into the sea which had a light surf with Ben's parents Julie and Brian. The sea was unexpectedly cold for the Mediterranean, but still warmer than any beach I've ever been to in Australia. I had a quick dip before deciding it was Efes O'clock and went to sit in one of the cabana's with Ben
and his sisters until it was time to leave.
We got back into the jeeps and drive back to Fethiye, on the way passing the giant SAKLIKENT sign my driver had once missed just to spite me four years ago, forcing me to make him to a U-turn on the highway and take us back around another hour. My single most embarrassing moment as a tour leader. We also stopped to refuel at the same petrol station my driver and I had looked for, for two hours because my stupid notes said it was in Fethiye, not on the way to Antalya. One of my scariest moments as a tour leader, heading down the highway towards Antalya with my petrol light flashing about to break down at any given moment. I told Ben about these experiences, and also discussed what super powers we' like to have. Teleportation won out over flying. Yes definitely, still a nerd.
We arrived back in Fethiye to one of the most beautiful sunsets I had ever seen and I said good bye to my new friends. It was now about 8pm and I was really hungry, so I had a shower and got changed and hopped in a dolmus and went into town for dinner. I really couldn't be bothered trying somewhere new, so I just had another yoghurt kebab at Zeki's before going to look for a new pair of thongs. I wasn't going to go back to V'go's without them. The last pair which I bought on Santorini less than six weeks ago are just about warn through, which will give you some idea of how much walking I actually do.
I managed to find some new thongs and got some money out for my gulet cruise tomorrow and for Olimpos, which being the veritable hippy commune that it is has no atms. After I had run all my errands I went back to the hotel and went to bed, tomorrow I leave for Olimpos on my gulet cruise, back to the best place in the world in four short days!