A chic city on the coast. Just short of a million people, this city actually had a cool, laid back vibe!
We stayed five minutes away from the tourist hub, which was perfect as we were central and could wander around then return to our room.
Unfortunately we were harassed the minute we entered the harbour to buy buy buy!
Men lined the beautiful harbour and yelled out to tourists to come on their half hour boat tour.
Since Indonesia and Sri Lanka I have learned to keep my eyes and head down and not even respond to the sellers. Maybe give the occasional head shake, but I try not to get suckered in. I hate being a walking ATM!...anyways, I must say that the Turkish men are quite entertaining and even comical, especially when it comes to selling their buisness. Here's an example...
"Yes lady! Excuse me...Boat tour ?? Cheap for you!" - turkish man
Silence and keep walking...-me
"I know it's a good deal!.. I've made you speechless"
" special price for you lady..10 million Dollars!! Muhhaha.. I mean 10 Turkish Lira"
Anyways we finally caved and took a half hour boat around the harbour for $5 CDN each.
"Well,... That was odd!??...."
we found ourselves in a rustic, overgrown, naturistic accommodation with chickens and cats roaming the grounds. It was very quiet, relaxing and full of scenery and wild life. It felt like we were camping!
The ruins were a few steps behind the beach, in a shaded valley, amoung vines, flowers, trees and a trickling stream.
Often referred to as the ole hippie trail, we lucked out by staying with a super nice turkish couple and experienced "traditional village life".
Our greeting was much more personal than at Olympus...this time we were given coffee and cookies while we communicated with the wife through a series of charades, since her English was lacking..then the husband, 'Jet' arrived and joined us, while we ate watermelon. Jet spoke nearly fluent English, so we really enjoyed our visit with him. During our stay, the couple made sure we were content and offered plenty of coffee and treats throughout the day. We were also invited to a wedding!!..which sadly we declined, as our backpacking clothes have become stinky, crumpled, worn..and well, not really wedding attire. Jet told us that weddings here are very expensive, with pure gold bracelets being worn by the bride, and 600-800 attendees.
As easy as it would have been to chill at the accommodation all day eating treats and crushing tea, while visiting with the owners and other guests, we managed to hike half hour to the beach each day. Patara is turkey's longest uninterrupted beach, and fluffiest that we've seen. 18 km of beach and sand dunes line the coast. We found shelter from the wind and soaked up the sun rays.
Personally I Imagine women in bare feet, brown robes and flowers in their long hair, carrying around kids strolling along the street, stopping to gossip with other women while "running errands" and taking care of their families, while men carried around marble and built marvellous structures, then sitting around drinking tea or wine in the evenings, also gossiping with their neighbours. I envision lots of talk about invasions and their safety, but otherwise is see happy people
going to school, the market, having meals with family, enjoying theatre, turkish Baths, etc...
So the way we've been moving along the coast is by public bus. We go sit at a bus stop on the main highway and wait for a bus to pull over. No one really has a timetable, frequent buses drive along the coast every 15-30 minutes. We throw our bags in the back and jump in. Usually the bus is packed and everyone shuffles around to accommodate way more people than should be in the bus. Stools are set up in the isle, and people stand. There usually is a driver and a second worker who collects fare as we drive.
We always seem to have interesting experiences on travel days, another reason why travel days are my favourite. It's exciting to see the scenery and interact with the locals while heading to a new destination.
We are currently in Olenduz! Sadly it's not what we expected.. Of course it's beautiful and a great town, however it has been invaded by British families. I just read that thousands of British peopleown homes in the area and/or come here for lengthy vacations. We have no problem with. British people, they are hilarious and cute! However, the influx of tourists means prices rise for us backpackers and everything feels "touristy"..countless restaurants and souvenir shops... No authenticity..
It's not all bad ,... We rented an apartment with a kitchen!! After backpacking for 5 months, it's so nice to be able to make our own meals and drink our own wine while in the comfort of our comfy clothes and cute apartment
When we arrived we played paddle ball on the beach and ended up booking a day trip through the local man who wanted to try paddle ball. .. He was revved up to the max... Too much caffeine.. Or maybe just loads of energy!.. He later explained that he needs his energy for his two wife's and 12 children! Yikes!
The boat tour was ok. We walked through butterfly valley to a tiny waterfall, and stopped at st.Nicholas island and cold water spring for a quick dip. The downside to the tour was the weather. Grey, cold and rain prevented us from seeing the deep blue colours of the water. I went for a dip near the cold water spring.. It was frreeezzzinnggg!
Anyhoodles we are still in. Olenduz and will either update this blog or write a second part..
Here are some random photos to share with you....
A colourful street we found. Probably the best spot to be if it rains;)
A common Turkish meal for tourists. Lots of chicken Kababs!.. Tomatoes! And lots of bread and greasy Fries!
Our guilty pleasure.. McDonalds ! In every country we've been in ! Lol..
Four little birdies in their nest! These smarties would turn around, stick their bottom out over their nest, and poop onto the ground!.. So impressed by their cleanliness !..momma bird would bring them food all day long!
So here i am, "bah bah bah-ing" at my goat followers, when some man pokes his head out of his home which is along side of the road, and begins yelling and screaming in Turkish...not sure if he was freaking out on me.. Or the goats...either way, he scared my goat friends away..
Bah bah black sheep... Have you any wool...
Sunset at Patara
We booked flights to CROATIA for June 11th!! We plan on checking out Montenegro for a week and then spending two weeks in Croatia!
And.. We booked flights home!
July 2nd at 2100 we fly into Saskatoon airport!...