Saturday, October 2, 2010


We came, at last, to the end of our idyllic trip on the Turquoise Coast. I can still feel the gentle rocking of the ship – and can hardly wait until our next adventure…but wait…this one isn’t over yet!!!
We spent some time in the tiny town of Fethiye, the end, or the beginning, of the journey for many tours in the region. The small town prospers during the tourist season as hundreds of boats berth here, taking on new people, letting go of others. Wandering through the streets as we waited for our van to take us to the airport, we discovered many things…a Turkish Bath…where 5 of us spent a relaxing 2 hours being cleaned and massaged. Then, as we wandered through the streets, we discovered that this is, indeed, a town the supports truth in advertising.
Ah the airport…we got to know the airport really well. After a 1.5 hour drive, we arrived at the airport in good time, stood in line and got our boarding pass…for 3 hours later than our flight was supposed to leave. We checked…no, it was right, our flight was delayed. In fact,. ALL the flights on Turkish Air were delayed…and delayed…and delayed. After a few hours – and believe me, this airport has nothing in it…we were waiting and waiting, along with hundreds of other people. We discovered, however, that our plane was actually on the ground, at our airport…but we had no pilot. OK, pretty important person to have on a plane…but wait...there was a pilot sitting in the same waiting room, the pilot for the flight ahead of ours…but his plane wasn’t here. Now, a rational person would say “hmmm…pilot + plane = flight” and I would have been happy for the earlier flight to have taken off but…no can do…one can’t just go swapping planes and pilots. He had to wait for HIS plane (identical to ours) while we had to wait for OUR pilot. Go figure. 

Final Island

The next night found us once again near some ruins to explore. It was also a prime location for checking out the sunset and we were just in time. We all were ferried across to the island where we were greeted by the “temple cat” sitting at the wharf, rather disdainful of our presence.
We began the trek to the top, exploring the many remaining walls and partial buildings along the way – a lot of them were old churches… have to wonder why there were so many in such a relatively small space. The island was inhabited by goats and cats now, except for the tourists, the people were long gone. The sunset was indeed glorious and colorful and well worth the hike up.

Entrepreneurs and more

As I have said…the people here are quite enterprising…if you don’t go to where their shop is, they come to you. There were a number of small boats cruising among all of the sailing vessels in the various ports…all of them selling something. Sometimes it was souvenirs of some sort but usually it was food. The ice cream sellers had a couple of large ice chests on their boat along with a large, glossy board with the ice creams pictured on it. Big hit in the hot sun. Then, not to be outdone, an even more unique boat came along – selling fresh made crepes. The woman would roll out the crepe and fill it with whatever you wanted – nutella with bananas, coconut crème, cheese and onions and more. They were a big hit with our group!
Here’s a view of our sleeping mats – the rooms down below were so stuffy that we all slept out on top. The view of the sky was magnificent! You could truly see the milky way and millions of stars! What a treat…rocked on softly lapping waves, a clear view of the stars, fresh breezes keeping the night fresh, a beautiful sunrise to watch without even getting up out of bed. ‘Course the middle of the night mother nature calls were murder but otherwise, it was great.
We did have one morning that was a bit touch and go. For some reason we had to leave at 4 am…don’t ask me why, all we did was go somewhere else and moor the boat for swimming, however, we did. We went out into the ocean, rather than the protected strip of the Turquoise Coast (all of those gorgeous islands). That morning was quite choppy – and a number of people succumbed to the churning waves and tossing boat. Fortunately it didn’t seem long – and I was able to just go back to sleep. By the time I got up, we were back in the sheltered islands again.
The crew was great – they didn’t speak very much English at all but they were great cooks and they were always ready to do something silly…like taking off the helm!!! Despite the limited language, they were always courteous and friendly. One night a number of the younger group went off on a water taxi to the local bar. That was not a problem but they didn’t come back on the first or 2nd run…our young captain, who couldn’t go to sleep until they came back (and this was that 4 am day) finally got on his boat, ran over to the bar, walked inside and said “now” and everyone left. Didn’t need much language for that!

Island Views

Our first day took us along the coast, skirting on the inside passage between numerous islands. The sailing was smooth and the scenery gorgeous. We had time to bask in the sun, read, rest in the shade, read, talk with others, read, play games, read and did I mention read? With 19 people on board, it was amazing that everyone was a reader – everyone had a book, if not more than one book, with them. Definitely my kind of people. It was fascinating to have such a diverse group of people – two women who worked with international companies, bringing people to various places, two couples just traveling around for as long as the money held out, and a TaeKwonDo Master – even higher ranking than Master Darrell. The conversations were interesting.
Our trip was taking us down the Turquoise Coast…and if you could have seen the water, you would have instantly known why it was so named. Everywhere you looked the color was stunning. We stopped at the ruins on a tiny island, the name of which has been impossible to discover. Nevertheless, a large group of us decided to head for shore and climb up to the top for a view.
Now…the people here are very savvy about tourists…they know you’re going to come climbing up the hill to check out the ruins at the top so…they set up all of their shops along the way, enticing you to buy jewelry, clothes, papers, food, drinks…you name it, they have it. I have become fairly quick at learning how to say “no thank you” in many languages. Fortunately for the locals, my friends were not so good. We had a few people who loved to pick up great deals…and everyone was happy.
Once we got up on the hill we were treated some stunning vistas and goregeous, vivid colors. While the ruins were small and not as extensive as those in Olimpos, they were set in an impressive location. 
We had a great view of the islands around us, our ship, pristine waters and clear skies.