Turkey part two
Turkey part two
Well I think we have to fess up here and say we have been on holiday in Turkey! a sort of holiday within a holiday. We have done some roughing it and overlanding plus a bit of culture and adventure mixed with a sprinkling of luxury thanks to our lovely friends Mandy and Paul. So all in all its been a busy fun few weeks.
Having visited Turkey cough err- 30yrs ago as a back packer I was keen to revisit some of the places that had so impressed then and show them off to John - this has been a mixture of success with some of the sites living up to my memory and others completely ruined by dreadful disregard for natural beauty in favour of tacky tourism.
After leaving Istanbul we headed south to visit Ephesus the ruins of the Greco-Roman ancient city - this was one of the sites that I didn't feel let down by the city and remains were just as magnificent as I remembered them to be all of those years ago. Apparently only 18% of the city has been unearthed and archaeologists continue to make discoveries so it was probably better than 30yrs ago!
We visited in the early evening firstly to avoid the crowds and secondly to avoid the heat - this also gave us the added bonus of fantastic light to take photos. We went around 6:30pm and virtually had the place to ourselves we felt as if we were in an episode of "Up Pompeii! you could almost hear the togas swishing in the wind the wine being drunk and Frankie Howard making some lewd remark, it really was very atmospheric . We performed a little in the Amphitheatre, sat on the latrines and marvelled at the Library all in all a good cultural experience all round. After a great visit we drove around 5km to the nearest beach and camped for night, watching the sun go down first, and then indulging in some star gazing on a dark night - managed to spot the constellation LEO with help of our astronomy app so a great end to a really great day.
The following morning we visited Selcuk the nearest village to Efes and houses the Ephesus museum - well worth your 10TL we were the first people in at 8am - mostly as we were desperate to use the loos after our night wild camping on the beach -( in fact the toilets were worth the 10TL alone in my opinion) however we did look around and was impressed with the number of artifacts and treasures and how well preserved they all were worth a visit and the 10 TL.
We then spent the rest of the day at ST JOHNS CAFE which is a wonderful little cafe in Selcuk which has wifi and great food we ended up staying for breakfast and lunch while catching up on emails etc etc - living without wifi does take some getting used to!
Next on the agenda is Pamukkale again last visited 30yrs ago. here are brilliant white calcite shelves overrunning with mineral waters, which are warm, blue and inviting - well that was what I remember and what all the tourist pictures would have you believe however sadly tourism has taken its toll despite it now being a UNESCO world heritage site
What a disappointment when we get to the top the wonderful pools which are the ones you will see on all of the tourist posters are empty!! It would also seem that the pools are being managed and dammed maybe to preserve them I don't know. It also isn't as gleaming white as I remember either and even late in the evening is still teeming with tourists, goodness only knows what it would be like in the summer months - we take our pictures like a good tourist does and plan to get out of there the next day!
Oludeniz was the next place on the itinerary this is the beautiful beach lagoon seen on all of the ads for Turkey - now I was quite excited about going here again, I knew it would be more commercialised than 30yrs ago but I hadn't banked on it turning into Benidorm and quite honestly that may be doing Benidorm a dis-service! !!! The beach you now have to pay to go on and what were a few coffee shops and low key tourist shops have now become Karaoke bars, Restaurants with neon signs flashing "English breakfast" and lots and lots of tacky tourist shops. To top it all the campsite we were staying at was awful, and didn't even have any hot water - however it did have wifi hence why we stayed!
Needless to say we moved on fairly swiftly to Patara beach apparently one of the longest sandy beaches in the med measuring 18km. Beautiful and what a contrast, here we set up camp and watched one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen - picture are without any filter that's just how it was. We couldn't believe our luck at finding such a sweet place to camp paradise in fact. So after a wonderful evening of sunsets and wine we turned in around 10pm. All was fine until around 11:30pm when we were woken by an urgent banging on the van!!! Apparently this part of the beach and dunes are part of an archaeological site so no camping allowed! So at 11:30pm we pack up our camp and head off to find somewhere else to spend the night still in our JimJams!
We are very lucky to have friends who live in Turkey in Kas who kindly agreed to put up with us for a few nights on our travels - we were so looking forward to seeing them, and their shower, toilet, washing machine and bed! And what a fabulous few days we had here - we almost forgot we were on an overland adventure!
Lovely drinks, with lovely friends
The villa is just up there, view from the yacht - did I mention the yacht?
And we had to swim in that water shame hey!
Thank you so much Mandy and Paul we had a fab time and we will be back!!!
I was hoping to finish more of this blog but the wifi is being very tempremental so this will have to do for now. It is sort of the right place to stop as when planning our route there was always the "Before Mandy" and the "After Mandy" The before Mandy meant we had somewhere to aim for friends to help and a wonderful luxury villa to stay in. The after Mandy is when the real adventure begins no luxury villas and friends to help us out. What we did have to look forward to is picking up 3rd crew member our youngest son James - so all of that will now have to wait until next time!