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Published: February 10th 2007
Tribute to Ataturk
One of them anyway, on the way to Bodrum
30 April I got up pretty early and left at 7:25. I caught the tram to Aksaray Square and walked for 10-15mins to get to where the ferries leave from. Once there I enquired about getting a ticket to Bandirma and found out the next one was at 5:30, not 9:00 as the staff at the hostel had told me. Well stuff waiting around all day, and I then decided to head to the Otogar (bus station) and see where I could go instead. I asked the bus drivers how to get to the otogar but no one spoke English, and none of the buses use cash to pay for the fares. I paid 5L for a cab to the metro, then got the metro to the otogar and decided I would go to Bergamum instead. I asked a fellow backpacker and he told me the bus I would need to get but when I get there they tell me I will need to go to Izmir and then change and he points me to the right bus company (this was the weirdest bus station ever. They all are different companies that specialise in going to certain places over Turkey). So
I go in and they tell me there is one leaving in 10mins and I pay, get on and am on my way to Izmir, pretty random considering I thought I was going to Bandirma an hour ago.
The bus made plenty of stops along the way almost at random places where people were just grouped together on the side of the road. I had people talking to me in Turkish as though I was from Turkey, it was great, they even give you snacks on the bus and there were 2 staff members as well as the bus driver, hilarious! I have noticed that when the bus stops to pick up people, there are always family around to say goodbye, waving and blowing kisses, so nice. So after my 10hr bus ride, I arrive in Izmir bus station which is 6km out of the actual town, and no one is speaking English. I didn’t really feel like staying around, I just didn’t get a great vibe and crazily felt like I wanted to get back on a bus and keep going. So I walked my way around the ticketing offices, trying to decided where to go, and after
consulting my new Turkey Lonely Planet (first one I have ever bought), I ponder the endless possibilities and decide on Bodrum as I remember reading about it and wanting to go there. I get a ticket and eat a Kebab while waiting, then jump on another bus for my 4 hour ride. I get the 2 front seats to myself, eat my pretzels and drink my tea, all nicely provided in my ticket. Then a thought: "Do you choose the path of life, or does it choose you?"
I watched some of a Turkish movie with no subtitles and it was actually hilarious, even though I had no idea what they were saying. When I arrive in Bodrum around 12am I step off the bus and even though it’s dark, I feel like I already like this place. It had a great vibe, and even better that I got a free transfer to my hostel Bodrum Backpackers. Mehmet meets me at the door and I get a whole dorm room to myself. I stay up till 3 on the net and get my very first email from Mum and Dad.
1st May Happy Birthday Paul. Woke up not
really wanting to face the world or what may have been in Bodrum. Because I got here at dark I had no idea what I was about to face outside but I had to get up as breakfast was about to end. I had vegemite on toast as I still can't get used to the idea of tomato, cheese, cucumber and bread for breakfast. At breakfast I started chatting away to a pommie, Ashley and he offers to take me around to see the sights on his scooter. Awesome. So I give Paul a call after several hassles and we have a nice long chat catching up. This time I didn’t cry so that’s a good thing. I grabbed a quick shower and Ash and I headed off to a beach where we sat drinking tea and taking in the beautiful sights. Back at the packers Ash leaves and I have the yummiest Turkish Karnibahar for lunch then head out walking to explore Bodrum. It's so beautiful and peaceful as its not high tourist season yet. It looks very similar to the pictures I have seen of Greece and the Lonely Planet says the housing looks like Lego Blocks and
St Peters Castle
My head looks a bit small on this
they were right; they cover the hillsides all around. I went back to the packers and was introduced to my new roommate Clare from NZ and we just sat around talking to the packers workers who are really cool and had a few beers. Called it a night early, was buggered.
2nd May Today I have my first Turkish breakfast and it wasn’t all that bad. Clare and I headed out for some cruising and I checked out St Peters Castle (Clare waits outside) with its awesome views of Bodrum. There was a funny little display in an old dungeon where there were some terrible dummies and some strange moaning noises to give the effect of people being tortured! After lunch I bought some local strawberries and they were the best I have ever eaten in my life. We then headed down to the beach to try and catch some rays but it was way to cold to swim. Back at the packers I tell off Mehmet for tossing his cigarette butt saying that he is spitting on his beautiful country, and he actually went and picked it up. I thought it was going to be another quiet night
Part of the amphorae collection
in St Peters Castle, one of the biggest collections in the world
but I was wrong. I had a few beers and some good laughs with everyone and I got a bit demanding with the music (what’s new) and I had a good boogie with a 67yr old lady, I tell you she could shake it and even taught me a few moves. None of the young ones would get up!!! I called it a night after Tarik and Clare were getting better acquainted and I got bored. My feet were never before so black from dancing.
3rd May I roll over in the morning to find Clare is not in the room...I organise myself and head off for a day of sightseeing, firstly to see the ruins of Pedusa (best preserved Lelegian City site that still exists). The 3km walk starts out pretty flat with some great views of Bodrum until the climbing started. I didn’t mind though, the cool peaceful air was just what I needed, being out in the great outdoors, alone, getting some exercise, nothin better. As a tractor passes me I step to the side of the road and then notice a huge ribcage on the grass with blowies all over it. What the? There were
no other bones around or blood, how bizarre. There were no English signs around so I had no idea if I had gone too far and missed it or hadn’t walked far enough so I just kept on walking. I found a small building with some goats and 2 bullet shells on the ground!!! I took in all the amazing views and still had no idea where these ruins were, but once I eventually turned and headed back, I think I came across them but I cant be sure if the rocks I saw were THE rocks. Oh well, it was a nice walk (in my thongs!). I get back to the main road and I see a big black dog up ahead barking. It seems quite content barking at nothing however when I got closer it turned that nothing attention onto me. I panicked a bit and walked faster and was glad when it stopped about 2 meters away. As I walked past it (me checking behind me every few secs to see if it was following) and it wasn’t long before it started to run back after me again. I didn’t really know what to do as this
dog was just charging at me, and if I was to say something to it it wouldn’t understand me anyway as its a Turkish dog (!!!) and I don’t speak Turkish, so I ended up yelling "Hey...Hey" at it, and this happened a few times, until the last time I saw its mighty sharp teeth, and I felt lucky to get off that street, leaving the feral dog behind and head to the bus. I then check out Myndus Gate (only one surviving that was on the 7km wall protecting the city) and the Antique Theatre, then see the marina. Clare and I eat the best Turkish kebab so far and have a Sex on the Beach which was bliss.
4th May Today Clare and I headed to Gumusluk beach for a nice windy day soaking up some sun as the water is way too cold. We have an expensive lunch and some feral cats joined us under the table (ew). We get back to the packers in the arvo and I start to repack again, something I am used to and getting quite quick and efficient at. I start drinking while getting ready (mmm Efes beer), borrowing Clare’s
Hair Straightner and I feel like I am ready to really party tonight. After gussying myself up I join the others downstairs and we head to an expensive Yachting (members only) Club (mate of Tariks was the member) and the boys shout us some drinks and nibblies (strawberries, nuts etc). We then headed to Gumbet (party town) and to the outback bar and started some heavy drinking and dancing. This is where things get blurred, I remember dancing on the podium with a chick, who may have bought me a drink, and was possibly coming onto me!!! I remember thinking I lost my camera, and crying, but then I found that I gave it to the DJ. I remember thinking I wanted to walk back to the packers and that it was walking distance, and getting Clare out of the car as one of the guys had been drinking and now wanted to drive. Then we got into Tariks car and he took me somewhere I didn’t agree with (don’t remember why). I got out the car and tried to walk to the packers, (I had no idea where I was) and in Tarik coming to get me, he fell
down a cliff and got some bad scratches, I used my camera flash to try and see where I was going (hihihi) and I eventually turn around after I felt like I was walking and crying in drunkenness for ages (turns out it was only 10mins) when I find the others at Brian’s house I go to bed and end up throwing up out the balcony door before passing out!!! Crazy times
5th May ANZAC RUGBY LEAGUE TEST I woke up early, even in my hangover and passing out I am paranoid that I am going to miss the Rugby test, which Tarik promised me he was going to play at the packers. The view from Brian’s house was absolutely stunning and Clare filled in some of the gaps from last night for me. On the way to the packers in Brian’s car, we stop for a sivit for brekky and Brian pumps the radio down the main street and we scream out to "Don’t Cha" laughing our hung over heads off. Once the game started I went nuts, it was bloody awesome and we kicked Kiwi Butt 50-12 hihihi, it was so great to watch some real footy.
I think i'll go the apple tea...
After I said my bye's to everyone, (which was a little sad as I think I fell in love with Bodrum!!!) grabbed a Kebab and walked to the bus stop to head to Fethiye and once there I get my free transfer to my hotel V-Go. I check in and there is a horrid smell in my room, but its still clean and I have it to myself. I don’t unpack anything and head straight upstairs for a free tea (which I don’t get) and have a quick chat to Carolyn & Eve, two really nice Canadians who will be on the cruise I am on tomorrow, an early night though...
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