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Published: October 17th 2007
The mediterranean coast line of Turkey is absolutely beautiful! Looking at it all from a road high above the water was amazing. The blue of the water, the boats in the sea, the extremely high cliffs (which the drivers seem to take pretty casually) - all just beautiful. We decided it was time for some lazy days on the beach, so we left the main port of Fethiye almost straight away and headed to a little out of the way place called Kabak beach (a bit of a hippy style location).
It is a small beach in Kabak valley which is reached by car and then a long 25 minute walk down a very steep cliff (especially with full backpacks on!) to the various accommodation places. The accommodation is rustic to say the least, but just how we like it. All the camps are scattered around the mountain side, blending into the natural foliage. There are no fences between camps and sometimes it is hard to know when one starts and another ends. We stayed in a little wooden bungalow (you can bring your own tent) which was just one room with only 3 walls. The front of the bungalow
Sultan Camp - Kabak beach
A replica of this is planned for Donnybrook!
had a wall up to about knee height, so it was great for watching the beach during the day, and listening to the waves at night.
Aside from just laying on the beach, we spent one day hiking to see the "waterfall". Essentially we just followed the valley up towards the mountains which surround the beach - it is a great view when you are out swimming in the water. The hike to the waterfall was gorgeous, if a little like rock climbing a couple of times. We actually found a few waterfalls of varying heights and water content (one of which Evan swam in) and then we came across some old stone buildings which are now abandoned. Then we got temporarily lost. In so far as we weren't sure if we were still following a trail at all. But we found it and then walked back a different way to the sea where we dove straight into the water. It was very refreshing, but no where near as cold as back home during the summer months.
After a few days at Kabak (we could've stayed much longer), we moved on to Olympos. The only way we can
describe it is - Backpacker Resort. When you drive in, you basically drive past about a kilometre of hostels/pensions on both sides of the road. You can take your pick! Luckily we were there in the shoulder season so it wasn't as packed as it could be, but it was still extremely busy. At first the busyness of it put us off after the last couple of quiet days in Kabak, but then we met a few people and relaxed into it and enjoyed ourselves. We spent time at the beach, time exploring the Olympos ruins and time hanging out with newfound friends.
Like Kabak the beach setting was just amazing. The beach is set in a valley and is surrounded by high cliffs. Some of the ruins are actually walls built along these cliffs - can't imagine how they would have done it hundreds of years ago without the technology we have.
After another few beach days working on that sun tan (haven't had one like this for years!) we took an overnight bus to Cappadocia. It was an amazing fairytale like place. The scenery is justifiably rated as awesome. Just check out the photos!
our first day we headed straight out to see one of the underground cities. It was awesome. About 7 levels of underground caves just carved into rock - and people actually used to live down there! Mainly they lived above ground, but would go beneath when there was threats - so it was fully habitable for a long period of time and designed with defensive mechanisms as well. We had a great time crawling around, banging our heads and dropping through holes into more caves. Probably wouldn't take much to get lost, but luckily we stayed near the guiding arrows.
Next we caught a bus back but got dropped off in Uchisar where there is a gorgeous "castle" carved into one of the crazy looking hills that are all over the place. There were spectacular views from there. Then we walked down into Pidgeon Valley which joins up to Goreme where we were staying. All was going fine until we got to an impassable place (unless you wanted to take a risk of free falling a bit too far!). But we were rescued by an old guy who had 20 dogs and lived in the valley. I think he
Unfortunately we would have needed a car to get to this beach.
made his fortune rescuing lost travellers! Anyway, he guided us to where we needed to go, and almost left us behind! He was quick on his feet. We made it through the valley and were rewarded at the end by finding a turtle - the last thing we would've expected to see, but apparently they are common to the area.
Hard to beat the first day, but the next day we went and visited the Goreme Open Air Museum. It is full of hills which were carved out and made into churches. The churches were really quite amazing - the detail of the carving and the paintings within them. That night we were invited to join a local man (whom we had earlier purchased hats from!) for dinner with his wife in his home. It was really interesting seeing how the locals live. Our host was quite poor and the living conditions were nothing like what we are used to, but you couldn't beat the hospitality - which usually means "eat eat eat". Some of the food (some sort of pasta with a yoghurty sauce and then a tomato sauce) was a bit hard for me to stomach, but
it was definitely an experience.
The next day we got up early to see the balloons. Cappadocia is ballooning central - we counted about 25 air balloons that morning. They look so beautiful up there, but having done ballooning once before in Australia we couldn't justify the expense. So instead we had breakfast and then went walking through the valleys again. This time we chose Sword Valley which led into Rose and Red Valleys. It was a beautiful walk. Then we went a bit further and checked out the old town of Pasabag - more amazing buildings carved into rocks. We were sick of walking after this (and very hot), so tried to catch a bus. After waiting around for way too long we started to walk and were lucky enough to get picked up by a passing motorist for the last few kms.
That night it was back on the night bus to Istanbul. We had one more night there and we made the most of it. Heaps of walking around soaking up that Istanbul atmosphere, touring the Aya Sofia (how could anyone miss seeing inside that beautiful building - but pity our photos aren't so good!),
and wandering through the famous Grand Bazaar. It was all amazing and I would love to go back - we only got to see maybe half of what Turkey has to offer.
(PS. There are lots of photos on this blog, so make sure you click to go onto the second page!)
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