We flew to Istanbul and stayed the night in a hotel near the airport and then caught a domestic flight to Dalaman airport. From there, we caught a bus to Fethiye where we planned to stay for a few days to adjust to life in Turkey. From the airport to the bus to the hotel and Fethiye, we were pleasantly surprised at just how easy everything was. Not speaking much Turkish, we were a little nervous about how difficult the traveling might be - not to worry! It really is one of the easiest countries we've traveled in.
We shopped around Fethiye to get a few last minute supplies - we needed to find some fuel for our cat-food stove and ended up buying Methyl Alkol - a purple liquid that was hard to find and and harder still to explain just why we wanted it!
We also found a shop that sold various nuts and snacks that was very fun to taste and shop.
While walking around Fethiye, a 'volunteer' tour guide found us and offered to tell us where the local Fethiye rock tombs were, and then proceeded to drag us up and down the streets, then insisted we offer him money at the end of it. Of course since we didn't "offer" enough, he named his price - typical in some countries, so we shrugged our shoulders at losing a couple of bucks being amateurs. To our surprise, he was the singular only person in all of our Turkey travels to hustle us for a few bucks. Granted, as you will see, we were hiking with goats for the most part after this :)
We had a hilarious search for mezzes and Raki (liquorish flavored liquor), but nobody was serving it as it was winter and that's for summer!!! We offended a few restauranteers when we wouldn't stay as they weren't serving Raki. When I finally found some, they nicely made some out-of-season summer mezzes and served us our drink properly with a bottle of water and ice. Afer all that, Grant and I could barely choke it down. We are not booze drinkers!! Oh, poor stupid tourists :)
For more fun that night we were lucky enough to stop and eat at a local bar that was broadcasting the important soccer match between ????galatsay and ukraine??? - a very exciting game but also a very popular local event as well - you can't beat watching a local soccer team with the rest of the town cheering them on! It was broadcast on a large screen outdoors, and was fun to join the crowd.
We had no solid plans, but Robin was itching to start hiking, so we decided to hike from Fethiye to Kayakoy and maybe on to Oludinez if we felt like it, for trial hike before the official start of the trail.
Ok kids, we're going hiking in Turkey!
|Rock Tombs, Fethiye|
|Eating Lunch, Fethiye Market|
|Starting our Hike, Unofficial Beginning Fethiye|
|Lycian Tombs, Lycian Way, Unofficial beginning near Kayakoy|
|Lunch Spot in a 'Treehouse', Kayakoy|
Check out our Route Map of this day! (But don't use it for navigation purposes)
The hiking was up and along a road for the most part, but it was quite magical decending down the hills into Kayakoy. We finally were out of the city and I got our first taste of rural Turkey: old ladies with headscarves, stone walls, goats and other animals, the generosity of an old man who gave us an orange from his yard, etc... We stopped for a snack and beers at an outdoor restaurant in Kayakoy. after resting awhile in the Kayakoy treehouse, we realized we wouldn't make it to Oludeniz. We were pointed towards the nearest bus stop, and were told we may or may not catch the last bus that day!
The comedy of errors continued when the bus made it into Ovacik, the abandoned holiday village above Oludeniz. It was abandoned because it was purpose built for British tourists who weren't set to start arriving for a few more weeks. A nice Bristish local implored us to get off the bus instead of heading down to Oludeniz, as our best chance, if any, of finding a hotel was there. We made it off the bus, and across the street to the only open bar. We partied with the local paragliders for a bit, and then the bartender called his buddy who had a hotel that wasn't open yet. The young guy showed up in a yellow car with a black eye and offered us a ride. After some confusion making sure this was who the bartender called for us, we took a deep breath, and got into his car.
Of course, he was sooooo nice. He had a black eye from playing soccer (duh). His hotel wasn't finished being renovated, but he and his mom opened a room for us, gave us a free beer and a bottle of wine, and made us breakfast the next morning, all for something like $30 because we were his first customers. It was crazy how nice they were. It was also weird being the only people in this huge unfinished hotel :)
Turkey, we could already see, would be awesome at every turn