Friday, May 15, 2015

Life on a Gulet

We have just arrived in Antalya, after disembarking our gulet this morning.  It was a long time to be on a boat with the same folks, in the small spaces of a boat, sharing all meals with the same twelve people.  This was peaceful, but definitely a little boring.  
We just moved from one cove to another cove, the scenery gorgeous but pretty much all the same, spent our days finding cozy places to curl up with a book, or sitting around a table chatting.  The beds were not particularly comfortable--we weren't provided with real sheets, just a kind of rough blue bedspread, and a thick red and green blanket.  I went swimming off the boat practically every day, into the cool (but not freezing) water and once I took a kayak out and paddled around the cove.  

Internet access was iffy and when it was available, only a few could use it at the same time.  There was a certain tension in the air concerning internet hogs.

A few times in the last five or six days, we were ferried to shore in the motorboat to take a short hike, once to visit a family of so-called nomads living in a shack and selling trinkets, and another time in Kale to climb to a castle on a hilltop and then hike back to a cove where our gulet was waiting.   

Yesterday we boarded the bus and began two days of hiking and visits to fascinating ruins of ancient cities, the rock tombs of Myra, the flames of Olympus (a steep hike up a hillside where escaping methane gas combines with oxygen to produce mysterious flames rising from the rocks.  Today was perhaps the most spectacular hike of the trip, up to the ruins of Telmessos, another ancient city in ruins, but with a spectacular theater overlooking an impressive mountain.  Our guide, Jasmine, treated us to lunch at her home outside of Antalya.  She's an expert on wildflowers, and her garden, predictably enough, was full of them, and roses too.  

A farewell dinner takes place tonight, and tomorrow we'll be on that nonstop flight from Istanbul to San Francisco.  It's time to go home and do the laundry...

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