Fethiye to Olympos
We started off the day with another yummy breakfast at the Fethiye Guesthouse. The breakfasts here tend to be quite similar, with the exception of the breakfast at Atilla’s, which his mum prepared fresh each day and so was a bit different daily. Breakfasts generally consist of: tomato and cucumber slices, olives, some types of cheese and bread, eggs done in some form (often hardboiled), orange slices, sometimes cornflakes, and always tea. It’s really filling and yummy!
Having finished up breakfast we headed out to catch our bus to Olympos. Another cool thing about Turkey is that they usually have some type of shuttle bus to and from wherever you are going and it’s complimentary. Super convenient! Our bus was the typical dolmus or minibus and we were excited to note our Korean friend from paragliding taking the same bus, although he was heading to Antalya.
The drive from Fethiye to Olympos was stunning. The highway is twisty and convoluted and takes forever to drive but man is the scenery worth it. The cost from Fethiye to Olympos was 32TL or roughly $16 making the roughly 4hr trip pretty cost effective. The trip probably only takes about 2.5hrs by private car but on the minibus, you are subject to numerous stops as people disembark in random places and flag the bus down in equally odd spots.
When we arrived at Olympos, we discovered the bus lets off at the rest stop for the highway then you catch another minibus down the hill to the little settlement of Olympos. This costs 5TL and I’d say it’s well worth it as the journey is quite hilly and you traverse 2 rivers.
On the bus we were super pleased to meet Lena from Germany and Naima from Morocco. Lena was going to be staying at Bayram’s as well. Yay for another new friend!
We arrived at Bayram’s and were greeted by the awesome Yusuf. This guy is one of the most congenial, funny, and helpful Turkish people we’ve met. Big thanks to Yusuf for a terrific stay! Bayram’s Treehouses everyone … you will love it there!
We pulled up to our treehouse and threw our stuff down so we could go for a quick walk on the beach and check out the ruins of Olympos before dark. Since it was just about 5pm by then, we had free entrance (it costs 5TL per entrance otherwise) and enjoyed a nice walk and rest on the beach. We made the acquaintance of a lovely Turkish fisherman who was rather reminiscent of Captain Jack Sparrow minus so much eye makeup and plus a dog. We watched his fishing rod for him while he went back to his house (tent on the beach). More on our fisherfriend later.
By 6 we were ready to head back to Bayrams for supper, which was the usual delicious Turkish feast. After dinner, Yusuf started up a campfire, the first of the season, and we sat around chatting and making some new friends, including Leonard and his group of 4 girl friends from Germany.
The music was getting a little bit peculiar (ie instrumental Céline Dion) so Yusuf let me at the computer to create a playlist, which, if you know me, is one of my favourite things to do. Wannabe DJ right here, folks. Unfortunately the rains started in a little while later so we called it a night and good thing we did because it proceeded to downpour and put on an impressively massive thunder and lightening storm for the remainder of the night. It was probably the longest lasting and most intense storm I’ve been in.
When we woke up the next morning it was still raining lightly and the whole place was flooded along the pathways. It would be an inside day, we decided. I had exciting news that morning: I was offered a permanent, full-time position in Creston on med/surg/ER! After much debate and “the official German position” from Lena, haha, I decided to accept. 🙂 Here’s to paid vacations in fabulous places from now on!!
Our big activity for the day came a bit later in the afternoon with a walk to the Chimaera. It takes 7 km to get there and so we left just past 4 pm so we could see daylight and night time views. Our fisherfriend came in handy once more, showing us the path up along the river bank and up a rickety metal ladder as opposed to having to wade through the river. Fisherfriend’s dog was friendly, being just a year old, and was biting at my legs. I warned him he would go into timeout if he didn’t stop and he didn’t so I picked him up and carried him for a little ways. When I put him back down, he found a pinecone to chase so apparently timeout worked! 🙂
The walk to the chimaera was essentially flat until the last km and it only sprinkled a bit on us so it was an enjoyable walk and is actually part of the Lycian Way, some of which we’d done on our walk in Fethiye a few days previous. The last way costs 6TL entry and is all uphill to the flames. There was a big group of noisy American’s, from one of the nearby air force bases we learned, but as much as they’re a but noisy, boy are they always friendly!! They had brought marshmallows and sticks up with them and they very kindly offered some to share with Leah, Lena, and I. Such a nice bunch!
The flames themselves were pretty neat as it is wild to imagine that they have been burning for so many years without fail. We headed down after about an hour to get down the slippery, steep bit before darkness. The walk back was perfect with the aid of our torch and headlamp, except for all the frogs! Leah found it quite hilarious that of all the animals we’d met and I made friends with, I was scared of the frogs along the road. Honestly though, can you imagine the horrid squishy feeling if you stepped on one?! Ick.
Finally we returned and were greeted with a warm room, tea, and some leftover supper. It was early to bed for me after that! Although, that ended up meaning mending pants and going through photos.
The next day, our only plan was the hang out at the beach for a bit, along with the other 2 German girls who had arrived the previous afternoon, Lina and Jana. It was quite hot and we really enjoyed relaxing and catching some rays. Leah even got a bit burnt.
On our way back to Bayram’s from the beach, we had one of the moments that reminds me why I travel. We came across our fisherfriend along the path and he was on his phone (who knew nomads of no fixed address had cell phones!). When he had finished his conversation, he called out to us and asked if we were leaving that night. We said yes and he gave us both a big hug and told us to “have a nice life, sisters”, hand over heart. It was really touching.
Shortly after we returned up the hill to catch our bus to Antalya then on to Göreme. We were both feeling a bit sad to do this as we felt we’d made the most connections and friends in Olympos somehow. It’s a place to easily “get stuck” in…
And get stuck we wish we had after that night bus! Probably the most horrible bus I’ve ever been on. To start with, we were absolute back of the bus. Hello, bumpy! Secondly, the bus was patrolled by the most strict bus attendant I’ve ever come across. She did not want anyone sitting where they weren’t strictly alloted and the bus was quite full. They kept the full lights on for quite some time and kicked off the evening with refreshments. Ok. We are boarding a bus at 9:30pm, on which there are no toilets and driving until 7 am. Tell me why people need drinks at that time!!! I was having quite the hissy fit about how miserable it was/would be/how planes are better/how I would get off and find my own way rather than riding the bus for another 9.5 hours. Luckily Leah bore my woes quite admirably and on we drove….stopping every 5 seconds to pick someone else up. I digress. Then for some reason, they turned all the lights back on at 3 AM, THREE AM!!!, to offer more refreshments. Urghhhhh. This is your night nurse speaking: GO TO BED, it’s the middle of the night! Needless to say, not much sleep was had by us.
Upon arrival in Nevşehir, we were quickly helped to find our way to Göreme. First one dolmus into the city centre, then another into Göreme, and finally after some directions from the helpful tourist guy, we found our home for the next few days, View Cave Hotel. Luckily, despite arriving well before check-in time, the fantastic Emre greeted us and allowed us to have some yummy breakfast and hooked us up with a bathroom to freshen up in and an explanation of the red and green tours of Cappadocia. We quickly decided to join up with the red tour for the day. More to follow on that!
PS check it out – actual photos in this post!! Finally figured out how to make it happen…😜