Monday, July 02, 2007


Olya wanted to try river rafting, I had done it once before in Australia and found it enjoyable. We booked onto a trip to the Dalman river. The Dalman River is about one and a half hours drive from Marmaris. This meant we had to leave at 7.30, which meant missing breakfast so by the time we arrived at the rafting centre we were very hungry. Fortunately breakfast was included in the price of the trip.

After a quick breakfast we climbed into the rafting centre buses and started another hour and a half journey. This time the bus snaked around the mountains climbing higher and higher. The road were mostly little more than dirt tracks with rather sheer looking drops on down to the valley below. The mountains were very beautiful; we sure got a good look at them as we rode over the dirty dust tracks. The sky radiant blue, the sun hot, Olya and I were both excited it was going to be a good trip. One of the river guides told us that the government is building a dam so five years from now rather than a river the valley would be a large reservoir.

By the time we reached the high point of the river I was glad to get out of the bus. The sun was beating down strongly. The heat was such that we had to throw water over the rafts to cool them down enough to sit on.

Our boat contained myself, Olya and a Dutch family, the guide and a trainee guide. I think our guide was a little crazy to be honest but it all made for a more fun trip. We started to move downriver just about knowing when we hit the first major rapid. I do emphasise the word hit too. Our raft smashed into the rock face flipped over pouring us into the water. I ended up under the flipped boat and had to dive down to get out. I drifted away as the others struggled to right the raft. I got picked out by one of the following rafts I was ok apart from a few grazes. My sandals tore to pieces though, oh well.

After a rendezvous I rejoined my raft and we continued downriver, we actually had to get out and walk round a couple of times avoiding some the worst rapids. About halfway down the river we stopped off for a short rest. There was a deep place in the river you could jump from the high rock walls about. I tried it a few times it was very refreshing to hit the cool river.

It was kind of disappointing to see the Roman bridge which marked the end of the trip. There was one bit of fun left, we got out of the raft and floated through the final rapid. Olya and I both had a great time I bought the video of the trip, it's a bit big for the web but I am hoping to cut out the crash scene :)

Turkish Bath

Olya and her friend Luba had booked to go to a Turkish bath. They invited me to join them so I though I might as well.
There is a popular phrase "its as hot as a Turkish bath in here", now I know what they mean. The bath started with a sauna. After which we were ushered into an octagonal room. It was very humid inside the room. In the centre was a slab on which you lay during the bath. First some Turk cleans you with a kind of scouring pad, apparently this removes the dead skin. It was very relaxing; the only pain was waiting for my turn inside this hot and steamy environment. After the bath was a massage, a Turkish masseuse massaged oil into my skin. I was left feeling relaxed and smelling vaguely of fruit!

The afternoon was incredibly hot touching 50C. Just about the only things to cool down was to go for a swim in the sea then relaxed on the sun loungers.

In the evening Olya, Luba and myself went on the Moonlight cruise. The cruise takes place on board a large ship called the Orca (it has two bars and a disco). The Orca leaves the jetty and cruises up an down the marina to the sound of disco songs. There was even a belly dancing show. I enjoyed the cruise sitting up on the top deck, taking in the evening relaxing with a cocktail. I found the music a bit tiresome the typical dance rubbish they play here. Olya calls in "dunce dunce dunce" music and I tend to agree. There also weren't many people on board so the dance floor was pretty empty.

Still it was a an enjoyable evening, especially sitting outside with Olya.

Arrival in Turkey

I had a rather surreal start to my trip, I saw Peter Kay, nearly knocked him over in fact coming out of WH Smith at Manchester Airport.

My flight was late boarding they said because the incoming flight was late but I am not sure I believe that. I saw the there 1.5 hours ahead when I entered the terminal. Something else was going on, or maybe I am just paranoid.

Turkish airlines weren't exactly the slickest operation I have ever been on, I don't know why but they just seemed unprepared and stretched even though the flight was only about 2/3 full.

Istanbul airport was very confusing; I had to wait in a visa queue for ages. I had to jostle for position with a load of Russians who insisted on pushing in the queue. Then as I had to transfer I hadn't got a clue where to go I had to ask twice at the transfer desk they weren't the most helpful.

However I remain excited waiting here for my connecting flight to Dalaman. I found out the airport wireless is open to dns-html lookup attack; I will defiantly have to get one of those servers up and running.

The taxi ride to Marmaris took 1.5 hours, it is not only far but the final part of the journey involves tearing down some rather twisty mountain roads. The driver was really quiet scary, tearing around blind and sharp bends at a fair pace. Fortunately we made it into Mararis and after 15 minutes of searching and asking other taxi drivers he finally found my hotel, the Ocaktan.

Whilst I was checking in I met a Russian girl called Olya in reception. she was sat smoking and chatting to the hotel attendants. We got talking and went for a walk along the seafront. She was funny interesting and beautiful. We sat out on the deserted sun lounger watching the sea.

Marmaris reminds me of any resort from like the Costa Del Sol in Spain or even Blackpool. You can eat at the Italian/Indian/Mexican/Chinese restaurant. Loud music permeates from every bar as they via for the attention of passing trade.

The beach is a tiny strip of sand covered in sun lounges laid out by the various hotels and restaurants along the sea front. The sea is closed off from the ocean by the high mountains so there is hardly any tide, it is however very salty