Tuesday, July 03, 2007


I haven't finished all my Turkey posts yet but I am getting there, I have spent most of today just going through my photos rearranging things and writing blog posts.

I did watch the film American Splendour which I thought was pretty cool. About the man behind he comic book of the same name it was shot in a challenging but pretty interesting way. One of the better biography's I have seen, they usually tend to be over-long and obsessive but this seemed to manage to encompass the majority of the import bit without detailing too much minutiae.

Went to Japanese class and totally fucked up in front of the German girl, I just got completely confused. It was the last lesson of this year, so a break until September I already can hardly remember 20% of the words I have learned I cant even imaging how bad I will be in September.

Becky came round to pick up her hard disk, I showed her the pictures from my holiday and we had a chat. It seem things are not exactly rosy between her and Nick. I wont detail it but neither of them are very happy at the moment. I can see it from both sides and I count them both as my friends so it was a very difficult conversation. I really hope they manage to patch things up, I think relationships have there ups and down so you have to be prepared to compromise at some point if you want to carry things on.

Final Day

I am sat in the airport in Dalaman, I arrived at 2.30 and my flight isn’t until 4.55. I had to wait until after 3 for the check in desk to open. It has been a heck of a trip, I have managed to do many activities and see many things. Emotionally its been a bit of a rollercoaster. Today things were much better and as Olya waved goodbye I felt very sad to leave.

I was a relaxed day with out anything to do. We both slept in late, feeling tired after the diving, karaoke and drinking yesterday. Missed breakfast we went out to lunch, at the Baran bar. They do pretty tasty food and have air conditioning that is just the job for lunchtime heat.

The Turkish seem to be a nation of traders, everyone wants to be your friend, at whilst there is a chance they can separate you from your money. Good never have an actual fixed price you just have to haggle your way down and often this can mean right down. They do work hard though most of the bar staff seem to work all the time; it was the same people in Baran at lunchtime as the night before.

After lunch we went swimming then I sorted out my taxi, tour guide Ben managed to get it for 40 Lira cheaper than I arrived so that was a bonus.
Olya and I had dinner together than I packed and we went for a final drink on the strip before the taxi would pick me up and 1am. It was a weird evening felt close again (I am a glutton for punishment arn't I) she even wanted to sit on the beach together, it was pretty nice, I was sad to have to leave.

I had a last minute panic as I couldn’t find my driver straight away but fortunately we hooked up and I was soon whizzing down the country roads to Dalaman airport. Arriving way before my flight was due giving me a chance to sit here and start documenting my thoughts.

I caught something on the tv behind me it was a bit of a parallel life experience. I haven't really seen the news all week so it was weird to see a piece about the UK terror alerts on TV especially hearing prime minister Gordon Brown.


Though no longer together Olya and I seem to have patched things up enough that she still wants to spend time with me, especially as Luba had already headed off home.
Regardless I wanted to try doing some diving and Olya was keen to give it a try so we booked onto a day trip with Marmaris dive centre. I opted to stick with the beginners group as she was pretty nervous about the whole experience.

They were pretty good with Olya, giving a Russian-speaking instructor despite the fact she was the only Russian on the trip. He ran her through the basics, 1 breath, 2 equalise your ears, 3 clearing your mask. The rest would be taken care of by the instructors. The dive would be to 5 meters only and the instructor would tow round Olya.

Thanks to my PADI cert I was allowed to join in but not be babysat. We got into the water and though she tried hard Olya couldn't breath through her mouth so I was impossible for her to dive.

I sat on the bottom waiting having my photo taken, then went on a short dive. When I surfaced she told me about it. I was sad she couldn't join in. It did mean on the next dive I was allowed to go out with the experienced divers so at least I go a proper dive in. It wasn't the most impressive diving though. After the Coral Sea and the barrier reef in Australia seeing a few ancient amphora just didn't impress me much.

This evening Olya and I went to Baran bar, a sort of karoke cocktail bar, I got quiet drunk on Efes larger. So drunk Olya managed to talk me into doing Karoke, I have never tried it before, always finding some reason not to. I tried to inject some humour into it and choose The Beatles — Back in the USSR. I even switched Moscow Girls to Ukhta as its Olya home town. She didn't even notice!

Jeep Safari

Today we went on the pre booked Jeep Safari tour, Olya was friendly but withdrawn, despite renewed attempts to be more decisive and manly the damage is done, the gate is open and the horse has bolted.

The jeep safari was a fun trip, piling into 4x4 Jeeps, 6 people per jeep, each jeep was armed with a load of water pistols and bottles of water, which we threw over each other at any given opportunity. It helped to keep cool in the hot air.

First stop was a track overlooking Marmaris, the view was superb. After a short drive on the motorway we tool the jeeps off-road thundering round dirt tracks whilst trying to soak each other as much as possible was quite amusing indeed!

The only problem was we were a bunch of cheap people in our jeep, we couldn’t afford to buy extra water pistols like the people in the other jeeps had done. So we tended to be on the brunt of the soakings.

We stopped the madness for lunch, and then continued on to what I would consider the highlight of the trip. Stopping off at a river and waterfall. It was very pretty all trees and water. We jumped from the rocks into the waterfall pool. The water was cold but refreshing.

After 45 minutes wondering round the waterfall the next stop was a village in the mountains where they made honey. The guided showed us the Turkish Viagra honey, and a wishing tree, you had to walk around the tree three times touch it then make a wish.

We refilled out water bottles tried some honey and after the stop tore off down the back towards home. We had one last water fight before heading back to Marmaris.

Tonight I am sat only in my room, I have hardly spent any time here before now, I guess I will do so much more during the remainder of my trip. I suppose the difficult thing of it all is that she was right in many ways. I am not the most independent person, and I live my life in a kind of bubble, certain activities taking up most of my time. I am not very manly either; I have always been quiet and a little shy. I never really noticed how indecisive I could be.

Kervan Saray, and how it all went wrong

I had to work up to this post, the memory and the pain are still very fresh, and what is worse I could have just kept my mouth shut for two more days and it wouldn't have been so bad. I had to go buy a pack of cigarettes a drink before I could start.

The day had been a fun if tiring one, after the aqua park we were tired but Olya wanted to go to the Turkish nights show at Karvan Saray. Ben the tour operator we have used all week picked us up at 7.30 and took us to the show.
The shows consisted of a traditional folk group who did Turkish dances, a belly dancer, and a male belly dancer, and fire breather. To finish the night off
We were seated with a group of Russians none of whom spoke English. I was also he only man, which meant they expected me to fetch and pour drinks, apparently it is a Russian custom.

After we returned from the show Olya was on a high, from the Vodka and the dancing. We went for a night swim in the sea and said goodbye to Luba Olya's friend who was returning home that evening.

We went back to Olya's room, and I felt she was being really frosty with me, and because of the drinks I had consumed, and the fate of being ignored while everyone spoke in Russian I basically decided completely stupidly to rock the boat. I guess subconsciously I knew there was a problem; I just underestimated the effect the question would have.

Olya not only confirmed that she was unhappy but went on to tell me, "I like you as a person, but as a man I don't like you at all." She didn't stop there though, "you are like a child", in that I am not independent enough, I should be making all the decisions and not asking questions. Finally to add insult to injury my performance in bed was "more or less". She didn’t believe I had any passion, I did not help her and I didn't hold her. Ouch! I felt my stomach knot I couldn't continue I just lay in the dark listening to the air conditioning. She was next to me in body but she might as well be back in Russia.

Turkish Market / Aqua Park

The Turkish like to haggle, never take the first price offered there is always a better bargain to be had. Olya and I had been waiting for the Market to buy presents for the folks back home. The market was a largest building with many stalls selling everything from foodstuffs to t-shirts. They catered to the English market with many of the stalls offering cheaper than ASDA prices.
Olya bought presents for her family, I got some Turkish delight of Bruce and Phil and a few little bits which would fit in my bag.

The aqua park was a little disappointing. It was quiet expensive so we expected a multitude of slides and water based entertainment. There weren’t many slides, and to of the slides there were painful to use. It was also incredibly hot and we got tired out running up the stairs to the top slides. After a few hours we headed back and booked onto an evening of Turkish dancing at Kervan Saray.

Bar Street

Bar street pretty much does what it says on the tin it’s a street full of bars and clubs, with a few snack shops thrown in for good measure. The music ranges from dance to hardcore rock, but its always cranked loud.

Bar street is packed with Russians and English people out for a good time, to meet people of just to get hammered. As usual Turk sit out the front trying to entice us in. We walked the length but couldn't find anywhere playing music we liked very much so we stopped into Crazy Daisy. It has a huge projected sign, dominating the sky at above bar street. They promise exciting nights, we were not entirely impressed and moved onto another place. This had slightly better music, but also had the interesting feature of having free popcorn and nuts. Very novel. The much was loud the air-conditioning just about cooling the room enough to dance a little. It was actually a nightmare going outside to the back bar and toilets because the night air was about 30C.

We had a few drinks, Olya met up with some girls she spoke to in the airport. Niether Olya or Luba enjoyed the music so much but we had a good time dancing and jumping around. Watching the go dancers, including one shaven headed girl and a rather camp looking guy.

On the way back to the hotel Olya stumbled across a shop with bad Russian and was given a flag, which set her and Luba off singing in Russian.

Boat Trip

Took a trip on one of the many boat sailing out of Marmaris Cruising south it stopped in several places where we could to swim and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. First stop was Paradise Island, a small rocky outcrop surrounded by a superbly beautiful and calm sea. We amused ourselves swimming and diving off the top of the boat. It was such a hot day it was nice be out of the town and to feel the sea breeze. Swimming in the cool clear water, so much cleaner than the sea near Marmaris.
I stupidly tried to climb on the rocks, which I managed but instantly regretted thanks to the millions of splinters and cuts I sustained!
Next the boat moved onto another spot for more swimming, the trip continued like this for the rest of the day moving from one amazingly beautiful place to another. I tried to take some photos but my camera really did not do the scenes justice.
One of the most beautiful places was the lunchtime stop, we moored just outside a beautiful empty and unspoilt beach. We thought it looked like paradise, the beach was sandy the water blue and clean.
After lunch we headed to another beach stop this time docking at a bay with a restaurant and more sun loungers. We wanted to sit in the shade, typical Turks forced us to buy a tea before we could even though there was plenty of space.
Whilst we were sitting a speedboat bulled up in the quay, it was towing several rubber rings. Olya and I decided to go have a go, it was great fun trying to hold on whilst the speedboat thundered road the sea. I went off a couple of times :-)
We only had one more swimming stop after that in another empty clear bay, one of the Turkish deck hands climbed right up the rocks and did a spectacular dive.