I’m itching to tell you a good story and I don't even have to make up any of the content in it.
It's a tale that involves tree houses, spotting Turkish Rastas (that's a Rastafarian), ruins, fire burning from the side of rock faces and bed bugs.
Sounds random? Hopefully it does...
Currently I’m covered from the head (well neck) to toe in a pattern of bites. I'd have to say that on a level of itchiness they win gold. And like a face quickly growing red with embarrassment, after spotting that first bite on my wrist I soon noticed the dozen on my legs, arms... and it continues on. If you've had them before you'll agree with me that you do feel slightly sorry for yourself and although not contagious you start to wonder if you should remove yourself from human contact, but than everyone reassures you that they can't see them and it's not that bad.
Cue sympathetic violin music to start playing.....
My last encounter with these little pests was 3 years ago, in Morocco after a night out in the Sahara. Back then I wasn't surprised that something had eaten me alive. I think we kind of had it coming considering a huge group of us were sleeping under the stars with blankets and a few camels watching over. But this time was different. Instead I was sleeping in a modern day tree house that was clean, had sheets and a bed.
Luckily this hasn't tainted my experience of Olympos and the fantastic time I've had here.
Even if I feel like a leper with spots. Or is that a bit too extreme..??
Olympos is a slight mission to reach if you’re coming from the West Coast. It takes about 6 hours on the bus. Time moves quickly by if you have a window seat to gaze out over the ocean. I think some of the bus drivers in this country get confused thinking they are F1 drivers. Tail gating and overtaking on tight bends seems to be the preferred approach to 'get ahead.' On each turn I was letting out another 'Oh Shite.' I hope each and every one of them feels like winners when they've pulled into the depot after their last stop.
To get into the valley that is Olympos, you need to change onto a smaller van from the little bus station. My half hour wait here the other day was entertained by a skinny chap who after serving me cold lemonade, just wanted to talk, ‘Lord of the Rings.’ His son, (or just a local kid), was enjoying head butting my hand when all I was trying to get him to do was a simply high-5.
As this was going on another guy had started the annual wash down of everything in sight. Holding the hose in his right hand he used his left to wave people out of the way (unless they were in need of a wet cool down). In between the head butting, hand slapping and Hobbit chatting, I managed to keep dry.
I’ve come to notice since arriving in Turkey everyone takes part in the daily wash down. Buildings, pavements and the more expected gardens, I don’t blink an eyelid anymore when I see someone hosing down the side of their building. I was told the other day that if there is water coming out of the taps still than there is no water shortage in this country, so nothing to worry about.
Finally driving into the valley, I felt like we were somewhere special. The main drag is a dusty, unsealed road. Hand painted signs direct you to your accommodation or perhaps a visit to Sheriffs bar? It's a lush, green valley and at the end of the dirt road is the beach.
Bayrams tree house is huge. Like a campground but instead the tents are wooden houses on stilts. The crowd mainly considered of the ever present Australians and a few families. You immediately feel at home here - even more so when you try their banana smoothie. There's hammocks everywhere or shaded tree houses with cushions to lie and watch the day go by.
The days have passed by here with trips to the beach. Passing Roman baths, several tombs and a theatre its hard to act cool, calm and casual when you walk to the beach in Olympos. It's not often that you walk through an ancient city to go for a swim.
Since being here, I've noticed that there is a definite certain looks - particularly for the guys in Olympos. To get it right you need to sport the Jesus look. Long black hair, a tiny frame and you boast a beard that rivals the length of your hair. Or if brushing your hair isn’t you right now than dreadlocks is the answer. A guitar and a taste for Ben Harper are also beneficial to complete 'the look.'
After a visit to the Chimaera Flames the other evening, I've decided that if I lived here, I'd have to set up stand and sell pink and white marshmallows. Maybe if successful I'd branch out to include hot dogs just so visitors could cook their dinner and dessert during their visit to the flames. Puffing away on the side of Mt Olympos, the cause of these flames is still unknown but most believe its methane gas leaking out since 4th century.
I've only scratched the surface of this little valley of goodness in the 2 days spent here. It's a gem of a spot and if you haven't visited definitely add it to the list.
Toodle pip x
|Main drag of Olympos.|
|Arriving at the beach.|
|Remains of the old city.|
|Chilling out at Bayrams lodge.|