Friday, September 7, 2012

Day 8, 9 & 10 on the Gulet Cruise- Fethiye to Olympos

This is a 4 day summary in one post since I didn't have WIFI in the middle of the ocean, I have way too many photos to upload so come back for more pics since I am still running on dial up! 

Drink Prices on Gulet (if i remember correctly) I know this information can be useful as I tried to research this before our cruise and couldn't find it anywhere online.

Large Beer: 7 Lira
Small Water: .5 Lira
Can of Soda/Juice: 4 Lira
Mixed Drink (vodka + mixer)  /Glass of Wine: 10 Lira
Bottle of Wine: 40 Lira

Day 1
We woke up super early at 6:00 AM to catch our ferry back to Turkey.  The Aegean Queen was a more comfortable ride than what we had experienced on our way to Greece.  Since I barely got 3 hours of sleep last night, I tried to take a nap on the ferry but kept waking up to my neck cramping due carelessness of leaving comfortable Brookstone neck pillow at home.
We arrived in Fethiye and was welcomed by a staff member of our Gulet holding a sign with my name butchered on it.  It read “Chemari Srey but we all knew it was me.

After loading our belongings on the gulet and showed to our living quarters, we were given a brief overview of the cruise in addition to all the safety precautions of the boat.  The rooms on the gulet was tiny and older, we expected this   based on reviews didn’t   expect a 4 star accommodation.  We were advised that most of the passengers sleep on deck anyways since it gets too hot in the rooms.
I quickly grabbed one of the sun beds on the first row of the deck and lathered on sunblock to prevent any sunburns.  It was pretty windy and my dress kept coming up. After an hour or so, I started to feel nauseous and sea sick.  I’ve never experienced that before so I’m not sure if it was the lack of sleep or the laying on the boat that contributed  to it.

The Mo and I walked towards the back of the boat to sit. He got some seasick medicine from the captain and miraculously, I felt better.

The captain stopped a few times for swimming and snorkeling.  It was definitely a treat to cool off from the blazing sun.  I was disappointed that we didn’t get to visit Butterfly Valley or Olundeiz on the itinerary due to wind and crowd issues.  

During the cruise, we had various vendors selling ice cream, pancakes, and fish from their boats.  The Mo and I indulged in a Nutella and Banana pancake that resembled one we frequently had in Thailand for a fraction of the price. Nonetheless, it was delicious!
All the lunches on board are vegetarian, we were served bread, pasta with tomato sauce, salad and zucchini with tomato paste.  The food was good considering it was cooked on board in tiny kitchen.
We anchored by St.Nichols Island for the night.

The captain took us on small boats to the island where we hiked up the steep mountain for a breath taking view of the bay.  We took pictures of the ruins along the way and sat down at the top of the mountain to watch the sun set.

We returned back for one last dip in the water and changed for dinner.

Dinner was great, it was similar to lunch but we had rice pilaf, a yogurt and had our own grilled whole sea bass. 
Day 2
Surprisingly, I slept like a baby on the deck last night and didn’t wake up until after 9:00 AM.  I did get up to go to the bathroom a few times but that was it.  The night was breezy and cool and the boat gently rocking on the waves was soothing like a mother cradling her baby to sleep.

Breakfast was the typical Turkish stuff with the exception of a hotdog type meat sautéed in red sauce.  It was delicious and bountiful.  We went for a morning swim right after breakfast and set sail for Kas.  There is something indescribable about swimming in a remote bay in the ocean among the fishes.  It definitely was no reef barrier but the experience was wonderful.   The water was bath water compared to the Atlantic Ocean and the water was clear.  I could see a few different species of fishes swimming in schools.  The journey to Kas took less than an hour but I found myself napping again already.

Kas is a harbor town in Turkey with many ferry shuttles to other parts of Turkey and also Greece.  It was a nice small town with shops and restaurants.  The town is known to have the best silver jewelry and organic soap. We grabbed a couple of “road sodas” to enjoy during our exploration of the town.  We hit up the ATM, conveniences stores and bought a few souvenirs before heading back to the boat.

After a few more stops at different stunning bays, we finally docked for dinner.  The location we were at was by an interesting mounting with manmade caves and carvings on the side of the mountain.

When the sun started to set, the Mo, Captain and I sat around for drinks. The Mo had vodka and diet coke, I poured the captain a heavy vodka and sprite (you know my recipe, ¾ vodka, and ¼ mixer) and I had wine.  We sat around and chatted and he told us some very interesting and exhilarating stories (ones that I cannot share to legality reasons).  Slowly, we attracted a group of other passengers that can overhear his storytelling and we all sat together and listened with enthusiasm.

Dinner was great, it was the captain’s special sautéed chicken recipe, rice, salad, green beans and tomato sauce and watermelon.  Unlike the night before, the group all sat around the table after dinner with drinks in hand exchanging traveling stories and discussing reality T.V. shows.  Of course, Sisterwives, “HoneyBoo Boo” and Jersey shore came up.

The captain surprised us with fresh hot popcorn to enjoy with our drinks, what a nice treat to cap off our night.  People complained of mosquito bites so the Mo brought out our repellant wrist bands after I had already got bit twice on my FACE! We all went to sleep on the deck the same time and I fell asleep listening to Opie and Anthony on MO’s MP3 player.  Who would have know those shock jockeys would be like a lullaby to my ears.

Day 3
Like most people on the boat, I woke up to a barking dog this morning.  I wondered where the hell he came from since we were anchored in a bay, but I saw his owner swimming from across the bay.  That’s some serious skills.  I felt gross this morning since I woke up with mountain dew all over my sweat shirt and pants, similar to moisture the morning you wake up from camping in the White Mountains.

Breakfast was similar but French toast was added.  I felt like I was comfortable enough with the captain by now to make a special request for the same hotdogs in red sauce as we had yesterday.  He agreed and we were stuffing our faces in no time.  I was paranoid about my bad snoring habits so I kept warning my fellow passenger that I snored.  She assured me that it didn’t bother her and said it was very “lady like” snoring. I think she was just being nice, haha.

We had a few hours to continue swimming and snorkeling and I used most of that time to capitalize on my tanning.  We sailed by Sunken City which was an old city that gradually sunk into the ocean.  After the sun got too hot, I engaged into a game of Monopoly with my new friends from LA and San Francisco and threatened them if they stole my money or property, nevertheless, I still lost.  We had fun and laughed over a Efes Pilsen beer.

We arrived at a tiny town called Kekova.  There was a castle on top of the hill and a few restaurants.  Most of the people disembarked to find a café with WIFI so they could check their emails and Facebook but the Mo and I opted to stay on the boat since it was scorching hot.  We waded in the water by to look at the rocks and tombs by the shore.

The captain took a quick 15 minute ride to Smuggler’s in where we would dock for the night.  Boat vendors approached us for watersports including banana boat rides and water jet skiing.  None of us participated and opted to go for a swim instead.  The California girls came up with a thing called “Noodles and Beer” time.  

One would have thought it was a food reference to eating but they were referring to the water contraption used to float in the water shaped as a noodle.  We all went out and hung out in the water for a good amount of time.  It was a bit cooler since the sun was setting and the mountain was covering our source of sunlight and heat.

I climbed the stairs to the boat and use the outdoor shower to rinse the salt water off.  I could see the chef cooking through the port window and I knew this would be my opportunity to cook on the gulet.  I walked down the stairs and asked if I could help with the Turkish meatballs.  I went at it like a pro and surprised him, he probably thought I was going to goof off and didn’t know I had some cooking skill under my belt.  

Everyone raved about the meatballs at dinner, I couldnt take credit since I only shaped them and not seasoned them.  An awesome Aussie girl that I had befriended, Bec and I split a bottle of white wine and we were off on a shuttle water taxi to Smugglers Inn in no time.  

Worth Mentioning
Every night between 5 and 6 PM, we had "Afternoon Tea time" served with coffee along with a variety of cookies.  It was fun way to get the gang together and unwind after a long morning of swimming and sunbathing.