We then walked back to the riverboat for our next short hop to the mud baths. There we joined in with masses of Germans in their tight Speedos in the mud pools, caking ourselves from the neck down (and sometimes from the neck up too) with the thick grey mud. Having covered everything that could be (legally or comfortably), we then just kind of stood about like lemons, waiting for the mud to dry, checking the progress in a full length mirror as the mud turned to lighter shades of grey, forming unsightly ripples in the skin whenever you flexed anything. Talking also proved difficult for those who applied a face pack too (as I did).
Once the mud was dry, what did we do? Well, we washed it all off then took a dip in a thermal bath! This is the basic routine - get dirty, get dry, get clean, get warm, get to do it all over again. Do this and it will take 10 years off you, or so they claim. Except with our time scales, we would only get to do it the once, perhaps reversing the ageing process by a few hours. However, having seen some of the sights in the communal shower area, where some of the 'less petite' customers were having difficulty removing mud from various nooks and crannies, once was enough of a treat for me.
Next stop - Iztuzu Beach. This was not really much of a stop though - there would be little sunbathing or splashing around in the water. Instead, it was a brief opportunity to sit in the shade of a cafe area, supping an ice cool beer or racing to eat an ice lolly before it melts, while the riverboat transferred all our luggage and other supplies to the gulet boat which was moored further out from the shore.
The boat immediately set sail (under the power of motor) and we spent a good few hours running along the coast until our first stop, a cove by the name of Batik Hammam.
Once there, I got straight into the water and spent the next hour snorkelling, making exploratory dives to the bed some 7-8 metres below (the deepest I've ever dived without the aid of scuba gear). There were many different groups of fish swirling around in the sunlit waters, all of them quite small though.
After dinner, me and Neil tried the old 'how long can you hold your breath for' thing. I reckoned that in my dives I was probably getting around 45 seconds tops (although with a bit of relaxed deep breathing followed by hyperventilation at the surface I later managed a comfortable 70 seconds). On the deck of the boat, where there's no real danger, I managed 105 seconds. Neil suggested that it was simply a psychological thing - under water the brain panics you more into surfacing because of the very real danger, but on the surface there's no real danger.
Overnight, almost everyone decided to stay out on deck instead of the cabins (which were primarily being used as oversized wardrobes or store rooms now). We all fell asleep looking at crystal clear stars, and cutting through them all, the Milky Way, clearly visible without interference from street or city lights.