Turkey 2002

Day 9 - Monday - Lycian Coast, Fethiye & Aphrodisias>

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Cock-a-doodle doo. Cock-a-doodle doo. Cock-a-doodle doo. Baaaa. Baaa. Cock-a-doodle doo. Mooooooooo!

(repeat x100)

That's how the day started for us moored up by Tersane Island. As the first rays of sun hit the island and surrounding hills, we had a morning chorus the like of which I haven't heard before. The occasional interspersing of a strained cow mooing somewhere just gave it the comedy element it needed.

There was no mad mid-morning dash to get back under cover. The weather held out and despite a little cold period, the night out on deck went without a hitch. And I didn't snore! The downside was that the mozzies finally got me in four or five places.

At around 8am the crew pulled up the anchor and we were on the the way to Fethiye. We had one last breakfast en-route before arriving at the beautiful coastal town where we would bid farewell to the crew of the Erme Bey, and once more say 'merhaba' to Safet who, with his predictably impressive timing, came to a halt on the jetty just as we were mooring up.

Fethiye harbour

Everyone agreed that it was a shame to leave this leg of the holiday - everyone had enjoyed the time on the boat, relaxing, swimming or sunbathing. As Neil had put it two days earlier, "this your holiday from your holiday", and being back on dry land meant being back on the bus for more daily kilometres.

Fethiye

We had a brief stroll around Fethiye - an opportunity for everyone to get some cash, check e-mails, buy a carpet, whatever it is that people felt they needed after escaping 'civilization' for two days. Then it was back on the bus and off to Aphrodisias, an ancient Roman site.

The route to Aphrodisias took us back inland - no more sea views for us - and through the Taurus mountain range. The bus struggled at times to make it up some of the steeper sections, of which there were many, but made up for it on the downhill stretches.

It's on these journeys - which can sometimes be a bit featureless once you've become blind to the sight of the soaring tree-covered hills - that you start to notice some of the smaller details that can define the country.

On the way to Aphrodisias, I was struck by how often we would see people just sat by the road, seemingly doing nothing. Sometimes it would be two men sat untidily in a ditch next to the road, with no apparant vehicle nearby. What were they doing there? Just passing time.

At other times we would see a couple of men sat on the concrete inclines underneath bridges. Evidently these people preferred to sit in the shade, but again, what were they doing?

With an unemployment rate of 20%, perhaps it should be no surprise that there were people who simply chose to admit defeat and instead go somewhere where they might get to see something happening, some semblance of activity, even if it is just a passing vehicle.

Decorative image: The Tetraplyon gat at Aphrodisias

The Tetraplyon, Aphrodisias.