Friday, 17 June 2016

Fri 17 Jun 2016. Termessos to Kargicak

Fri 17 Jun 2016. Termessos to Kargicak
Only 5tl entrance to Termessos and the National Park, which was one of nicest we've been into in our travels, with its variety of flora, a botanists dream. Took 9km drive up the side of a mountain (so glad we were too early to share the narrow road with other tourists!).

This little critter is well disguised

Had site practically to ourselves climbing the steep 3km walking tracks with loose shale, leaf litter, tree roots and uneven rocks underfoot. We were grateful much of the tracks remained under shade this early. Termessos was once a Pisidian city built at an altitude of more than 1000 metres on the side of Solymos in the Taurus Mountains. The natural barriers ensured it was never conquered, even when assaulted by Alexander the Great. 

Saw the lower wall, city gates, and upper walls all clinging to steep slopes, a temple, and distant tombs on tops of peaks. There was a more sophisticated system of cisterns and deep septic/ drainage channels and tanks underground than we expected. Most of site was in ruins, little recent restoration. 

BoyRob pondering the cistern system...

When we came out at the top of the travertine mountain to a natural plateau - nothing had prepared us for the Amphitheater - it was breathtaking, perched so high on edge of precipice. In surprisingly good shape, it was one of the most spectacular sights we've ever seen, the location was beyond superb - stupendous!! 

Bravo! Encore!

Took three hours for the toil up and our explorations, but totally totally worth it. Came down mountain to have lunch of fish salad, tomatoes and cucumber in shade of pine trees at entrance.

Carved burial tomb reminiscent of Daryan Caves

On the road again saw signs announcing Anatalya Expo 2016, looks like Prince is coming to town in August.  Wanderoos were just talking about how the farmers continue to find water in this dry landscape and make best of irrigation (including old aqueducts) for their orchards, greenhouses and crops, when we came across deep fast-flowing turquoise green river running straight down from limestone mountains. It felt cooler just looking at it. Beautifully masted wooden ships in river. Women in towns wear more of the traditional long dresses/ burkas and headdresses, whereas women in villages wear patterned scarves and shorter skirts. Many wear cardigans or jackets, surprising to us given the heat. Young women are the most free, no headwear, or hair ties, skimpy shorts, makeup and ridiculously high platform shoes. 

Some parts of the bigger Turkish towns are more modern than anticipated - beautifully designed malls with minarets and glass, very high-end shopping. We are starting to recognise words and signs now. Single houses only in the country, nothing but apartment buildings shoulder-to-shoulder in cities. Very dense living. Can't believe how many men sit around in cafes all day (but those who work, seem to work hard and long hours). Frequency of traffic lights on major roads is annoying, passed an accident where a dolmas (local mini bus) had rear ended a car, drivers and passengers out on road with babies and parcels, half on mobile phones. 


Found a spot for a "free" swim on the posh Turkish Riviera at Okurcalar; Ozzie had no trouble in the compacted sand, but Wanderoos found the not-so-smooth stones underfoot hot and rough! Turquoise water dropped deep very close to shore. A hot and salty adventure, but well worth hunting out the swimsuits for the first time... Further along, in the midst of the hotels, jetties with ladders were built out over the stones to access deep water without walking on stones. 

Found a "camping restaurant" on water and pulled in to try out the concept. Put load in washing machine, showered off salt, washed hair and swimmers, and upgraded devices over a drink, sent emails and caught up with Oz news. Had expensive, tasty fish for dinner, and plate of mixed veggies and dips, GirlRob trying a seaweed looking one for first time. Took ice cream down to chaises on beach and watched sun go down and surrounding resorts come alive with lights and music. Finally called it a night.

Woken at 10.30pm (one hour after going to bed) by owner - either we were charged twice for camping and he wanted to give back 40tl (BoyRob's theory) or we had the annexe out with washing so took up two spaces and he wanted 40tl more (GirlRob’s theory). We said we'd fix it in morning.
Woken at 11.30pm by industrious owner raking leaves and hosing down yard before closing restaurant.
Woken at 3am by GirlRob’s furious scratching, took antihistamine for whatever allergy had arisen (was the fish at restaurant grilled on same hot plate as prawns??)
Woken at 3.45am by one or all of 5 roosters in yard.
Woken at 4am by wailing from Mosque (we've not heard a decent voice so far....)
Woken at 5am by sun hot and furious already.
Dragged ourselves up at 6.30am not at all refreshed.

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