Gullet Alaturka & Assortment of Strange Bedfellows
Trip Start Jan 28, 2012
19Trip End Jan 28, 2013
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We arrived in Fethiye and went down to the port with the gullets all lined up on a dock, unfortunately there seemed to be some guards at the entrance to the dock. Using the theory of if you act like you should be in a place most people will believe it (theres nothing that looks more guilty than a nervous person) we persevered. So when the guards attention was focused on another individual we sauntered through the gate, I was looking at the boats thinking the coast was clear until Mel called me back saying they wanted to see our identity cards, after the appropriate apologies we left the dock, boats unseen.
The next day when we were talking to a sailing company everyone was excitedly talking about the filming of the new James Bond movie, the rumour was that the new movie is set in China but the Chinese refused permission to film there, so some of the scenes were being filmed in Turkey. In fact they were shooting right here in Fethiye today and the day before with full security for a sailboat scene at the docks, the very dock we had walked onto the previous day. My mind wandered to what I would have thought seeing a short sailor with squinty eyes and pursed lips and thinking "that Turkish sailor looks remarkably like Daniel Craig I wonder if anyone has ever told him that".
So having done the Lycian walk, to relax we organised a 4 day gulet cruise down the coast to cover the walk we had done and travel further on, finishing at the town of Demre. This time we would be lying on our backs on deck getting a suntan and sipping on cold Mojitos laughing at the poor filthy backpackers doing it tough on the trail!
Our beautiful boat was called the Alaturka she could hold 16 passengers but for this trip there would be 10. We were a mixed bag two women travellers from New Zealand Janet and Mary (Mary had done the hippy trail from Kathmandu to London back in 1968 in a Ford transit van with 7 others); George and Denise from NZ and their son Jeremy (a professional rugby player playing in the UK); his girlfriend Kate who had recently been working in Abu Dhabi as a personal trainer, Katie an attorney from Kansas in the US and Emily also from the US who was going to do social work internship in Jordan. Janet said it all when she said “I was so happy to find there was no whinging Englishmen on board”.
It was truly great being on board that boat with relaxed down to earth people, lazing around on deck in the sun, swaggering around deck with Mojito in hand channelling Aristotle Onasis and not wondering what the poor people are doing, watching Jeremy and Kate at the front of the ship doing their best impressions of Leonardo and Kate’s Titanic scene.
Mel, myself, Katie and Janet took up an option we had to go paragliding over the Mediterranean. We landed on a beach signed some legal papers, although they wouldn’t let me consult my lawyer first and were taken up the steep road to Baba Dag the mountain we had previously walked under on the trek. It looked big from the beach but as we drove up the winding track it became clear that we were driving up to the top which is about 2700m.
Back on board, the moment had come! I had been carefully biding my time on board for days waiting for the right moment. The captain was distracted momentarily and left the wheel to discuss something with the cook to the left of me.
Days were filled with a morning dive off the boat and swim into crystal clear, mouthwash blue turquoise water followed by large breakfast setting and a cruise to some other glorious setting, another swim followed by lunch drinks and a cruise / sunbake to another setting to watch an impossibly gorgeous sun set followed by a dinner of fresh fish and a night cap and a sleep below deck in your own cabin, with a framed sepia photo of an 1800’s sailing ship in full sail as the last thing you see before your lulled to sleep by the gentle motion of the ship moving on the flat Mediterranean Sea. Surely we’ve overlooked something, a calculation gone astray, some pact made, some debt to be payed, surely there’s some penance some hidden cost for all this…..but try as he may nothing came to mind, the sky was clear, the seas were calm, just suck it up and enjoy the moment sunshine!
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