Kosh for the weekend

Trip Start May 16, 2006
Trip End Aug 16, 2006

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Kas "Kosh" (this keyboard lacks the correct turkish letters, so places and names are estimated), for the weekend... with Marc, Gulin, and Yesim. It is a resort-ish town on the mediterranean, maybe 100 km west of Antalya, the mega town we went to last time. Good times were had by all. We took the night bus Thursday night, arrived Friday morning at our pension just in time for the standard Turkish breakfast (cucumber, tomato, bread, cheese, hard-boiled egg, tea, and a weird yoghurt cheese thing that I never eat). We fought off the bus-sleep induced desire for a nap and headed to the "beach". It was really about 20 ft of beach, though, with lots of swimming-pool-esque entrances to the medit. But still great. We sat on chairs, ate pizza, drank efes, played tavla (backgammon, and i'm getting better, soon i will attempt to win the 5 lira back I lost in the dorm lounge), got no studying done (which turned out to be A-okay, my ethics test this morning was a joke of jokes), jumped off of rocks, and generally worked to further my goal of the perfect stoplight-red complexion.

Days two and three were package-deal style. On the first we went out on a boat and did typical mediterranean boat stuff... swam, saw some caves, some ruins, a weird tamed deer-like animal, ate some fish, tavla, sun, etc, etc. Fantastic outing. The highlight, though, had to be the wave runner (jet ski?) rental. The wave runner guy cruised up to the boat, saw me in the opposite corner, and called me over (he must have smelled my desire for adrenaline, as I was far from the most convenient for him to hassle). 25 lira (~7 US each), 10 minutes. Attempts at bargaining failed. Yesim and I payed full price (still very, very reasonable). In a serious moral victory, though, I showed up 12 very fun minutes later, not 10. We went back, ate some food, slept, and prepared for.... day 3.

Day 3 was, despite our expectation, bus only. No boat. We saw some more ruins (not really my thing, I must admit). Then the interesting experience of the day. First I will preface by saying that our guide was complete crap. What was going on during the trip was generally a mystery to us. He tried to get us to pay for some lame-looking ruins, then when we decided we'd just look from outside the gate because, hey, they're just rocks, he said "oh, well, I'll pay for you I guess". Sure. If by "pay for us" you mean "let us into the thing we already payed for" then yes, I would love for you to "pay for us" thank you.

So, next we get to "the canyon". First he says something not exactly clear, leading us to believe that we are going into a mosque. So we try to find stuff to cover the shoulders of Yesim and Gulin. A few minutes later we discover that, no, we are going somewhere where we might get wet. So don't bring stuff that you don't want wet. We are again given an incorrect impression, this time that we will be briefly walking through a waterfall, then seeing some stuff, then eating. So wrong. And don't bring shoes you don't want wet, he says. No problem, I am wearing sandals. So we all bring our cheap sandals, deciding that we don't need the nasty-looking communal rubber shoes that are available to us. Big mistake. So we start out into this canyon, along a manmade walkway on the side. Eventually, we come to a point where two big creeks converge, one from the canyon, one fresh water. The canyon one is completely grey water (clay). The fresh is completely ice cold. We traverse the rapid water with some difficulty, thinking that our daily water adventure was complete. We continue walking, this time UP the canyon, in the grey clay water. Under the water alternates between jagged rocks and sand that you sink into, turning sandals into like the opposite of snow shoes, refusing to come back out. It is truly a small miracle I did not lose one or both of my sandals. More than once it slipped off into the opaque, rapidly flowing water... only to be caught by a pure chance pawing into the abyss. Anyway, we trudge on and on up this canyon in water varying from shin to chest high. Occasionally, there is a waterfall that we have to be dragged up by our arms by a burly turk. At one particularly greusome impasse, I gave my shoes to Marc so that I could be more easily pulled up, then he could hand me my shoes. Somehow the shoes got left, and the last 30 minutes was spent in barefoot jagged rock agony... bringing us to the exciting conclusion of our canyon trek. We turned the last corner, bruised and bleeding, to find the most incredibly wonderful and splendid complete lack of anything special at all one has ever seen. Seriously. It was just more canyon. Then we turned around and went back. Good fun.

Lunch (one of the worst meals I have had in Turkey) was spent mostly discussing how much we would have to be payed to do something like that again. The consensus was around 100-200 lira. Oh well, at least I have something to write about in my travelogue.

Anyway, all in all it was a fantastic weekend. The pictures didn't come out very well, but I will post some eventually. The mediterranean, no matter how beautiful, just isn't very photogenic.

By the way, I forgot how crazy the budgets for these trips are compared to US prices...

Room = $15/person/night (with breakfast)
Each "tour" day = $30/person (~8 hours, with lunch)
Transportation = $60 for two 11 hour bus rides

Robert out.
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