Trip Start May 20, 2008
Trip End Sep 15, 2008

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Flag of Turkey  , Turkish Aegean Coast,
Thursday, May 29, 2008

After our great adventure at Saklikent Gorge we arrived in Oludeniz. It was too bad we only stayed one night since we arrived too late to go to the beach. The beach at Oludeniz is one of the most famous in Turkey and looks just breath-taking on postcards. After dumping my bags I walked into the small town for groceries and a t-shirt supporting protection of the endangered loggerhead turtles. Before leaving the hotel I was caught by an employee of the spa who was selling their Turkish baths. My back was sore and I was pretty battered from today's hike plus I didn't get to go to one in Istanbul so I agreed to try theirs.

I was tight on time so I went straight to the spa when I returned from town. I told the manager that I needed to take a shower since I was positively gross from the hike. He used his limited English to discourage me from doing this since I was there for a bath anyway. I'm sorry but my body has enough problems without also being filthy. I eventually won out. The bath starts out in the dry sauna which is like a test on Survivor since they say stay in as long as you can. After about 10 minutes I was getting light-headed so I exited. The bather (what would you call this person?) then took me into the large co-ed bathing area where I was clothed in something similar to a wrap-around skirt. You lay on an exercise mat while the bather scrubs you with a wet towel.

Muslims are fanatical about having clean feet so I think my deformed feet were washed about 8 times. I was trying to relax but I was also trying to see what the bather was doing. I was the only one in there so I couldn't watch anyone else. I was also trying to anticipate what the bather was going to do so I wouldn't jump. After the scrubbing I went through the rinse cycle. Still on the mat the bather started the foam massage. I had no idea what to expect with this part. Turns out he pours something in a bowl of water to get lots of foam and then spreads the foam all over me. It seemed like a bubble bath without the water.

After the tingly foam massage I went through the rinse cycle again. The bather dried me off and then offered me some apple tea. Apple tea is offered everywhere and consumed by every Turk I think. It tastes like apple juice to me but is usually served so hot that I have to wait a long time before I can drink t. I took my apple tea to an area with lounge chairs where I tried to chill out. The employees were all smoking in there which was an unpleasant distraction.

Whle lounging my bather brought a bowl with mud and a brush and applied my face mask. Thank goodness there wasn't a mirror around and no other guests. Once it dried I was able to wash it off and see that I looked 20 years younger (right!).

I'm not sure how long I reclined with my face mask but I probably dosed off. Two Russian girls had come in so I had been forgotten. Finally a different employee from the bather (guess he was a masseur) directed me to one of the rooms where I got a nice, traditional massage. Two and a half hours after I entered I was finally done. All of this for only $50 USD!

The next morning I got up and didn't think I looked any younger. Maybe it takes more than one visit. Or maybe I'm just old and need to accept reality. The next morning we departed for Kas as our tour continued.
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