Journal 1: Aussie Adventures 1
Journal 2: Aussie Adventures 2
Journal 3: Indonesian Escapades
Journal 4: Singapore & Malaysia
Journal 5: Langkawi, Malaysia
Journal 6: Thailand Trekking 1
Journal 7: Thailand Trekking 2
Journal 8: Indian Ocean, Maldives, & Oman
Journal 9: Oman & Yemen
Journal 10: Pirates, Eritrea, & Sudan
Journal 11: Egyptian Adventures 1

Journal 12: Egyptian Adventures 2
Journal 13: Egypt to Israel
Journal 14: Cyprus Crossings
Journal 15: Turkish Tales 1
Journal 16: Turkish Tales 2
Journal 17: Greek Odyssey

Journal 18: Italy & Spain
Journal 19: Why Go Cruising?
Journal 20: Airplanes are Faster
Journal 21: Barbados


Finike & Olympos -- June 24 - July 8, 2005

We have finally arrived in Finike Turkey with our friends on Duetto after a smooth 2 day sail from Cyprus. It looks absolutely beautiful here with clear azure blue water and amazing mountains rising up all along the coast. What we have heard from friends is that Turkey is the place to cruise in the Med. While in Turkey, we are planning on getting the boat hauled out, cruise the coastline, and hopefully work our way inland for some touring adventures.

Turkey has a long and varied history. If I went into all of it, I could go on for pages and pages. There have been 5 major empires in Turkey over the past 5000 years and a lot of stuff in between -- the Hittites (known for their underground cities and the development of written language), the Greeks (they built many cities here such as Ephesus and Troy), the Romans (allowing the spread of early Christianity), the Byzantines (Emperor Constantine made his capitol in present day Istanbul), and finally the Ottomans (who were responsible for the spread of Islam throughout the Middle East).

Modern day Turkey developed out of the dream of a man named Ataturk. After the decline of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century and Turkey's involvement in World War 1, the Empire was divided up among the Allies. After the War of Independence in the 1920's, General Kemel, a war hero from Gallipoli, was made the head of the new government. He decided that their needed to be a complete break from the old Ottoman traditions -- polygamy was abolished, the fez was prohibited, western style legal codes were introduced, Islam lost its status as state religion, and the Arabic alphabet was replaced by a modified Latin one. Until that that time Turkish Muslims did not have a family name. General Kemel decreed that all Turkish families should choose a last name. The Turkish Parliament gave him the name Ataturk -- Father Turk. Ataturk continues to be held in high regard by all Turks today.

Turkey today is an up and coming country. They have a population of 68 million people and have the youngest population in Europe. The Turks even  hope to join the EU within the next few years. 98% of all Turks are Muslim, but not of the variety that we have seen in much of the Middle East (with separation of men and women, head scarves & abayahs ... etc). They are some of the friendliest people that I have met yet on this trip.  

Finike is a great little town. It is the orange capital of Turkey! The streets and avenues are even lined with orange trees! People here are extremely friendly and an invitation for tea seems to be the standard. There are lots of little shops and restaurants all around the marina. The marina is loaded with cruisers and every evening we have been getting together for drinks and snacks. It's been a great way to meet people and learn more about the Med. We arrived in Finike just in time for their summer festival. All this week, there will be music acts performing, vendors setting up shop in the streets, ...  and much more. David and I were able to check out some of the local music. It sounds a lot like the Arabic music we have been hearing since the Red Sea, but with more of a pop twist. They had a guy sing, who I would swear was a carbon copy of Rick Martin! We were able to enjoy the huge weekend market which sells everything from fruits and veggies, to pots and pans, clothing, cleaning products ... The locals come into town early in the morning and set up canvas tents stretching out for kilometers!  I love  summertime!

David and I decided to have a little adventure on the side and took a day trip to the town of Olympos. This small town is known for the Chimera Flames. According to ancient Greek Legend, there was a monster called Chimera who so scared Zeus that he set Chimera on fire and buried him, thereby creating Mt Etna. Eventually, Chimera was killed by Bellerophon and buried under Mt Olympos. However, flames shoot up from the ground where the monster was buried. Today, scientists know that gas comes out of ground and spontaneously ignites when it hits the air. Supposedly in ancient times, these flames were so high that mariners could use them as a beacon. David and I decided this was something that we needed to check out. So off we went on a bus for Mt Olympos. We were a little surprised when the bus pulled off the road at a ramshackle little restaurant and informed us that we would have to take a mini bus from there down to the town of Olympos. After waiting for an hour, we hopped on our next bus. Down, down, and down we went into the valley at break neck speed skidding around corners and hairpin turns. Thankfully we made it in one piece to discover a beautiful valley lined with pine trees and sheer cliffs. We had arrived in backpacker heaven ... there must have been hundreds of backpackers enjoying the hiking, the beaches, the ruins, rock climbing, white water rafting ... and any other extreme sport you can think of. We headed down to the beach and discovered the ruins of the ancient walled city of Olympos sitting right on the beach cliffs. The city was actually destroyed by pirates in 80 AD. We climbed all over the cliffs and ruins, and had a relaxing time watching the sun set.

The other thing Olympos is known for is its unique living arrangements! All along the road were hotels, hostels, and pensions that had Treehouse somewhere in their name! We weren't planning on staying for the night, but we missed the last bus out. So we headed for Kadir's which started the Treehouse trend over 10 years ago. They had a funky set up with tree house  dormitories, log cabins, and a eclectic mess hall. All the buildings had different names -- the Star Wars Room, the Alice Springs Surf Club, the Penthouse, ... et al. We signed up for their tour of Mt Olympos and the Chimera flames. At 830 pm we set off with a busload of other Treehousers for the National Park. It was pitch black when we arrived (Good thing I brought a flashlight with me) and we started our hike up the mountain. Our tour guide was pretty pathetic -- he led us to the trail up and a plaque that told the story of Chimera. We hiked up the mountainside for about 30 minutes, huffing and puffing and sweating ... We crossed the tree line and suddenly we could see what looked like campfires lighting up the mountainside. There must have been about 15 fires merrily crackling. Stupendous! One resourceful German had even brought some sausages with him to sizzle! We got some great footage. I cannot emphasize how incredibly hot it was on the mountainside between the hike up and the fires. And then David kept telling me to get closer and closer to the flames!! It was well worth the hike up, but next time I think taking hot dogs and smores up would be an awesome idea!

The next morning we headed back to Finike. The only problem was that we missed our bus!! No worries, declared David, we will just start walking up the HUGE hill to the main road and the next bus will pick us up. In theory a great idea! However, the next bus decided to pass us by!! So we continued walking and walking and creeping along ... we finally decided that enough was enough and that we would give hitch hiking a try. I had no sooner put out my thumb which a car pulled up. Hallelujah!! A lovely Turkish family offered to give us a ride up to the main road which was 15 km away and up the mountainside. Man, I didn't recall it being so far away, was David's reply!!

We made it back to Finike Marina just in time for Exit Only to be hauled out of the water. Every 1-2 years, a boat needs to be hauled out for a thorough cleaning, inspection, and paint job. We were hauled out of the water for about 1 week. A huge travel lift lowered straps under the boat and then lifted it out of the water as gentle as a baby. It's a nerve wracking experience for a boat owner. As Donna put it, "A boat is supposed to be in the water, not 10 feet in the air." The boat was just suspended there for about 10 minutes until the marina staff was able to set it down on some blocks of wood. Dave and David took the hard jobs which were sanding and painting the hull. Very time and labor intensive. Plus every day, the temperature seemed to get up into the 90's. They must have put in at least 10 hours a day. We also waxed and polished the upper portions of the hull from a rickety scaffold, as well as applying new striping down the sides. After a few days of waxing, you discover muscles you never knew you had!! Never again will I consider waxing and polishing my car a major job!! The most enjoyable part of the experience (apart from seeing the beautiful end product) was having our ice cream breaks!! We also discovered doner kebab sandwiches -- meat roasted in a spit and then shaved into a sandwich with onions, tomatoes, and lots of other yummy condiments! It would not be unusual for us to wolf down a few sandwiches in a day!!

Our other source of entertainment was the finale of the Finike Festival. All of the last day activities were based in the marina. They started out with a marine parade with the local fishing boats all dressed up. Then there was the swimming competition for both young and old. They would pack in as many kids as they could on to a teetering fishing boat, blow the whistle and off they would go. One of the funnier competitions was to catch a duck. About 50 guys jumped in the water to chase after a poor helpless duck. The duck shot across the water here and there out of the reach of the swimmers. It just kept going and going and going. Some of the swimmers decided to give up. When it got close to the docks again, some bright young man decided that it would be easier to jump off the dock and catch the duck instead of swimming towards it. He finally caught the duck about half a football field away from where everyone else had started. The last competition was the Greased Pole. I don't know who in their right minds would consider that fun -- hitting your head on the pole, slipping and slithering around, falling 20 feet into the water, having hundreds of people gawk and laugh ... Well, there were about 40 young men who decided to participate. Obviously, testosterone was hard at work in this instance! Their strategy was speed!! Make your way as fast as you could towards the pole, take a few scrambling steps, try not  to slip, and then launch yourself towards the flag on the end. There were some amazing belly flops that evening. Someone even managed to capture the flag after about 45 minutes of slipping and sliding!

Now that we are back in the water, we will be heading out to cruise the turquoise coast of Turkey. There will be loads to see -- ancient cities, crowded bazaars, beautiful anchorages. We look forward to sharing more with you!    


Peaceful Finike Marina

David checks out the local produce
at the weekend market

Waiting for Gozleme -- Turkish pancakes
filled with cheese and veggies

Adventures on the side with David & Sarah
Exploring the ancient ruins of Olympos

Scenic Olympos Beach
Ruins of an ancient walled city
line the beach and cliffs

The ancient city of Olympos was destroyed
by pirates in 80 AD

Mysterious sarcophagus tells the story
of an ancient sea mariner

Gorgeous sunset among the cliffs

Trying to decide where to stay in Olympos
can be a little difficult!

Kadir's Treehouses -- Could this be a
new trend for the Hilton Empire?

After hiking up Mt Olympos for 30 minutes
we arrived at the Chimera Flames

Roasting next to the Chimera Flames.
Gas escapes from underground to
spontaneously ignite into flames

Ancient Greeks believed the flames came from
an angry monster called Chimera who was
trapped beneath Mt Olympos

Boat Haulout time!
80 ton travel lift cradles Exit Only

Exit Only was washed, sanded, waxed,
painted, polished, patched ...
Water consumed: 30 liters
Diet coke consumed: 20 liters
Doner Kebabs consumed: 20

The marina staff got the fun job of
using the high pressure water hose
to clean off the hull

How many men does it take to
sink a fishing boat?
Swimmers prepare for the 50 m

Finike's Greased Pole competition
All I can say is Owww!

And these guys do this for fun!?


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