Last full day in Turkey. Its 6:45am and we’re up early today to take full advantage of the time we have left. We take our bags downstairs and the only person there is the owner’s wife. We debate skipping on the bill (you pay for your hotel at check-out, not check-in), they don’t have our passport information because they had computer problems when we checked-in…we decide against it and stay for breakfast. The owner’s wife rushes to the phone when she sees us and we hear her talking in a somewhat anxious voice…the owner showed up about 4 minutes later (obviously to collect the bill). Maybe we looked guilty?
Seems like every person in Turkey that can cheat the government out of taxes, does. Cash is king here. They don’t even have credit card machines at the hotels…little did I know. I definetly did not bring enough cash to pay for the rental car, hotels, and all our food, trips, and souvenirs; so I’ve had to hit the ATM a few times. This hotel is no different, but again I didn’t know they couldn’t take credit cards before it was time to pay (maybe that would be nice to put on your website???) and of course I don’t have enough lira, so off to the ATM I go. But my card gets declined for the amount I want to get, so I only have just enough to make the bill and be left with $30 TL ($20 USD). Back to the hotel to collect Heather and settle up with the owner. Then back to the ATM to try to get some more money…now I can’t even get $20 TL out of it... “we are so screwed, $30 lira in our pocket, we need gas, and still have 2 days here.” “Ok, let’s go back to the hotel and see if we can use his phone to call the bank”.
Does anyone know how to call the US from Turkey? I didn’t and neither did the hotel owner. The 1-800 number on the back of my card certainly didn’t work. We had to do a google search to figure it out. We finally get ahold of the bank and find out our daily ATM limit is only $300…well no wonder it didn’t work. Got that straightened out, got some money, and finally headed out of town. So much for our early start...
We had planned to take some morning photos at Kaputas Beach during the soft morning light but its nearly 10 by the time we get there. Thank goodness for the high cliff walls, we’re still able to get some great shots.
Everything happens for a reason, right? Our next stop was Saklikent Gorge, but on the way there you drive through several small villages in the mountains. In one of the villages we drive past an elementary school that is just letting out for the summer. Heather waves to a group of boys as we drive by and they all start running towards the car waving and yelling. I roll the window down to say hello and we get bombarded with 20 excited hello’s. Heather is tickled pink to see school kids in Turkey. They were all excited to show us their report card and tell us “test good! test good!” Heather tries to talk to them and find out the name of their school, but apparently the only English words they know are “Yes” and “test good!”. Good times.
Saklikent Gorge is the cheapest thing to do in Turkey so far, just $4.5 TL per person. It’s a massive gorge with an ice cold mountain river running through it. You can walk upstream for something like 5 miles before it ends at a waterfall. The first river crossing point is at a small rapids section, but apparently the Brits don’t have the equivalent of the Guadalupe River in England; they are annoyingly worried about being swept away by the water and create 10 person human chains to wade across. Heather and I on the other hand are alternating turns scrambling all over the rapids for photo ops. We only go about a ½ mile up the river before turning back, we have things to do today, so we can’t be river trekking all day!
Back near the main entrance there are several restaurants that have built these wooden dining platforms with floor cushions right on top of the water. We enjoy a light lunch of fries and a salad while we dry out. Not sure why we dried out because we went river toobing next. They do it a little different here than we do, all toobs have a bottom and you have a kayak paddle, but then again, the river is considerably more shallow and much faster moving than ours. No cooler toobs on this river and definitely no time to lounge and drink a beer anyways…you’re too busy trying to stay in the middle of the river and out of the banks. The views are amazing and it was a blast. Highly recommend this to anyone. There was a guy from the toob place taking photos but when we got back to starting point he wasn’t there and no one knew where he was. We had to get going but really wanted one of the pictures he took of us together, so we drove back down the river road to see if we could spot him and get our picture, but no luck.
I had wanted to stop by the ruins of Tlos but we were running out of time so I decide to pass it up in favor of Kaya Koy town and a camel ride that I had been promising Heather all week. We had to have our rental car back by 4 o’clock and it was already 2:30 with at least an hour and a half drive to Fethiye. I make the drive in less than an hour, trek down to Kaya Koy, get the camel ride around the base of the ruins, snap a few photos, and literally coast into town on fumes right at 4. Rental cars are returned empty in Turkey and with the cost of gas I wasn't returning it with any more gas in it than I had to, but boy did I cut it close...5 lira worth of gas to make sure we could make it back to the rental office (5 lira is just over 1 liter of gas….1/4 of a gallon).
Back at Harman Hotel tonight. We decide to hit up the pool at the hotel to relax and catch some more sun. The bartender makes an awesome virgin mojito for Heather using apple juice. An hour of pool time later, we are bored and decide to go to Calis Beach to catch the sunset. AWESOME! We take some more awesome pregnancy photos on the black sand beach and decide to run back to the hotel to clean up before the sun dips behind the mountains and get back to the beach front restaurants in time to see the sun disappear. We had a great dinner at an Italian restaurant on the water front and stroll back to the hotel under the almost full moon.
The AC kept tripping the breaker so we had to change rooms around midnight, the hotel was great about switching us as soon as they realized they couldn't fix the AC.