A Travellerspoint blog

Turkey

Paragliding in Olu Deniz

sunny 36 °C
View Around the world ın 8 months on chrisvasil's travel map.

Was awesome. We were so glad to even be able to do it (see above) as the one we were supposed to do was cancelled (so we got up at 5:30AM for nothing).

It started about an hour late, but it was worth the wait. About 30 people (maybe 15 passengers, plus the same amount of pilots, plus equipment) all crammed into 2 minivans from the early 80s. After 10 minutes of driving we stopped at the side of the road and moved into one slightly larger truck.

The road up was treacherous, the driver going at about 80 km/h up a one-lane dirt road up a mountain, not slowing down for curves even though if he missed one the truck would have rolled down the mountain. On turns where the road was wider than the truck, the driver stayed toward the edge that looks down the cliff, which magnified the ambiance. Similarly disconcerting were points where there was oncoming traffic, which the truck didn't slow down to avoid. It was a total of 45 minutes of driving before we got to the expected takeoff point, 1900 meters (over 6000 ft) above where we would land. After getting our gear on they decided we couldn't go from there, so we went up to the next takeoff point, which was 1950 meters up. For that the truck needed to turn around, a three-point turn on a one-lane dirt road along a cliff. The back of the truck was past the edge of the cliff, and the tires were about half a foot away, but we got out fine.

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The takeoff involves running off a cliff and hoping to take off before falling. Actually in my case there was no running: the wind lifted us without any encouragement. Paragliding itself was awesome, though more passive than you might expect: a seat is stitched into the backpack, and the driver drives while I just sit in the front seat and watch. We never go much more than 30 km/h, so it's a pretty relaxed thing. The scenery over Olu Deniz was lovely: the sea, blue lagoon, and a couple towns. The way down was about half an hour. At a couple points we did some exciting stuff: spinning (really fast) in the air (driver was turning hard right for about 30 seconds, so we were spinning faster and faster until it felt like a roller coaster; at another point he dropped for awhile, almost in freefall, also felt like a roller coaster.

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Posted by chrisvasil 07:20 Archived in Turkey Tagged ecotourism Comments (0)

Saklikent Gorge

sunny 36 °C
View Around the world ın 8 months on chrisvasil's travel map.

The gorges make me regret having not ever gone to the gorges in Ithaca when I was at Cornell. We spent 3 hours at Saklikent gorge and still didn't go as far as it goes. No one else from the tour, I think, went to the gorge since there was the option of river tubing instead (which was about 10 times more expensive). It was really fun. Between 2 canyons runs a river/stream, generally about knee-high, a bit above the waist in a couple places; generally flowing very slowly, quick like rapids in a couple places.

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In a few areas it was hard to climb because the rocks caused a waterfall.
In fact, just before this spot Sue insisted on taking the camera to avoid it getting wet. About 30 seconds after I acquiesced and let her take it, I lost my footing trying to climb up this spot and ended up all the way in the water, soaking my wallet, Ziploc full of tissues, and camera case. Oh, the trouble I would have been in had I kept the camera....

Posted by chrisvasil 07:20 Archived in Turkey Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Ephasis Ruins

35 °C
View Around the world ın 8 months on chrisvasil's travel map.

We decided against going to Troy because there was apparently not much except for a big wooden horse (THE big wooden horse, some would argue). But the ruins in Ephasis were good. And the tour guide was also. Here are some pictures.
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Posted by chrisvasil 15:14 Archived in Turkey Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

ANZAC war memorial


View Around the world ın 8 months on chrisvasil's travel map.

We got a guide for this tour, and the guide wasn't very good. Sue couldn't understand his english at all, and I couldn't understand all his talk of military strategy.

The first stop was a museum. We decided not to go in. About 5 minutes after that, the area fills with Turkish soldiers, who were apparently on a field trip - so had we gone in we would have missed that.

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The battles were for a hill, with trenches on either side totaling 40km over an 8km stretch.
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Posted by chrisvasil 15:11 Archived in Turkey Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Overland tour begins

sunny 30 °C
View Around the world ın 8 months on chrisvasil's travel map.

Today begins our tour of Turkey, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt by overland truck. To our surprise (and the guide's) the truck is nearly full, 18 people now and 23 by the time we get to Egypt. It should be fun though - the people there are mostly 20-somethings, either students or otherwise off work, mostly have traveled a lot, and were generally motivated to take this form of travel because it's the cheapest. So all in all it should be good.

This is the truck we'll be living out of,

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The tent on the right will be our home for about half of the next 5 weeks.

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Posted by chrisvasil 15:10 Archived in Turkey Tagged lodging Comments (0)

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