Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bodrum Day Two

After the french fry fiasco the previous night, I was a little wary of the plans for the day: take a boat cruise. Because the boats leave between 9 and 10, I was dragged out of bed at 7:30, so we could make the trip down to the docks on time. Not wanting to have a bad stomach on the water, I ate lots of bread for breakfast. We took a dolmus down to Bodrum and walked down to the marina. There are several boats belonging to a cooperative that you can buy a seat on. It cost 25YTL for a 8 hour ride, which I thought was a deal. We walked down the marina towards where the boats were moored and were told that the first boat leaving was full. We waited until a second boat started taking passengers and placed our things on board. While waiting for it to depart, we got Cay at a cafe across the street. It ended up being the worst tea we had ever tasted. Oh well, at least I was able to get this photo...

So, here is how the boat trips work. The cruise lasts about 8 hours during which there are 5 stops for about 30-45 minutes each for swimming. At each stop, there is a feature that is fun or interesting about it. The first stop, named the aquarium, has inredibly clear water for it's about 50ft depth. Fish normally are swimming about but not the day we visited, or so I was told. I didn't enter the water until the second stop, bceause of my fear of swimming in anything but pools.

At the second stop, we moored up to a dock which has been built to shelter a cave who's mud is supposed to contain some sort of purifying qualities. Not being the type of person that likes rubbing random mud on them self, I decided to go swimming with Canan. We walked over the rocks and crawled in. The water was really warm in parts. The water temperature gradients in pools, lakes, and oceans have always fascinated me. You can swim a few feet and the temperature changes a good 5-10 degrees F. Anyways, at this point I decided to look underwater with my eyes open, and ended up losing my contacts. It was ok since I can see pretty well without them anyways. We climbed back in the boat and laid out on the top deck to dry off and tan.

The third stop features a deep hole that is supposed to have been made by a meteor. I'm pretty sure this isn't true, but I found it entertaining none the less. I hope in and swam around. This time I had snagged the goggles that Mert had brought along. We swam out to the hole, which is located right next to a cliff that you can climb. At the moment, there weren't any jumpers, but a group later managed to climb up there and a few of them jump off after much yelling and encouragement. The hole is interesting because near the edge, the water is only about 3 feet deep, and then plunges about 200 feet. I dove down to examine the sides of it. I was rewarded by seeing many silvery yet striped fish and a sea urchin. I had never seen one of these outside of an aquarium. It was a deep shade of burgundy. I swan back to the boat where I found lunch waiting for me.

Because of the giardia, I had brought along some of the simit we has bought the day before to eat for lunch. They ended up serving grilled chicken, with pasta and salad along with bread. I felt that since the chicken was plain that I should be able to eat it with the bread. After several helpings of bread (by stealing Canan's) the chicken was all gone, and I felt refreshed.

After laying out in the sun for a bit, we arrive at the fourth stop which was located on a narrow shelf before the bottom dropped off into the channel. Our cruise was actually between a long island and the Bodrum coast. The channel was probably pretty deep, making these shelves ideal places to swim with fish because of the clear water. We played around for a while before I climbed out. Onur wanted a picture of him and Canan, so I decided to jump in so we could take a group photo. The other Canan had some along, so she decided to take the picture for us.

The fifth stop made me laugh. The name of the location was Bunny Island. Now the first thing I thought of (which probably isn't a surprise to those who know me) was Playboy Bunnies. :) When I asked about this, everyone thought it was hilarious. We have no idea why it's called Bunny Island other than maybe there is a large bunny population, but we didn't see any. At the other stops, the bottom had been mostly rocky with maybe a little sand. At Bunny Island, the bottom was covered with bunches of long grass. It kinda creeped me out a little, but I found it fun trying to pick out the fish that were living amongst it.

After climbing back into the boat, we headed back to Bodrum. We got back around 6pm to the dock. The sun hadn't started to set yet, but the lighting on a lot of the boats was stunning. I was able to capture the following photograph of a sailboat, which I think might be one of my best ones yet.

Upon reaching the docks, we set out in search of a birthday cake for Canan, as it was her birthday. After much searching, we ended up going back to the bakery we had been at the day before. Exhausted, we took the dolmus back to the house. Canan's family's house was relatively close by, so she went home to shower while we made dinner. She came back later to celebrate the other Canan's birthday. Sorry, I know all the talk of Canan is probably pretty confusing. What makes it worse is that they are both now blonde. I ended up falling asleep sitting up after having my dinner of bread and water. They sent me to bed and I fell instantly asleep. It had probably been one of the best days I have had all summer.

1 comment:

Anne said...

What an amazing trip! I love how they have things to do that are reasonably priced. It's a good thing you have friends to lead you around and act as translators. A "regular" tourist could have never done what you did. You definitely earned a nice weekend after what you've been dealing with and the 12 hour bus ride.