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The Big O.E An epic adventure across the world, backpacker style :)

Selcuk and Pamukkale

TURKEY | Sunday, 22 June 2008 | Views [1895]

The brilliant white travertines at Pamukkale

The brilliant white travertines at Pamukkale

By the time we arrived in Selcuk, we'd spent 21 of the last 40 hours on busses. And we still love each other :) Even though our bus activities had deteriorated as far as making wordfinds for each other to ease the boredom... The best food in this part of the world is pide (like pizza) and the best kind is lahmacun, which is minced meat, onions, tomatoes and spices on a super thin base.

We decided not to pay an extra $5 for air conditioning at our guest house. First thing the next morning, we paid the $5. It was 35 degrees in the middle of the night. It was actually too hot to do stuff in the middle of the day, so we got into the habit of early mornings, early lunches and a siesta until we could venture out again.

We hired bikes to get to Efes, better known as Ephesus. We arrived before 9am, thankfully, because bang on 9 the tour busses arrived. The ruins were pretty cool, but not a patch on Palmyra, and they were just flooded with tourists. We arrived home in time to shower all the sweat away and lie low for the hot part of the day.

Next stop was the tiny wee village of Pamukkale. What a choice place to stop! There were literally no tourists in this place. It's famous for the incredible pure white calcified terraces filled with stunning turquoise water. So all the package tourists have a wee stop and continue on their way. Which means accommodation here is authentic, cheap and good! We wandered round the town and ate doner kebabs and turkish ice cream (which reminds me of frozen instant pudding - an acquired taste).

We walked up to the terraces at 4pm - just as the tour busses were leaving. We got to see Borat's brother too - remember that lime green thong? Well, his brother (who else would actually wear one of those things?) had a bright blue one up his bottom, and he proudly displayed his near nakedness for all to see. You have to walk on the calcium with bare feet and it feels like chalk. And it was just wonderful to be in cool water in the searing heat. The higher up you go, the warmer the water is, and you can just lie on the calcium with the water running around you.

There is also a curious natural pool over old Roman ruins - a bit like a sunken city. But it cost $20 to go in. Being cheeky kiwis we managed a half price discount as there was only an hour till closing time - fantastic!! The clear water bubbled up and looked like Berocca bubbles on your skin and you had to swim around the ancient Roman columns in the water. Wicked.

We watched the sunset reflecting off the whiteness and came home to a romantic dinner by the pool - as there were only the two of us in the whole village!


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