Finally…sandals! This is where the trip takes a true turn toward vacation. Hours before, I’d boarded the Küçük Mustafa, a wooden sail boat in the Turkish gulet fashion where the boats have retired their sails for motors that leisurely power tourists down the southwestern Mediterranean coast. After a rocky start to the trip where I’d been told that an additional passenger of either sex might be assigned as my cabin mate (there was only one double bed in the room), and despite my insistence that that was a ludicrous possibility I was not comfortable with- and anyway-wasn’t I in a Muslim country (?), the manager assured me one of us could sleep up on deck under the stars. My soon-to-be new friend assured me that depending on who this potential cabin mate was, it might not be such a bad thing. Either way, I had found an ally in the cause who agreed to switch rooms with me- his bunks for my double.
That aside, we had set ‘sail’ and within hours had plunged into the crisp, clear waters of Butterfly Valley, cruised by Ölüdeniz, the most photographed beach in the Mediterranean, and had just docked next to St. Nicholas Island to watch the sunset. I can’t remember one bit of history about it- after all, I was now on “vacation,” but I do remember having a bite of “Turkish Viagra” (more on that later) before walking up the island hill to settle into this portal-perhaps ruins from the Lycian people. The setting sun gently hit my sunburned face, curls were tight with excitement, and my appetite was ready to enjoy our first dinner aboard the boat “Little Mustafa” with my ten fellow crew mates.
Photo credit: Paul Rubin
Day 24 of 30; Postcards from Turkey