Sunrise boat ride + turtles = a perfect day in Dalyan.
Dalyan Travel Blog› entry 163 of 251 › view all entries
July 22nd, 2008 – by: cmgervais
DAY FOUR of the Beaches & Ruins Road Trip:DALYAN
We stumbled sleepily down to the hotelâ€™s pier at 5:45am and found our boat waiting at the dock. It was a large boat and we had it all to ourselves for the morning (for 100YTL). Our captain Hasan didnâ€™t speak English, which proved to be difficult over the course of the morning, but we had an INCREDIBLE day watching turtles nonetheless.
The light was gaining strength as we boated slowly inland on the river. We kept our eyes peeled for turtles, not knowing when and where they would make their appearance, but saw nothing in the black water except our own reflections. After awhile Hasan pulled over to a rock and hopped out of the boat. We didnâ€™t know what was going on, but soon figured it out as he started laying chicken pieces onto the rock.
We had the turtles to ourselves for a good long time before a couple other boats appeared. It usually makes me feel bad to have a group of tourists surrounding animals like that (it happens all the time diving), but everyone was quiet and the turtles seem unphased by all the attention. I later found research saying these Nile Turtles are â€ścritically endangered,â€ť with fewer than 1,000 left.
Hasan then took the boat further up the river and into a large lake area. We watched an incredible sunrise and thoroughly enjoyed the silence and cool air that surrounded us. We then cruised slowly, flanked by reeds, and saw many birds and some fish that jumped right out of the water and landed with a FLOP. It made us all laugh out loud. The light was so beautiful, and it was peaceful and perfect. What an excellent morning.
Hasan then brought us back to our hotel, where we gulped down some breakfast before going back to the pier.
We arrived at a natural harbor and saw fishing boats around the perimeter of the area. We parked next to one of them, where the captain was busy cleaning crab. He gave a crab to Hasan, who put it on a string and started dragging it through the water. We watched expectantly, butâ€¦nothing. More dragging the crab, more watching. Nothing. We heard some squealing tourists across the water and could see a turtle popping its head up near their boat! We became impatient as Hasan dragged the desperate crab over and over through the water.
Finally, we saw a shadow, and thenâ€¦a turtle! This was a Loggerhead Turtle, much different from the freshwater Nile Turtles we had seen earlier.
The next stop was this beach, called Iztuzu. It is a natural reserve, and is closed from 10pm to 8am so as not to disturb the nocturnal activities of the turtles. A section of the beach has been reserved for sunbathing, and the other side, which is favored by the turtles, appeared to be off limits.
It was a pretty beach, but we had no interest in sunbathing so we didnâ€™t stay long.
Finally, Hasan showed up, but without the boatâ€¦he had made the long WALK from the other side of the mountain. Oh, we were not thrilled by this, as that meant WE had to walk back as well. He took us through a pasture, over rocks, on a dubious route to his boat. It was so hot and seemed to take forever. It was not a fun hike at all.
We eventually got back to our hotel where we enjoyed some R & R. The hotel served an excellent dinner once again, with completely different dishes than last night. A good wrap up to an excellent, excellent day.
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