Day 21: Into the wild
Antalya Travel Blog› entry 30 of 260 › view all entries
April 26th, 2010 – by: Biedjee
As I had now reached the Mediterranean coast, I figured that something like a boat trip would be the most obvious choice. There are many many different boat trips all with a similar itinerary to some idyllic beaches and waterfalls, making it very hard to choose. The success of a 6-hour boat trip largely depends on your company and it was impossible to figure out which tour would feature similar minded people (as opposed to, say, a group of German pensioners or a Turkish family who don't speak English).
There are also plenty of day trips to nearby Roman ruins. Hmm, more Roman ruins? Even though the city of Aspendos is said to have the single best preserved Roman theatre in the world, I wasn't convinced.
Now what I would have liked was a combination of the two, like a trip to an ancient city submerged under the sea water, but alas, that trip did not run on Mondays.
Ah, Choices, choices, decisions, decisions. So I went rafting instead.
Hey, rafting is a boat trip!
My guide for the day was Hamdi, came to pick me up with his car early in the morning. We picked up some Libyan newly-weds at a nearby hotel and then drove into the outskirts of Antalya. The further away we went the city got decidedly duller and the hotels decidedly larger. I realised that this is the Antalya most people see on their holidays here. They stay a week or longer at one of the all-inclusive hotels in the outskirts of town, and probably only visit some of the old city during a day trip or so.
We stopped at one of these big hotels and got transferred to a minibus. So what they tried to do in Pamukkale (not very successfully) is actually common practice here. Several agencies sell rafting trips, and in the end they just combine all the people onto one trip.
The rest of the people on the trip were Ukrainians, who were staying in an all-inclusive 5-star hotel.
The irony: I just spent a week in Ukraine and hardly met a soul there, and once in Turkey I finally meet some great, crazy Ukrainians.
Ukrainians who, I kid you not, were going rafting wearing full make-up, mini-skirts and high heels. It must be some sort of a genetic thing!
The rafting in the Köpülü canyon is rather tame. Though I have to say, compared to the rafting I did on the Zambezi in Zambia last year I reckon virtually any other rafting trip will be tame.
The intermediate rapids (none wilder than a grade III) meant that we could easily fool around. Hamdi would have us go backwards, sideways, or spin the raft while going down a rapid, all adding to the excitement.
Mohammed, the guy from Libya, was so excited that half the time he completely forgot to paddle. None of it mattered. Hamdi would shout out instructions in Russian or English (he had conveniently placed all Ukrainians on the left side of the raft, and the international group in the right) and he had given us nicknames based on our nationality (Van Basten: paddle forward! Khadaffi: paddle faster!)
All in all we had a very nice three hours on the water, with a lunch break in the middle.
Back in the hostel in Antalya I met Ali, a guy from Iran, who is in fact living (partially) in Holland and married to a Dutch girl. As Iran will be my next destination, he was able to give me some helpful tips and advice.
We had a little çay and some nargileh in a nearby pub, but unfortunately I had to leave at 21:30 in order to get to the otogar for my bus to Bursa.
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