Sunday, January 31, 2016

Saklikent Snow Day

January 31, 2016

Today we joined several of our cruising friends for a day at the snow. Joan (s/v Elusive) arranged the tour with a turkish tour company. We paid 50 TL each for the bus ride and a BBQ lunch on the mountain.

We caught the bus at 7:00 AM (hadn't seen that early for awhile) and headed up past Antalya to Saklikent.  Approximately 1.5 hours into the trip we stopped at a gas station for ├žay and mini eclairs brought by Nikki and Nick (s/v Celtic Cream). This allowed us to use the facilities before the next leg. It took us 3-3.5 hours to get to the hill. The last part of the trip was tight switch backs, gravel road and steep inclines. Once we arrived we had until 2:00 PM on our own before the BBQ lunch would be served.

We decided to head up the chairlift to see what was up at the top. This was a first for both of the girls as they have never been skiing or snowboarding before. Once we made it to the top we headed inside to warm up. Most of our cruising friends had the same idea.

view from the bottom
enjoying the ride up
Shaun and Paige in front of us

view down to the left where a lot of people were sledding

at the top trying to warm up inside at the cafeteria
another shot of everyone trying to warm up at the top
building at the very top
our good friend Nick (s/v Celtic Cream) in his t-shirt
Joan (s/v Elusive) helping Nick (s/v Celtic Cream) with his Batman shorts
I am a crazy buggar
s/v Maple crew from left to right Ella, Darryl, Iris and Janet
Bundled up at the top
snow angles
the ride down and Paige needs window wipers
Shaun and Jordan in front of us on the way down
another shot going down
After making it to the bottom we were pretty cold. We decided to warm up inside the bus but found that it was locked. We were able to locate the driver and he unlocked it for us so that we could unthaw inside while we waited for the BBQ. Our lunch was BBQ'd chicken on a bun with veggies and a coke or whatever drinks we decided to bring (by drinks I mean alcohol). It was Nikki's (s/v Celtic Cream) birthday and she graciously shared her mulled wine, which was fantastic. After lunch the kids had a snowball fight to burn off some energy.

snowball fight with Iris and Ella (s/v Maple)
getting the projectiles ready
view up the hill
Barnie launching his snowballs at the girls
Barnie getting pummelled by the 5 year old
After everyone was stuffed we all agreed that we wanted to leave at 3:30 PM to head back to Finike. This left us an hour to go sledding. Luckily there were several plastic bags that people brought and shared. We headed up the sledding side of the hill and as we were walking our friend Barnie scored an actual plastic sled. He took turns taking the kids down the hill (bless his heart). The girls had a blast despite my nervousness at the chaos. Paige even had a turn on the plastic sled and accidentally knocked a turkish boy over. He didn't get out of the way fast despite her best efforts to yell and whistle for him to move..... It was a hoot.

sledding on plastic bags

Barnie and Jordan on the sled that was found on the hill
Mike and Debbie preparing to slide on plastic

Paige channeling her inner penguin

Darryl, Ella and Jordan

We had our final slide and headed back to the bus for our LONG bus ride back to Finike. I think I have mentioned in previous posts about the chaotic drivers in Turkey, well it extended up to the mountain parking. Cars were parked 2 and 3 deep and it everyone seemed to be leaving at the same time. This caused a huge traffic jam all the way off the mountain hence the LONG bus ride back.

One of many great things I saw on this trip was how many locals were on the mountain experiencing the snow, having a BBQ and spending time with their families.

We had a great day visiting the snow and then leaving it behind for warmer weather.

Follow our video adventures on our YouTube channel: Video adventures of s/v Element

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Camel wrestling

January 24, 2016

Today we hopped on a dolmush (shared mini bus 3 TL each adult and older child) and headed to Kumluca to watch the camel wrestling.

We knew that we had found the venue as there were many people milling about. Oh yes, and the camels. Luckily it was a bit of a breezy day so the smell was not terrible. We did a walk behind the arena to see what was going on before we entered.

Outside the arena were 20 or so elaborately decorated camels tied up waiting for their chance in the ring. On one side of the square were food vendors hawking their food items and on the other were the souvenirs.

We paid our entrance fee and were able to walk by all of the waiting camels. Several had foam coming out of their noses and mouths. After a little research, I found out that this is what happens when they get excited around a female.

We entered into the arena and found a place to sit. Males are brought together on the pitch and wrestle for 5-10 minutes. Each trying to use their necks and bodies to out position the other. While we were watching one of the groups, I saw a bubble of camel saliva float up into the sky...... Not something you see every day. It was a chilly and breezy day so we didn't last long sitting in the shade.

We headed back down and walked amongst the waiting competitors before walking back through Kumluca to grab lunch and a Dolmush back to Finike.

If you would like to know more about the sport here is a link to wikipedia:

the awaiting competitors
a hairy camel
the stadium
awaiting his chance

I really liked this camel
prancing the female nearby to get the males excited
wrestling match
close up of two wrestling
more action shots
a camel waiting for his turn
more wrestling

post match
food stalls
Follow our video adventures on our YouTube channel: Video adventures of s/v Element