Flames of the past – Yanartas

19th May 2008

Yesterday, after we all woke up from our horrendously big night at about 12pm, we all decided to work on our talks for the day. Went and hung out on the awful rocky beach. Not too much happened yesterday, and I can’t really remember much so let’s move on shall we?

Yes, we shall. Today we got up and lounged around for a bit before going and sitting with Vanessa in the breakfast hall at about 10am and doing some paperwork. We were all thinking, she hasn’t told us we’re doing anything else today, surely, she can’t have that much paperwork for us? We did paperwork for a while and discussed activities at Kadirs for about an hour before Vanessa said “Ok guys you’ve got 10 minutes to go get your swimmers on, you’re going sea kayaking, then at 5pm you’re going rock climbing and then at 9pm you’re doing the flames of Chimaera tour”. Cool, so we’re not doing paperwork all day.

We all hurried back to the tree house and got changed, well the others did, I’m perpetually living in my swimmers these days. We got on a bus and were driven down to the rocky beach where we picked up our kayaks, Paul and I went doubles, then we charged off into the Mediterranean! We paddled ourselves through caves and around the rocky coast of Olympos, where we saw more Lycian ruins and more amazing scenery. We managed to find this secluded little beach where we ditched the kayaks for an hour and went for a swim, “Another day at the office?” I yelled over to Rosie. We both had a giggle at that.

Rock climbing at Olimpos
Attempting to rock climb
Sea Kayaking before the Chimaera flames trip
Sea Kayaking around Olimpos

We got back in the kayaks and started our row back, we got back and had lunch at Merhaba restaurant, cheese and potato gozleme, yum! Then we got the bus back to Kadir’s and had about a half hour break before rock climbing. Boy when they said rock climbing, they sure meant it! None of this indoor crap, a nice big ugly cliff! We all got the gear on and walked over to the rock-climbing site, “Who wants to go first?” Dennis our guide said. Silence. Stupid Kristina volunteers to go first as usual. I managed to get about halfway up, considering I had fallen over pretty hard and grazed all my hands and knees and really hurt my rib two nights before, I thought that was a good effort. Cat and Paul did really well they both almost made it to the top. Oh well something to work on next time round.

We managed to get in a quick dinner before we were off on the Chimaera flames tour, I wasn’t totally sure what to expect from this, I knew it was a Lycian site, with supposed flames coming out of the ground, strange concept. We all got on the bus and drove for about an hour and a half into the night. We got to the site, which was just about deserted, which gave me all the enthusiasm I needed to go charging off on the 1km uphill walk, on my own in the dark. Well apart from Kadir, insisting on keeping up so he could carry my stuff for me, actually probably so he could wait around corners or in the bushes trying to scare Nigel. These bus drivers we’ve got are just like big kids. We got about halfway and the guide asked for someone with good English to read out the lengthy bit of information displayed outside the site, I saw there were a lot of Greek names in there so I volunteered. This was apparently the supposed site where Bellerophon on his winged horse Pegasus had defeated the chimaera monster by pouring molten lead down its throat and then collapsed a mountain on top of him. The flames are apparently caused by the living chimaera monster trapped under the acropolis.

We got to the top and man, this flames of chimaera thing just has to be seen to be believed! The was a really ruined acropolis with flames shooting out of the ground for no apparent reason. Not just little ones either, they were quite big and there were quite a few of them, you actually had to look where you were stepping! We all gathered around on of the flames and Rosie had actually brought a bottle of wine, so we sat around drink for a bit.

I insisted on going and having a look at what was beyond the flames and got an eerie sense that something not quite right had gone down here a long time ago. It was such a weird place; it was one of those moments where I felt like I had made it to the ends of Earth.

We climbed back down to the bus, which was actually a lot harder than getting up, missing your footing on the way down, seemed to be a lot easier than on the way up. We drove back to Kadir’s and went off to bed.

At the Chimaera Flames
Me, Nigel at Cat at the Chimaera Flames

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