Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Last Day of Trip

We wake up on what will be the last day of the group trip, and all I can think about is parasailing. Joe, Jim, Brian, and myself hop on the fun water events boat and head out. Brian is gonna scuba dive which sounds amazing. He gets to swim through underwater caves and see all kinds of sweet animals; I am really wishing I was scuba certified. The tour guide speaks very broken English and doesn’t know how to say the word “seal” so he just puts his arms by his sides and makes the seal noise….it got the boat a good laugh.

I am first up on the parasailing, and I must say, the setup here is much better than my previous parasailing experiences. Growing up, my aunt and uncle had a parasail that we would use with their boat in Tennessee. Let’s just say that Carnes, TN is about 55-75 years behind most of the rest of the country. To use this parasail, you had to stand on shore about 60 yards from the water and when the driver gunned it, you had to run the 60 yards and then leap off the shore in hopes that the chute was full and you would lift off. Two main things can go wrong here leading to a couple uncomfortable scenarios. One, you can leap from the shore and the chute doesn’t have enough air leaving you to be dragging along the water for a couple seconds. Or two, the worse one by far, is that you trip before you get to the shoreline and you are dragged along the hard, rocky ground. Either way, pain ensues. This boat has the full setup where you just get slowly raised from the back of the boat. I must say, much less anxiety involved, but also much less adrenaline. Anyways, I contemplate taking my camera up with me since I theoretically won’t be getting wet, but I have gotten quite close to it over the past two weeks, so I decide against it. Once up there, it is just an amazing experience. You are high enough up to see miles and miles of the Aegean as well as all of the different small, old school communities that have been in Kusadasi for centuries. It is just amazing. All three of us comedown very satisfied with our 70 lira purchase. We then go to pick up Brian from his scuba caving experience. We are a little surprised by the lackadaisical attitude towards the scuba diving. There was no buoy put down to mark their entrance, and there was no set time we were coming to get them as it depended on our parasailing. However, we are able to find them pretty easily. Brian, who has been diving about 30 times, claims it was the second scariest dive he has ever had. The scariest being off the Reef in Australia after being separated from the group (umm….this kid wouldn’t have survived that). Apparently, it is pretty easy to get disoriented when you are not only underwater but inside underwater caves. Especially when your guide speaks absolutely no English. However, he said he got to see the seal, a giant eel, some lobsters, and a bunch of other marine life. It sounds amazing.

We head back to the hotel to meet up with the rest of the group. They are all lounging on the shoreline. I decide to take a quick break, and ask the waiter for a bira bira. My break end shortly thereafter when Voeltz and I are challenged to doubles ping pong. I figure, what the heck, I will play a couple games considering that the table is still on the coastline with a great view……14 games later, we have not lost, and we decide to retire on top. The 2nd to last game included a comeback from 20-13 down, so we are feeling pretty good about ourselves. I believe I have earned myself another bira bira. A group then heads off to rock jump again, but I decide to lay along the shore instead. My feet are still quite banged up from yesterdays rock jumping, and I am pretty sure I cannot get a better picture than the one I got of Voeltz’s flying squirrel. (entry #1 into photo contest). Although it will be hard to beat Phil’s picture of himself in his graduation gown (the 2nd years graduated while on the trip) on the back of a camel with the great pyramids in the background. The rock-jumping group gets back, and it sounds like I missed quite an adventure, darnit. Oh well, live and learn. We all take one last swim in the Aegean before heading up to get ready for dinner. Not sure if I mentioned this, but the Aegean is the saltiest water I have ever been in by a long shot. You stay afloat with little to no effort. On the downside, if you take some down the esophagus, it tastes about like a hearty helping of Peace’s cooking (old school LCA reference). So you have to be pretty careful not to swallow any. The plus side to that is the face people make when they do accidentally take some in.

We head up for dinner, and everybody showers and gets ready. Somewhere in there, I realize I am not in the least bit hungry, so I decide to stay back and pack up for Paul and my 3am departure. It turns out to be a good move as I am able to pack, make some phone calls, and get to bed by about 9pm. That allows me a whopping 5 hours of sleep before our wakeup call. I call down for the wakeup, and tell the front desk 2:10 please. She laughs pretty hard at this request. I think she is under the impression that I am getting woken up at that point to head out to the bars since they are open til 6. Not so, we have to get up to take an hour cab ride for 50 lira, then wiggle through airport security, and then onto a plane where we will be able to rest just long enough to be teased as the flight is about 55 minutes in the air. Oh well, I am sure I will be running on Parisian adrenaline by then. One last day of fun combined with a TON of traveling, and I will be back in the States!

Drew In Kusadasi

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