Friday 6th June
I have been looking forward to today since the first day of the trip when I found out it was an optional activity. Paragliding. Over the Mediterranean Coast. And it doesn’t disappoint. We are picked up by a shuttle bus at 8am, our pilots already on board. We make the 1500m climb up the cliffs that surround the coast. It doesn’t occur to me to be nervous, instead I am just really freakin excited. Again, no safety briefing, no signing an documents that I can’t sue them if I die today. We are simply assisted into some kind of an outfit which makes us look like oversized turtles and fitted with a helmet. Once the parachute is prepped and I’m strapped to my dude all he says to me is “don’t sit down, just keep walking”. In my head I was imagining some kind of awkward dual run and jump scenario off some kind of platform. But the strength of the parachute is such that all we do is take a few steps down a hill and we have lift off. It’s really undramatic and quite smooth. And the view is unreal. The best 260 lira I have spent on the trip thus far. All I can say for the first five minutes is “wow, wow, wow”. The colour of the water below is the bluest I have ever seen. Coupled with surrounding lagoons, the terracotta roofs and multiple swimming pools of the small town below makes for a truly spectacular scene. My pilot flies me out over the water and asks if I want to do some spins. There is only one answer. I scream hysterically all the while. It feels like I am going so fast. It reminds me of those things in playgrounds I went on as a kid that sat four people and you propelled yourself around using the centre piece. Remember them? Other than this the flight is so smooth, quiet, peaceful and relaxing. I try and soak up as much as I can knowing that in a few months this is what my office day dreams will be made of. We are in the air for 30-45 minutes before landing which comes around all too soon. But it too was pretty smooth. My pilot expertly flies us over the village for a one-two step landing on the beautiful beach. The expert photos my captain was taking during the flight using his go pro are too good not to buy.
We have a short turn around at the hotel before we make our way back down to the beach and jump in a private boat. It is a beautifully warm sunny day and boating conditions are perfect. In Mediterranean Turkey 300 days per year are sunny ones. We spend the next six hours sunbathing on the top deck and swimming at five different swimming holes. Lunch is included in the cost (90 euros) and it doesn’t disappoint. Our meal is prepared and cooked on the boat using a barbecue. We have a choice of fish, chicken, meatballs and there is also salad, pasta, cheese rolls and the mandatory watermelon. We can order additional food and drinks if we want and the Nutella and banana pancakes are a hit with everyone. They are kind of a cross between our normal crepes and Turkish pancakes (gozleme) as they have our filling but a roti-like bread wrapping. Yum yum YARM. Today is perfection.
Later on in town I exercise my bargaining skills and get a towel from 20 lira down to 10. I haven’t had to do too much bargaining as yet but it is a definite skill. No one likes doing it but I just pretend I know what I’m doing and figure I’ll just fake it till I make it. I enjoy fish and chips at a western restaurant with two of the other girls. Fethiye is a very popular spot with British tourists and it is obvious with the menu choices (bangers and mash, mushy pees etc.). Sitting near the edge of the street I feel like I have been transported to a world where Geordie Shore meets Coronation Street.