Saturday, October 26, 2013

A dog good life

More good times in paradise.  Yesterday me and a couple mates went on a hike out to Paradise Beach, and one of the local camp dogs, Sasha decided to come along with us.  Pretty impressive as the hike went up a mountain and took almost 2 hours to get to the beach, plus we had to climb up some steep rocks which she had no problem with (going up).  Plenty of good places to swim, and rocks to jump off at the beach where there were no other people.  That's why it is called Paradise Beach.

Pretty much every camp down here is done for the season with few guests around, so there's more free time to enjoy nature, and less people to cook for.  The weather is still amazing during the days, which do appear to be shrinking.  No real sign of autumn down around the beach, with pine trees and evergreen trees all over, but the nights in the tent are getting colder.  Just more fun each day out and about with friends and relaxing.  Working my way through books, swimming a ton and feeling good!

Look at the camera!

Inside another cave

Jump man!

Sasha loving this jump

My dream boat resting at Cold Water Beach.  Buy me one for Christmas

Paradise Beach

Skipping stones

And another amazing sunset to cap off a brilliant day

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Swimming out of a cave into the Mediterranean?

video

This is just one part of the amazing life in paradise: the cave!  So cool to see the shimmering blue light from within the cave, looking out at the sea.  Feels great to swim underneath and feel alive with the fish and colours around.  Definitely worth the 10 minute swim out there. 

Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Reflections


Here are a few pictures of where I am living.  Life is good at Reflections Camp.  We are completely full as loads of people are here for a Muslim holiday.  Busy, and yet still relaxed, that's the vibe around here.  Nice and chill, as we are living in a beautiful place where it goes a little slower, a little happier and a little more natural.  We've got trees in the open air bathrooms, mountain and sea views all around, and a bonfire every night.  Come on down and join us!


The breakfast set up on the kitchen windows next to the fire pit

View from the kitchen of the lounge, bar and seating areas

One of our bathrooms in all it's glory

Stone huts to sleep in

The deck up top by the kitchen, overlooking the Mediterranean

My tent view of the sunset

Monday, October 14, 2013

The swimming life

Kabak!


This is a different view of Kabak, where I am living.  Been here for two weeks of fun in paradise.  In the bottom right corner, you can see the island which I swim out to a couple times a week.  Gotta get in my marathon swim every now and then.  The Mediterranean is saltier than the ocean and in the bay, it's often pretty smooth, making for good swimming conditions.  I'm out in the water every day, normally swimming the several hundred meters across and back, or swimming to a cave which you swim into.  Loving the water!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Butterfly Valley Hike



The days spent in paradise are flying by it seems.  Each day is amazing, and after serving breakfast for everyone, I spend the days off exploring, swimming, hiking and enjoying life and nature.  Pretty crazy to be quite content in one place after 5 months of bouncing around the world.  But when everything you need is here, and with the work I do, the meals are provided for, I stay in the area.

Today I decided to trek off to the next big valley nearby, about 5 miles away, Butterfly Valley.  Pretty nice hike along the way to get to the top of the valley, passing grape and pomegranate trees along the way to stock up on my fruit intake.  Amazing views along the way as always, with the Mediterranean Sea surrounded by trees, rocks and islands.  It still feels like summer time here, both weather-wise and the fact that with all the pine trees, not many leaves have changed colors yet.
Steep trekking!

Hey mom, I've got my hand on the rope for safety!

Butterfly Canyon is named for the butterflies who have made the bottom their home.  It's quite a drop down from the top, around 1000 feet.  The trail is there, but half the time it isn't really a trail.  More of a rock face that you go down rather quickly.  It felt more like rock climbing and abseiling than hiking.  There were ropes bolted into the rock that allowed you to go 6 feet forward and 30 feet down.  So the hike down went pretty fast, and the view got better and better.
The Beach!

1 of at least 20 paragliders who were flying around and landing

Stick that landing!

On the bottom, there were waterfalls at the start of the canyon, and at the end, was a wide open beach where paragliders were landing, and people were hanging out at a cafe.  The last few days, the water has been very calm, and clear.  Today was just the same, and this beach was less rocky than others, so I hung out for a while, as I waited for my friends Erica and Peter to hike down. 

Later on, I hiked back up the steepness of the canyon, and a few miles back towards my home, I went down another canyon to a secluded beach which had been recommended to me.  Perfect spot to rest up and enjoy life, plus get some rock jumping in.  Been a great day, hiking over 10 miles and amazing the locals I work with once again.  They're impressed by how much I've seen in my 8 days here so far.  That's what I'm all about.  See the area and enjoy life!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Paradise Panoramas

Here are a few panoramas from my life in paradise.  Enjoy!






Thursday, October 3, 2013

The good life




The life is good in the south of Turkey!  Loving being out in nature here in Kabak, where the end of the road leads to paradise.  Very laid back vibes down here, with an excellent beach to swim in, numerous trails to hike in, and sunshine to soak up (with sunscreen of course mom & dad).  Here are a few pictures from the first couple days down here.  We had a big storm the first night, but since then, all blue skies.  Which is normal here.  Some of the other volunteers at the camp say those were the first clouds they've seen in the last few weeks.  Loving it!

Representing the Lakers on a hike through the mountains

The bays and valleys just keep on going the farther you hike.  But with no people at those in the distance
Stormy beach on day 1
How about this other camp getting all classy right on the beach?
Misty morning mountains
Just another view to make you jealous
Fancy a hike anyone?

Tough life means nap time in my open breeze room




Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Turkish Delight

Kabak, my soon to be home for an indefinite time

Man on the street: “Do you like carpets?”

Me: “Say, what?”

Man on the street: “Do you like carpets? I have a friend who gives you a good deal.”

Oh, Istanbul. You are a fun city. When I play tourist, I get all sorts of random conversations. It's an entertaining city as is, and then when I'm offered carpets right outside the Blue Mosque, with no carpet stores in sight, life is beautiful in the Middle East (or technically Europe, since I was on the European side of the Bosphorus).

It's been a grand time exploring the city, these last 9 days. After almost 5 months of travel, it's nice to settle in a bit in one place and not bounce all over with the backpack. I'm definitely a fan of the area I live in, Kadikoy, where there is always something going on, cheaper prices and mostly local people, of which I know a few already. I've been staying in a sweet location, right in the middle of Kadikoy, sharing an apartment with Aysun, another fun loving, worldly adventurer from couch surfing.

The plan was to come and find a cooking job for 3 months here in Istanbul, but the plans have changed. I found out about a paradise in the south of Turkey in a small area called Kabak, where people go to chill out for a while at camps nearby the sea, right in the hills. It is an amazing place which is popular with several of the people I have met, and through Aysun, my apartment-mate, I was connected with a couple of the camps and found one which I could volunteer at. Volunteering means you work a little in exchange for living there, which sounds just perfect for me, as I'm more about having a great life experience than making money right now. So, I am heading down to Reflections (www.reflectionscamp.com) to work for an indefinite amount of time, most likely around one month of fun in paradise, relaxing, cooking and living the good life. Sounds perfect to me! Can't wait to get down there and get into the mix.

So next time you hear from me, it should entail stories of beach life, waterfalls, swimming into caves, hiking and more. The adventures continue!

Oh, and Go Blue! Dodgers in the World Series, wait for it.

Some last days in Istanbul pictures:
Enjoying the cruse along the Bosphorus

Bosphorus Bridge!

Me touching the food you will be eating in restaurants and loving it

The Galata Tower, highest point around in all it's majesty