Princesses of Patara

Patara is a very small costal town of Turkey which has one of the longest sand beaches (18km) some ruins and sea turtles nest there, that is honestly about it but sometimes that is all you need. At this point in the trip I have rendezvoused KK and after a hideous night in Fetihey at the ideal pension (DO NOT STAY THERE) we wanted some where quiet, clean and air conditioned; St Nicholas Pension in Patara was just that. After having been on the V-Go Blue cruise for 4 days with no space of my own it was magical to empty out my bag clean myself in a nice bathroom and just feel human again.
St Nicholas is a family run pension and their two boys do most of the entertaining of guest or maybe they were just entertaining KK and I. As their eldest son Tuna-hands informed us that after arriving at the hotel he received many phone calls from everyone all over town asking who the young female travelers were. At first this was a little concerning but then we became aware that the locals were just interested in getting to know us and also it was a small town where people gossip, there was only 3 streets so it could be expected. I know if I lived in a town that size and two Turkish boys came to town there would be girls giggling on every street corner staring at them. It’s not like they didn’t have tourist, it was just that it was a place families went to holiday and a lot of the other people there where students working on the ruins. So KK and I with our pale skin and accents were some what exotic (hmmm, that just sounds odd). On our first evening out in Patara Tuna-hands found us at the Gypsy bar. He asked very politely if he could sit with us which I found very refreshing after the learing I had endured in other parts of Turkey, I also felt he was genuinely interested in hearing about our lives and I wanted to know about his. This was the first time I had got to interact with the culture in a way where no one wanted anything from the other person. It was a cultural exchange and I enjoyed it. It was very funny though about three of his friends where hiding in the bushes calling him to ask if it was ok if they came to meet us. He asked us if it was okay and all of a sudden all these boys come piling out of the bushes like giddy 16 year olds meeting a girl for the first time and it was apparent that they had decided that one would stay to talk to us and only him. You could tell that he was a leader among them the quiet brooding one that everyone falls in line after. Not because he says they have to but because he has always been the most sure about himself a natural leader and you can feel the awkwardness between he and Tuna-hands who is obviously not always the coolest person in the group but who right now holds all the cards. It’s interesting how even in different cultures the core of human behaviors and actions are the same we all want to belong, we all want to feel important, we all want to mean something to other people even if we don’t know why and there are always natural leaders and natural followers and always those that never fit any where and those of us who move between all those groups depending on the situation. It wasn’t a late night KK and I where exhausted and a cool room awaited us. A quiet and peaceful nights sleep was enjoyed.
The next day we spent 5 or so hours at the beach reading, swimming and relaxing on sun beds no troubles in the world other than the books we were reading seemed to have an obsession with the heroines nipples. The evening was again spent at the few bars that can be found in Patara. The first being one slightly out of town towards the beach which has a draw bridge plays what sounds like love songs dedications and quiet possibly could be a brothel but it was cool. It had a draw bridge and would have been an awesome place to watch the sun set. After there we headed back to Medusa Bar where to no surprise Tuna-hands found us with a different friend in toe this evening, Ebo. Who quiet possibly could have been 17 years old. He had also obviously received a phone call the day before about our arrival and was sad that he could only spend and evening with us. In true Turkish style our drinks contained more gin than tonic and it wasn’t long before I was drunk and tired and retired to bed, Apparently much to the dismay of Ebo. The next day we headed for Olympos. I recommend anyone who wants to get away from other backpackers to head to Petara there are lots of families but it’s a small town that has a big heart and you will meet The local people who will share their stories and make you feel unbelievably welcome.

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