Turkey 16: Flames of the Chimera

Title sounds a bit douchey, but true story.

First thing’s first, medical update – we’re both on the mend.  I can now breathe through most of the day and Daina was able to make it from breakfast to just after lunch without the “rumble belly” acting up.  Patara is still the plan for tomorrow, but we’ll play it by ear, just in case.

Once we rolled out of bed on no fixed schedule this morning, we decided we’d hit the beach for my round 2, Daina’s first go.  What a difference being there NOT on the weekend makes!  Not at all crowded, much easier to find a space “away” from people.  D wasn’t interested in checking out any of the ruins other than the ones directly next to the stream, so it was all fun in the sun.

A bit too much fun, actually, as we probably didn’t do the best job putting sunscreen on our arms and face.  Might have something to do with the fact that we were both in the water for so long as well.  Minor burns, but what are you going to do?  They’ll settle into a nice tan or back to plain white.  I’ll let you figure out who gets what.

Big crash and chill in the afternoon, as we didn’t really leave the pension (Olympos is kind of a one-trick pony unless you want to do a tour, which all leave earlier in the morning.)  Next up, the Chimera Flames!

Or, flames that ancients thought were coming from the Chimera.  Take your pick. 

Is this burning an eternal flame?  No, you’re not only dreaming, Bangels fans!  You can cover up the fire in the rocks, but it reignites pretty soon afterwards.  Apparently, the flames on this mountain inspired the Chimera myth, although I’m not sure how “fire from rocks” turned into “three headed monster that is part goat, part lion and part snake.”  That’s ancients for you!

The flames reside in a town called Cirali, about a 45 minute drive outside of Olympos.  And what a ride!  Pitch black, high beams, winding turns, steep roads.  It was like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and the psychedelic boat trip from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory conceived a kid in the middle of a street race from Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift.  CRAZY!!!

Also, hiking.  Not averse to it, wasn’t expecting it.  It’s maybe a 15 minute hike up to get to the flames from the park entrance, steep, dark, hot.

That being said, pretty surreal once you get to where the flames are.  The fire juts out of several holes in the rocks.  It’s not so hot that you can’t get near it, but you’re not sticking your hands in/through, as we saw some people roasting hot dogs, a group of Canadians making S’mores, and one douchebag lighting his cigarette.  We only had a half hour up at the fire, but that’s more than enough for what it is.

Was it the most amazing thing I’ve seen?  Not really.  It was pretty cool, though, and I’m glad I sweated my butt off at 10 at night to see it.

Next up, more beach at Patara!

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