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Around the world travel, Backpacking, Bucket List, long term travel, Pamukkale, Travel, Turkey

A very short stop in Pamukkale

I board overnight bus #2 from Cappadocia to Pamukkale, and I don’t take an Ambien. I literally watch each hour pass. I also watch the bus’ temperature gauge, which is plummeting. During the wee hours of the morning, it reaches 3 degrees Celsius. I find my ipod, put on some Simon and Garfunkel and try to tune out, but can’t get out of my head. I’m analyzing the two extremes which are my life.

Six months of the year, I am “working” in Nantucket, a beautiful, untouched kind of place, where I have established some roots, a great group of friends and a pretty routine life that involves, waking up, making coffee, figuring out what beach I’m going to go to, working out, and heading to the bar for a 7-9 hour shift, usually followed by some post-shift libations. The following morning, I hit repeat.
The other six months out of the year, I am gallivanting around the world, God only knows where, with no more than a backpack and a camera, no place to call home and very far from family and friends. Only a true Gemini could love both lives. But looking at my life this way helps me realize why I’ve had a hard time adjusting to being back on the road. It’s completely different to the six months that have just preceded it…completely!
I try to switch my brain off, but what seems like just a few minutes later, we’re pulling over and being shuffled off the bus onto a minivan to begin the very short drive from Denizli to Pamukkale. At 4:30, we are dropped off at Artemis Hotel and I decide right then and there that I will see Pamukkale’s sights during the day and take the 3-hour bus ride to Selcuk that same afternoon.
The hostel has this strong odor of wet dog, and the employees are trying to cover it up with air freshners and by opening the door. It is still 3 degrees outside!! I decide to try and take a cat nap on the lobby sofa, so I can feel somewhat alive while seeing the sights today, but it’s bitterly cold. A kind, American guy brings a blanket over to me and this also smells like wet dog, but at this point I don’t care. I wrap myself in it, and I wrap my pashmina around my head so the smell isn’t AS strong and I snooze for about 3 hours. I snag free breakfast upstairs with herds of tourists who have been bussed in for a one-day excursion and then head to the travertines.
I spend about four hours between the travertines and the ruins, wading in the thermal streams and trying to wrap my head around the age of the ruins. I’ve never seen anything quite like this, and I realize what a sucker I am for natural wonders. I head back to town for Turkish coffee and a kebap and to book my bus to Selcuk…no more wet dog for me, thanks!
I leave for Selcuk that afternoon, desperately looking forward to a hot shower and a couple of nights of comfort.