Yesterday I rented a mountain bike from Bougainville travel for a week to bomb around the area. This morning, after having pushed it home from the travel agency because I was too tired after kayaking to ride it, I found it sitting flat on the sidewalk – I think someone may have let the air out of the tires. So the first order of business this morning was to push it back down to Bougainville, where they exchanged it for another one. I then headed out of town along the road to Buyuk Catil (Large Pebble) Beach. The beach itself is pebbly but not particularly large; perhaps “big” means in contrast with the very tiny Kucuk Catil (Small Pebble) Beach in town. A local man was obviously sleeping off last night’s binge on the beach; other than him and two German tourists, there was not much action at the beach. I cycled up and up the road leading to Limon Agzi peninsula, the smaller of the two peninsulas enclosing the town. Other than three goats and three cows munching the roadside greenery, not much was happening up there, either. I went as far as the road allowed and then zoomed back down again and up the other side of the hill back to town.
Feeling a little tired, I stopped downtown for a nice cappuccino to refuel the tank. From there, I cycled down the road travelling the big peninsula, past the theatre, down to the Dolphin Park beach. All the beaches in this area are rocky, but this one is protected, being on the north-facing side of the peninsula, and the water was very clear and a gorgeous deep greenish blue. In the background I could hear what I assumed to be dolphin squeaks, given the beach name, coming from a very small enclosure in the water. On the way back I stopped once again at the theatre and had another look around and then, taking a slightly different route back to town, I came upon the Hellenistic temple, the very structure I had been looking for the other day and could not find. I have to say that it is not much of a temple; only a few piles of rocks forming the foundations remain. No wonder no one had heard of it. It is actually in someone’s backyard and their roosters and hens use it for a feeding ground.
As I was wandering around it taking pictures, I spied some clothing mannequins lying against a wall in the background. I walked up closer, taking pictures of them, and the family peeked their heads out at me. In my tiny bit of Turkish, and lots of sign language, I asked them if I could have the mannequins and they seemed delighted to let me take them away. Major found object score! Leaving my bike locked up at the temple, I carried the first one, an entire female body complete with eye makeup and painted hair, up the hill to the apartment, drawing some mighty strange looks from passersby. After leaving her on my landing, I went back for the others, both female, two torsos, two pairs of legs, and three feet; the torsos and the legs don’t belong together, however … Anyway, rather than drag those back to the apartment, I dragged them to the House Monument Tomb on the hillside, generating ferocious parking from a dog who seemed outraged by me and my excess body parts. Just before reaching the tomb, I came across yet another Lycian rock tomb cut into the hillside next to the road, providing a foundation for someone’s house
I managed to push and pull the mannequins up the hill to the tomb and proceeded to arrange them and take pictures. I have left them there and will return tomorrow for more.
See pictures here.