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“Kayla, the Beach Girl, Tree Dweller”
Kalbak Beach

by Kayla Summers

Picture yourself on a boat on a river, with tangerine horses and marmalade sky…Uhh, sorry, wrong trip! Okay, picture yourself on a guru orange air mattress, ever so gently floating atop a crystal clear turquoise ocean as gently as one would on a city lake.

Gazing down from my raft, I could see all the way to the bottom. I saw schools of fish moving in the rhythm of the sea, and an occasional sea turtle gliding slowly on its sojourn to the beach.

After I got tired of trying to count the toes on the flippers of the aforementioned order of Testudines, I began turning over on the raft. Turning was not as easy as you might guess; however here is the trick: while you are prone upon the air mattress, let your legs drop down on either side of the mattress, then gently raise your torso up. This ploy promptly causes the mattress to fold in half. The figure at this point is highly reminiscent of those huge inflatable dinosaurs into which small children are wedged. Next, firmly holding onto the end that will be the head, ease yourself down, applying gentle, firm pressure around your hips, returning one leg to the end that will be the foot. At this point, you are home free. I’ve tried many variations on this theme. Truthfully, it is called “playing”.

Falling into this warm elixir of life was almost as fun as a successful turn. While lazing supine, I followed the neo-glacial wonders of the Taurean mountain range, which to this humble observer look remarkably like Yosemite. Above the mountains was a gorgeous blue sky scattered with those puffed, Cumuli clouds moved about by gentle breezes, transforming my imagery. I heard the tinkling of the bells on the goats that graze precariously on the precipices. I listened to the sounds of the sea, lapping over pebbles of the shore and these were the only sounds I heard.

The large beach was fairly deserted. The maximum number of people I saw was twenty and that was a group of some "new age" people who were there only for an hour. They were playing volleyball with a net set up well away from the turtle nests. From the beach itself, was a path leading to the tree house communities. To my knowledge, there were approximately three tree-house communities in the valley, which for geo-political reasons, were camouflaged.

They consisted of a main house where you can eat surprisingly great food, similar to California cuisine, only bigger portions. The food is generally included in the price of a "tree-house".

The tree houses are loosely scattered around the main house. Serviceable footpaths connect them together and these paths are often lined with flowers of the season, such as: wild sage, oregano, or a well-tended vegetable garden. The tree houses themselves were enclosed platforms with futons on which to sleep, where I drifted off to sleep with a view of the ocean during a full moon, and I listened to the water rolling over the rocks.

Bathrooms and toilets were well maintained, and were located just far away enough for privacy but not so far that one needed to worry about access to them. The differences of the camps are the facades. Kalbak Camp has a better facade with matching tree house enclosures. There, meals are presented in a buffet style with many choices and it is closest to the beach. Turan's Camp has rustic charm. They served there a bulgur wheat dish that is out of this world, and Turan, himself, occasionally acts as guide, hiking up to the waterfall or the Lycian Trail. (Turkey's first long-distance foot-path from Fetiye to Antalya.)

My sole purpose of this trip was to "veg out" and get a tan. However I am a devotee of multi-tasking, and I brought along “The Economist”firmly tucked into my issue of 'W'. So, while sipping the frozen water and munching on organic grapes (courtesy of Turan’s Camp), I entered into that stage of relaxation that only a beach can provide.

Where is this oasis? It is forty-five minutes from Oludeniz.
My friend and I had arrived late in the evening, so we had to take a taxi up a winding, dirt, service road, and hike a half-mile down. Although there was nearly a full moon, I wouldn’t recommend doing this! The other options are these:
1. Take a tour boat from Oludeniz, to the Kalbak beach. From there, walk about half a block to the campsites.
2. Arrive in the daytime, at Oludeniz, take one of the minibuses, (07:00/12:30/18:00) which will drop you off above the campsite, where you can arrange for a mule to pack down your luggage. (This is a fantastic deal.)

I offer you these disclaimers: it is remote, I did not see a television, nor hear a radio, although they probably have one stashed somewhere…The hiking here was fantastic and challenging within fifteen minutes from your tree house. All of this is in a fairly pristine environment; the entire area is protected from mass development, …for now.

My friend spent her winter here. Although she said it was pretty quiet, she swam everyday. The water was warm, and the weather was also warm when it was not actively raining. I know I’ll be returning there for my Amazon woman training. What a jewel it is!

Kalbak Camp
Turan’s Camp

Extra photos

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