Turns out one of the only other guests at my hostel in Selcuk is an actual travel writer.
You know the type that travels the world, writes for a guidebook (he won’t let me say which one, hence why I’m calling him Travel Writer Guy) and best of all – gets paid for it.
Given it’s currently my dream job I decide to tag along with him on a day tour I had no intention of doing, to learn a few tricks of the trade.
Because it’s spring it’s just me, Travel Writer Guy and newly divorced American woman living in Mexico on the tour, which begins at one of the seven ancient wonders of the world – the Temple of Artemis.
It’s pretty underwhelming.
Yep, that one column there is all that’s left of it.
Luckily the ancient ruins of Ephesus are far more impressive.
It takes a long time to get to them though, as Travel Writer Guy decides he needs to buy a hat.
In his camo pants and stripy salmon short-sleeve shirt he’s eyeing up one of those full brimmed nude hats with the drawstring.
The American and I convince him that the hat screams dorky tourist and will ensure he’ll never get laid again in his life. He reluctantly agrees to buy a Nike cap instead.
When we finally get to Ephesus it exceeds my expectations. The ruins are fantastically preserved to the point you can still see the carvings in the marble where they played backgammon type games. It baffles me that even though the excavations began more than a century ago they reckon Ephesus is still 80 per cent un-earthed.
The library is my favourite part of Ephesus and the reconstruction of it is with 70 per cent original materials.
After our tour ends (and amazingly not at a carpet, leather or onyx factory) Travel Writer Guy and I go in search of a cold beer.
Mid-way through his beer Travel Writer Guy mentions, albeit fleetingly, how in his experience he finds Australians to be well travelled but un-educated and quite stupid.
An hour later the girl sitting at the table next to us makes her way over to us and almost in tears says – “excuse me, I just wanted to let you know that your comments about Australians were not only wrong but deeply offensive. Next time you want to offend someone else’s country you should be more considerate of who’s around you.”
Then her sturdy looking boyfriend backs her up with – “rude man, very rude.”
They storm off.
We’re lost for words, we just stare at each other with a combined look of – did that just happen?
When words return to me I say – “I bet they’re going to be staying at our hostel tonight, don’t ask me why, I can just feel it in my bones.”
Sure enough when I head for beer-o-clock who’s sitting next to me around the fire…
As my former PR colleague used to say – ‘if you’re gonna eat shit eat it while it’s hot’ – so I apologise profusely and tell them I don’t have anything against Australians, I actually quite like them.
Done. Dusted. We move on.
Oblivious to all of this Travel Writer Guy emerges for dinner and plonks himself down right next to the Australians. I’m in hysterics, I’m literally crying with laughter. It gets so bad I excuse myself and hang out in the bathroom until I regain control of myself. Luckily the Australians are laughing as well, proving they do have a sense of humour.
When I return Travel Writer Guy is looking at me like – what the hell is so funny? But then five minutes later I see his pupils dilate and he gives me this look of – oh my God how did you know?
I give him a look back of – see, told you so, felt it in my bones.
So there I guess is what I’ve discovered about travel – you spend a day seeing amazing things like one of the seven ancient wonders of the world and the ruins of Ephesus and you remember the fact that you offended some Australians and of course my highlight of the whole day – watching turtles make love.
And, I think this photo may be proof that it’s not just humans and dolphins that get pleasure out of sex.