Summer camp for grownups

A few hours after my para-falling incident, the Fez Bus pulled into Kadir’s Tree Houses, the first “tree houses” to open in Olympos, Turkey. There had been a fire earlier in it’s history that devastated the site, but it had since been restored. And, subsequently during this time, other entrepreneurs followed the popular “tree house” theme and opened their own sites dotted with log homes down Olympos’ main road to the Mediterranean.

I walked off of the bus, ready to embrace a more calm and tranquil environment.

“You are going to get dirty here,” Scotty turned to me and said.

A gentle breeze kicked up, swirling red dirt on my skin.

Oh, yeah, I was.

I stopped and looked around at the entrance to Kadir’s. Tree huts painted with whimsical, hippie images on each cabin. A main tree hut with tables and benches on the first floor and upstairs, a bar in the center with views of the entire site.

Reception was hut. Another hut served pizza. And another was a night club.


I walked with a few of the girls to our dorm.

“There is no air-con,” they announced.

I stood there, still in immense amounts of pain from plummeting earlier in the day.

No way in hell.

I walked to reception and asked for a private.

“We have one left,” the guy at reception informed me. “It is behind the night club so it is loud, but there is air-con.”

“Fine,” I said. I didn’t care about loud. All I cared about was not being in pain and getting some rest.

I dropped my bag in the room. A tiny wooden room with uneven wooden floorboards,  a single bed against a wooden wall,  a baby bathroom and a hose to shower, and a big, beautiful white air-con unit fastened to the wall above my bed.

One good thing about backpacking is that it makes you care a little less about where you rest your head. Train station. Bus station. Airport. Rickety room behind a night club with barely a shower.

It was perfect.

As soon as I stepped out the door and back into the blaring Turkey sun, I realized Kadir’s is a summer camp for adults.
Everywhere, people sat around, drinking, smoking, chatting on cushions in the middle of the site, in front of a smoldering fire pit.

At 8 p.m. every night, they served a delicious meal, and in the morning, the same, complete with an omlette station.

Once the sun set, the site came alive. Upstairs, the bar served up drinks and had a DJ until 11, when everyone was ushered down to the night club, a large, open air complex with wooden walls surrounding it and a fire pit in the middle.

I didn’t want to go there, but every night, something took over my mind, and as I was ready to crawl into bed, somehow I ended up there.

With Scotty and Arlene, a girl I had met earlier on the Fez Tour and had been reunited with in Olympos, and a few others, we would walk across the dirt to the club.

Each evening, we would become part of this amazing atmosphere, kicking off our flip flops and dancing together around the fire to “Waka” and “We Don’t Speak Americano.”

Bodies everywhere, fire crackling. It was primal. It was sexy. It was pulsing with passion.

Then, I would walk two paces to my room and crawl into bed, music still pumping loudly, permeating the walls.

But, I didn’t mind. It fit with the ambiance of the site. I would pass out quickly and wake up each morning feeling refreshed and alive.

Published by dtravelsround

Awakening the soul while traveling ... a story of being on the cusp of adulthood.

4 thoughts on “Summer camp for grownups

  1. I love reading your blog, the cliffhangers on the Turkish “hostel work” made it even better. And it’s good to hear that Olympos still has the same magical atmosphere that it had in 2001-2002 (before the fire). Even thought the night club wasn’t there at that time 😉


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