We got the dolmuş from Selçuk to Zeytinköy – actually we didn’t. There was a longish wait for the Zeytinköy dolmuş so we flagged one down as it left the bus station for Őzdere and hopped off at the Zeytinköy turn off. A walk of about 3 Km brought us into Zeytinköy centre (two general shops, a butchers, a bakers and a mosque). It’s a pleasant walk and quite interesting. We passed the little lake – last time we were there it was full of wildlife. This time it was full of local kids swimming.
We got some water in Zeytinköy and headed off to look for the big lake which we didn’t find. We walked for an hour or so, through farms and countryside and some very attractive scenery. We saw a large raptor, soaring, Ashley thinks these are buzzards but I am not sure. I also saw what looked very much like a stork. I thought they had gone. They have certainly left their nests but maybe, like the swallows and martins, they are fattening themselves up before migrating.
We decided that we were not about to find the lake so headed back to the village then we took the Selçuk road. That’s 11 Km (to the outskirts, not our actual house). It was a wonderful walk. The road follows the Küçük Menderes nearly all of the way and we could smell the brackish water. We couldn’t work out what the smell was at first but it was certainly persistent. I think it was the fact that the smell disappeared as the road peeled away from the water that made us realise what it was. The fields were full of ripening fruit (not sure whether they are oranges or the green skinned fruits they call mandolins, pomegranates, olives, not sure whether they were apples or quinces – probably some of both) and cotton. The cotton surprised me. I’m not sure that I have ever seen cotton growing and ready for harvest before. I thought it would be taller, I didn’t think the flowers would be so pretty. We saw another bird that might have been a buzzard, we saw probably chaffinches (or something very similar), birds that were probably some kind of flycatcher (really hard to identify when they’re against the bright, bright sun), we saw what was almost certainly a kingfisher (we thought it might have been a roller but those are blue on their fronts and this was blue on its back – a stunningly luminous blue). We saw a turtle in the river from a bridge. We saw a little owl just as we were coming back into Selçuk. Swallows and martins all along the way.
There are places round here where the mountains drop away in sudden cliffs. Unless you know your way I guess it’s safer to stick to the roads. We could see parts of Ephesus (the covered bit where the mosaics are on show and the theatre) for a lot of the time. That was beyond Selçuk from our point of view. At various points we could see the castle and the new buildings up on the hill and the quarry behind the town. It was interesting to see Selcuk from the distance – we tried to spot our house but our house hides behind taller buildings so we didn’t.