Last Sunday we joined 47 other people from Zirve Dağcılık ve Doğa Sporları Kulübü (Selçuk and Kuşadası branches) for what had been described as a ‘short and easy’ walk. We had several people who had not walked with the club before. The plan was to set out from Selatin and walk to Şirince. We met up in the usual place, greeting friends over tea, then off to the village of Selatin by minibus (where we met up with the Kuşadası branch) for a leisurely breakfast.
Selatin has a memory tree. This is an ancient oriental plane, said to be 800 years old. It has a big plaque explaining its age and size. A very impressive specimen, despite having been recently pruned. Many photographs were taken around the tree then we set off, in brilliant sunshine, up a very good forest road. The road conditions were excellent, as was the weather but the walk was very steeply uphill. By around midday we arrived at a peak with a wonderful view of the countryside for many miles around. It was best to look to the distance as the peak was covered with radio masts and an electricity sub-station.
From thence we were mostly going down. We found a very scenic spot for an early lunch break. We were sitting around sunning ourselves in short sleeved t-shirts. Fires were lit. Sucuk was cooked. Food was shared and, after the meal, some spontaneous dancing broke out. We were persuaded to join in though, apparently, Hilary does not wiggle her hips enough and will have to do better next time.
After lunch we continued mostly along forest roads, cutting off occasionally into the forest. In some places there was hard frost on the ground. We took a couple of wrong turnings and had to retrace our steps. We found a huge and rather smelly wild boar who appeared to have been roadkill. One of the students managed to catch a lizard… We saw at least one buzzard but, though the views were spectacular, walking in a large group doesn’t give you a very good chance of seeing much wildlife.
We never did find our way to Şirince but we went past the tomb of Sinandede (we took a photograph of the very long explanation as we didn’t pause long enough to understand the Turkish) and came out on the main road between Belevi and Selçuk. Where the minibuses soon arrived to take us home. We were quite relieved to have a comfortable seat as the walk, though not in the least bit difficult, had been a great deal more than the advertised 10 kilometers. Probably closer to double that!
This was in no way a problem. The weather was perfect and the scenery fantastic. And the company was good.