Tag Archives: Beach

Walking in Dilek Millipark – October 2015

Millipark Oct 1501

This was our first walk with Zirve this year.  They have been on two outings but we were in Lesvos for the first one and Bodrum for the second.

Millipark Oct 1511This walk started in Guzelcamli, up, over part of a hill then down to the coastline. Along the shore to Aydinkoy (which is the second beach and one much favoured by wild boar).  The weather was absolutely perfect for walking.  I think the high was around 26 degrees, the sky was blue and the sun shone upon us.

We started with a minute’s silence for those affected by the bombs in Ankara last weekend.  We then walked a marked trail – it was mostly very easy going with a few steep bits.  There were a total of 170 of us.  Rather too many for our liking though, as ever, there was a great sense of camaradie, our Turkish was practiced and new friends were made.  There were about 25 of us on the bus from Selcuk, plus the Mugla, Izmir and Soke branches and a busload from Kusadasi.

Millipark Oct 1508All along the way we came across indications that refugees had also taken this path.  We found discarded clothing, bags, certificates, ID papers, exercises in English for Arabic speakers, water bottles, juice cartons, medicine packaging, food packaging, cigarette packs.  On the shoreline we found a pump, clearly used to inflate a boat.  Several life jackets were retrieved.  Yes, it makes a mess in a National Park, but people are people and people are more important.

Millipark Oct 1517

After lunch at Aydinkoy (with the boars) some swam and others didn’t.  We then walked up, mostly along paths and road, back to Guzelcamli where we had a chance to visit Zeus’ cave before getting the bus back home.

3 Nights in Palamutbükü

walking-back-to-palamutbuku

We decided it was time for a break from Selçuk so we took the bike down to Palamutbükü.  This is a small, seaside resort between Datça and Knidos.  We did not do a lot of sightseeing as there is not a lot in the immediate area to see and it is still rather too hot for strenuous walking.  The bay is lined with beaches backed by restaurants, cafes and pansiyons.  The vast majority of the people staying there were Turkish.  It is very much a family resort.

We walked just out of town in the Datça direction and found a beautiful beach complete with kitten.  We didn’t have it all to ourselves but it wasn’t crowded and the water was crystal clear.  We ended up buying yet another cheap snorkel and mask so that we could look at the fishes.  There were plenty of those, including some very colourful wrasse.

We got a taxi to Ovabükü, the next bay along on the way to Datça.  This was more expensive than expected (though not unreasonable) so we walked back.  It took us two hours and we got some spectacular views.

Palamutbükü is very popular and not the cheapest place in Turkey (certainly not in high season) but we ate well, slept well and stayed in a congenial pansiyon with a rather lovely garden.

A very relaxing three nights away from home and some truly wonderful riding both on the way there and on the way back.

Swimming with Turtles

Recently we took a short break to Çıralı, a place we had been to before many years ago.   Çıralı has changed, when we were last there it was a sleepy village with three or four pensions, a café on the beach and not a lot else.  Now there are many pensions and hotels, but the village has somehow managed to maintain its sleepy laid back charm.

The beach is fantastic, and a well-known turtle beach.  The nests were clearly marked, dated, and everyone there seemed very respectful of their presence.  At night people are not allowed on the beach and pretty much all development is set well back from the shore.  Çıralı beach is a very good example of how turtles and humans can make use of the same resource.

Phaselis3We took a boat trip to Phaselis, not the cheapest boat trip we have ever taken, but it is a good way t get to Phaselis.  There is a small but nice theatre, and a few other structures, mostly RomaPhaselis1n.  The most interesting parts are the inscriptions, mostly dedicated to athletes, and one to Hadrian.  I never knew that Hadrian was the saviour of the universe.

Phaselis2

We might have spent a bit more time poking around the ruins but when our boat arrived at the south harbour there were Loggerhead Turtles (Caretta caretta) swimming there, clearly unbothered by the few boats and bathers present.  I (Ashley) got really lucky, and sorry there are no photographs, our cameras are not the sort that can be used under water.  I got to swim and watch the turtles, at times almost directly beneath me in water less than two metres depth and incredibly clear.  It was a very very wonderful experience.

boattrip1

November – Photo of the Month

Recently Hilary went shopping in Kemeraltı, Izmir.  She bought loads of fabric and various other bits, and had coffee on the upper storey of this restored han in the heart of what is the bazar in Izmir.  It is a fascinating area to wander around, almost anything can be found.

We chose this picture of the han from the coffee bar as our photo of the month.  Apart from the wonderful setting the coffee was fantastic.

Possible nov ptmA

We also have two others from the han to share.

Han-1Han4

A wonderful view of harbour street Ephesus from the harbour area up towards the theatre.

Ephesus-Harbour-Street

And two from Pamucak beach in November sunshine.

Pamucak-Nov12Possible nov ptmD

Which would you have chosen?

Dead fish at Pamucak

Midweek we took the bike to Pamucak.  Walked along the beach as far as the Küçük Menderes, had a good look at the wetlands where we saw little egrets (we are sure they are little egrets, we had the binoculars and saw their black beaks), grey herons, several different sorts of gulls, a few Kentish plovers, larks, wagtails, finches, thrushes, and what were almost certainly a pair of eagles.  They were distant and hard to identify, even with binoculars, but definitely raptors and larger than a buzzard.  We also saw a great many dead fish.  Some washed up along the shore, and a whole wave of them to the Pamucak side of the river.  We also saw people fishing…

The pollution of the the Küçük Menderes is a well-known (and Nationally publicised) problem.  There is a campaign to clean it up and we signed the petition along with many, many others.  If we understand the news right, fines have been imposed on the worst industrial polluters, but the dead fish we saw indicate that the problem may persist.  The wetlands behind the beach are recognised as an ecologically sensitive area, the beach itself, particularly towards the channel up to Ephesus is an increasingly important tourist attraction.  The problem with the river has been recognised and, hopefully, things will soon start to improve.

Kapıkırı

We had a lovely day out with friends.  We were driven around Lake Bafa (stopping off for tea at a very pleasant café with excellent views of the lake)  to Kapıkırı, the modern village around ancient Herakleia.  We were treated to a traditional lunch of salad, vegetables, home made bread, lake fish and mountain water.  Afterwards we went off on our own exploring.  Which was fun.  We got up high above the village and took photographs.  The scenery is wonderful – we saw the five finger peaks from the other side back in spring when walking with the Zirve club.

Then we went looking for the theatre.   That might have been a mistake…

A small crowd of local ladies decided to guide us to the theatre and show us the cistern and the city walls.  They were not to be dissuaded.  They were very pleasant, chatting away in a mixture of English, German and Turkish.  They showed us an ancient olive tree.  They took us to the theatre.  They gave us some peace in which to take photographs of the theatre…

The lovely thing about the theatre is that, although pretty ruined, it is pure Hellenistic.  Not a Roman theatre at all though, obviously, late for a Greek theatre.  We would have liked more time to look around it but the ladies were certain that we were not really interested in poking around  but wanted to see the rest of the sights.

Then, when they learned that we had to go to meet our friend who had the car, they opened their bags of wares.  Oh, we knew we would be expected to buy something.  We were happy enough to buy something.  The trouble was that each and every lady wanted us to buy something from her.  We had to be very, very insistent.  We ended up buying a tablecloth that we wanted and a headscarf we didn’t really want.   And getting hassled all the way back down to meet up with our friends.

Later, under more peaceful circumstances, we bought more – a lovely scarf and some farm produce.

We stopped off at the beach and at the castle on the way home.  The castle is quite interesting, some of the foundation wall is Hellenistic, much of the rest is post Byzantine.  Beyond the castle, on the lake shore, are various tombs.  The castle is also a great place for taking photographs of the lake and mountains.

Obviously, on a day trip, one is pretty limited in what can be seen.  There is a lot more to see in the area.  There are more ruins and some cave paintings which are best accessed with a guide  as they are hard to find and the mountains can be treacherous, but that would require a weekend away.  Something to think about, perhaps, for next year.

Free Foot Spa

We have taken to going to the beach late afternoon we think that avoiding the heat and sun of midday and early afternoon is a good idea.  It is a chance to cool down, the sea is pleasantly warm though initially feels cold – surface temperature is in the region of 25C.

Recently we have been going to Ahmetbeyli beach.  As you can see from the photo the sea is wonderfully clear.  It is possible to stand neck deep and watch fish swimming around our legs and feet.  The only problem with this is if you stand still for long enough they start to nibble at your legs and feet (they don’t seem to do this when you are moving about).  They are small fish, maybe a five to 10 or so centimetres long, the bites nothing really to worry about.  They can leave a small graze and reddish marks.  The first couple of times it happened came as bit of a shock, we did not realise it was fish biting, but we have got used to them now.

Today we bought some play masks and snorkels, nothing special, but better for viewing underwater.  We got to see a variety of fish, some that seemed to dig into the sandy bottom, some flatfish, and a couple of species which seemed to be grazing seaweed.  We don’t know the names of any of them, but it would seem the ones which graze the seaweed graze also legs and feet when standing on the bottom.

Who needs to pay for a Garra Rufa!

Life’s a Beach

A year or so ago we would have told you ‘We are not beach people.’  Both of us enjoy swimming, but beaches, we considered boring.  We’d been to a couple  during our various trips to Turkey but we’d never actually sat on one or taken anything more than a very quick dip in the sea.  We’d jump into a hotel pool (if there was one handy) after a day trekking round dusty countryside or ruins but we wouldn’t spend time sitting on a beach.

This year has been different.  Since we got back from Ayvalik in early July the weather has been hot, hot, hot.  And we have the Harley.  All we need to do to get to the beach is pack a bag and jump on the bike.  No worries about getting the dolmuş back with shoes and hair full of sand and salt (getting the dolmuş back from Pamucak is no joke at the best of times – some of them don’t stop and they are often full).

What we tend to do now is to get the evening meal mostly ready then go the beach mid to late afternoon, stay a couple of hours and do any necessary shopping on the way home.

Mostly we go to Pamucak which is a long, Westward facing stretch of soft sand backed by a wetland nature preserve.  There area couple of cafes which hire out beach umbrellas and sun loungers.  Hired shade is a necessity for us as we can’t carry an umbrella on the bike.  The sea at Pamucak can be quite turbulent with strong undercurrents.  It rarely looks clean because it’s so sandy – the sand gets all stirred up.  It is clean in the sea though as, when it is calm, you can see your feet.  It slopes very gently so you have to go a long way out to get out of your depth. We think this is the reason that it’s warming up so much, last time we went it was like stepping into a warm bath.  It’s also quite crowded where the umbrellas are and, increasingly the sand is full of people’s rubbish.  Cigarette butts everywhere, drinks cans, mussel shells and, probably, worse.   There are bins but no one seems to bother to use them.  Away from the umbrellas the beach is uncluttered, but there is no shade…

We have tried other beaches, slightly further afield.  Claros beach is  gorgeous and clean though so stony that you need to wear shoes whilst swimming.  The seating is in under proper shade away from the actual shore, which might help to keep things clean – we haven’t been there in high season… yet.  At Ahmetbeyli beach the sea is clear, cool and clean, the beach is pebbly rather than stony.  It was very crowded when we went.  The man who collects money for the umbrellas and loungers was a bit worried about approaching us for money and waited till his friend who spoke some English appeared.  It was 10 lira, same as Pamucak and not unreasonable.  Sadly, the area around the parasols was almost as dirty as at Pamucak.

Hot hot hot

We arrived in Selçuk last August, in the height of summer.  One of the things we have been telling ourselves is that having lived here through early summer we would be better prepared and acclimatısed to the heat come July and August.  Wrong.

The last week has been blisteringly hot, especially today.  38 degrees is not fun, not even on the bike.  At high speed it feels like riding through a wall of heat, there is no cooling effect at all.  The sea is nice, depending on how one looks at it, the sea pleasantly warm for swimming, or pleasantly cooler than the air.  Either way being in the sea is a good plan.

Today we went to Ahmetbeyli beach, a few miles along the coast from Pamucak where we were yesterday.  Ahmetbeyli beach is stony and backed by a few cafes, shops and restaurants in a small village.  The pleasantly situated beach was pretty crowded, it seemed we were not alone in thinking the beach was the place to be.

Earlier today, in response to the heat we went out and bought a portable air con unit for the back house.  It is going to take a few days or maybe a week to arrive.  This is fine.  Currently the weather forecast has things cooling off for the next week or so.  We are ready for when the heat returns as no doubt during August it will.

Driving in the slow lane – Driving Licence – Episode 2

The ongoing saga of getting a Turkish driving licence started with a trip to the Noter office in Selçuk  where we picked up the translation of the licence and paid 65 lira.  From thence we headed to the photographer.  They were unable to find the old photos of Ashley on file so they took new ones (then they found the old ones).  6 identical photos, 6 lira.  Over to the ABC clinic where Ashley’s eyes were examined and a paper signed.  No blood tests, this was a surprise, we had expected one, purely for blood group.  No other tests or health questions.  Cost 20 lira.

By this time the next office we needed to visit was shut for lunch so we headed off for a çay with a friend who has a shop in town, watching the very cute kittens in a nearby carpet shop where they do keep pedigree cats…

Off to the Belediye Justice department for the ID check – that cost 5 lira, then to the Polis (Security Chief – Emniyet Müdürlüğü).  There the papers were examined and photocopied,  but they have to send something to Izmir, or have a conversation with Izmir.  On the positive side they accepted all the papers we provided so it would appear we got all the papers they need.  We were led to believe they would want to keep Ashley’s licence but it was not asked for.

We were told they would phone us when whatever they need from Izmir is completed.  So we went home…  Hilary thinks a motorcycle licence might be cheaper than a car licence.  But time will tell.  Total cost to date: 161 lira.

Shortly after getting home the postman arrived with Ashley’s Harley Owners Group membership package.  This included the membership number needed to create the online profile and to log in to various sites, and the membership card which will get discounts at Izmir HD, so stuff that is generally more useful than the enclosed badges and advertising.  This kept Ashley busy for a while.

This was all done on Monday, it is Thursday now, we have not heard back yet.  There really is no hurry.  It’s hot today so we went to the beach instead of worrying about it.  It will all happen slowly….., or as they say here,  Yavaş yavaş.