March 29, 2015
Last night was the switch to Daylight Saving Time, so we didn’t get up very early this morning. The Scottish women had organized a van to take them to the teleferique up Mount Olympos, so we were on our own for walking today. Jon had given us the trail info last night, so after breakfast we headed out to walk to Sazak Bay along a coastal forest road.
Although the weather forecast was for 100% chance of rain, the morning didn’t look that bad. There was a very brief shower just before we left, but otherwise it was fine. From the hotel we walked down to the beach and then turned left along the sea front. This took us a long time because there were so many interesting birds. Before we even got to the beach there was a Woodchat Shrike, and when we stopped to (unsuccessfully) photograph the hoopoes there was a Yellow Wagtail with them.
Basically we retraced our steps from yesterday until we had crossed the bridge. Once across the river we climbed the hill for a bit and then turned right to follow a dirt road which would eventually end at Sazak Bay. We met a few cars on the road including a bright red one labelled “Orman” (“Forest” in Turkish) but otherwise there was no traffic. From the road the views were good, looking down on Adrasan Bay, and it was easy walking for the most part.
The weather cooperated until about 11 am, when we heard thunder rumbling in the distance. It didn’t take too long until the thunder was directly overhead, and now the rain started to pour down. We put on pack covers and rain jackets, but the rain was so heavy that we decided to huddle under a tree to see if it might let up. The herd of goats we had passed earlier had decided that they didn’t like the rain either, and galloped down the road past us at full speed, so fast that the little ones were having difficulty keeping up.
So should we go on or should we go back? We decided that since we had come this far, we might as well carry on to the bay, and within ten minutes we were at the bay. There wasn’t much to see there, but there was a camp, with a shelter and some chickens. Jon had told us about this camp earlier. He told us that there was a group which wanted to build a hotel on Sazak Bay, but they couldn’t because it was in the national park. So he thought they were paying somebody to squat by the bay, in order to get some kind of legal right to the land.
After a couple of minutes a man came out of the tent and invited us in. His shelter was a large Quonset hut with a ceramic stove, two beds, and a table. A very cozy layout. He spread out some newspapers so we could put our wet things down, and he offered us tea to drink. In turn Rosemary offered him part of her lunch. He spoke no English but with sign language and our small Turkish vocabulary we managed to find out that the goats didn’t belong to him, he had been there for five years, and that he liked the sea, forest, and greenery. This last part made him seem less like a tool of the evil hotel chain, but as outsiders it was hard for us to guess what was really going on.
After about half an hour we decided to get back on the trail. This time we put on Gore-Tex trousers as well as the rest of our rain gear, and now we were dry as we climbed back up the road. Luckily for us the rain soon stopped and by the time we got back to Adrasan we had blue sky and sunshine. We found a crowd by one of the shops by the beach, and it turned out to be some of our Scottish group, buying boxes of Turkish delight to take home. So we went in and, after having some free samples, decided to buy a small bag (450 grams) of a variety of flavours to have as an afternoon treat.
Back at the hotel we went downstairs to have a glass of wine before dinner. A new group of guests had arrived late last night, and they turned out to be two couples from Leeds. Dinner tonight was very good as usual, with tomato soup to start, lamb neck with veggies, followed by strawberry pudding.