Turkey… Is is a variety of five star hotels on the Mediterranean coast. Beach, sun, sea within walking distance – gorgeous. The “All inclusive” system gives you access to chic food and unlimited alcohol in the bars, making your stay truly delightful.
We don’t need such a Turkey! We need romance: adventure, mountains, a heavy backpack, a tent and, as a reward, beautiful views and wild beaches.
So, here is the story of my trip.
A charter flight is a lottery. And in this lottery I was not lucky, the flight was delayed for 2 days. I was not alone in the losers, there were 4 people from our group who had this flight.
We arrived in Antalya at 01:00 am. Vitalik, Tanya and I cooperated and was traveling together until we met the group, Boris decided to follow his plan separately. The three of us decided to wait for morning at the airport to go by public transport. The goal was this: take the AntRay tram to the Otogar bus station, take the intercity bus to Kemer, where to stay at the hotel and hang out until the next day.
A climber, who was in a similar situation, joined us, and we spent night at the airport. In the morning we bought tickets for the tram. But approaching the turnstile a couple of employees waved at us, one said: “Problem! Problem!”, another: “Defected! Defected!”. Generally speaking, the tram did not work. We went to a stop to wait for a bus. The first bus for some reason passed by, we were confused.
But on the next, we safely reached the bus station. There we visited a dining room and ate a wonderful omelet with tomato and pepper. Having eaten, we said goodbye to the climber and took a bus to Kemer.
After a couple of hours we got off, found a hotel and settled in. The rest of the day we walked around Kemer, tasted sweets in shops, swam in the sea. Sellers in the city are quite assertive, I would even say aggressive, sit on the street and try to lure into the store when you pass by.
In the morning we took a taxi to the village of Gedelme in the place appointed for the meeting (a shop near the Mosque).
While waiting, we drank tea and talked with passing tourists. At first, an elderly couple from Australia stopped to rest at the cafe; they had been traveling in the Turkish mountains for 3 weeks. Then a Russian-speaking family of 5 people stopped (later our group crossed paths with them every day). We learned from them that in about an hour our group should come up. So it was, the group greeted us quite warmly (surely, because I had group pots for cooking 😈).
As a warm-up, we walked to a nearby cave and looked at the ruins.
Then we got into a small truck (3 people in the cab and 18!!! in the back), which drove up two or three kilometers uphill.
After that there was a rather lengthy climb with backpacks to the base camp (near Tahtali mountain), it was hot. In the end the pine forest suddenly disappeared and green glades, from which rocks stick out here and there, opened up to us. The scenery is amazing!
The camp is deployed, the group is resting. In the evening they did not forget about us, newcomers, arranged a second acquaintance around the fire. It turned out that the group is full of wonderful, interesting, extraordinary personalities! It was a lot of fun 😄
After breakfast, moved forward. With backpacks we went higher, an hour later we were at the foot of Tahtali mountain.
Dropped backpacks, we started climbing. Everyone walked at their own pace. It so happened that I walked alone. But I liked it, quiet around, you observe your thoughts. And the views are amazing! What caught my eye was that along the way there was white earth and white stones around, after some time there was red earth and red stones around, then again white, etc. Despite the scorching sun, a cold wind blew, so it was hot only at the bottom of the mountain.
So we got to the top, and what do we see? .. Restaurant and a crowd of tourists!
There is a funicular on the reverse side, and less courageous tourists also have the opportunity to visit at a height.
We hung out a bit on top, rested, took a picture. Views, of course, unforgettable 😌
But it’s time to go down. We reached the backpacks, had a snack, and a long descent from the mountains with backpacks began. Physically, it was the hardest day. By the evening we went down to the village, where we stopped to rest and have a little meal in the cafe. After the cafe, it was a stone’s throw to the camp. The sun was setting, many were so tired that they refused a standard dinner and immediately scattered across the tents to sleep.
We were still in the mountains, but, if my memory serves me, we lost 2 km of height that day, if count from the top of Tahtali.
This day seemed to me the hottest. We go, the sun fries. At some point, the guide says: “Now there will be a pool around the corner” … And indeed! We climbed over a small fence, and there was a swimming pool with clean water! Some Turk built a pool, it’s not clear for what purpose, it’s not clear whether he abandoned it… But the point is that there is no owner, the water in the pool is constantly updated with water from a mountain stream. Of course we went swimming 😄
I wouldn’t call it swimming.., plunged and immediately climb out, because the water is ice! But since we were fried in the sun while walking, it was nice to get a boost of fresh.
Further we went without any special adventures. Except for, we went to a restaurant where we did not like the service.
We reached a camp on the slope of Mount Chimera. We stopped by a mountain river in which it was also nice to swim.
When it began to get dark, we moved to the top to watch the flames of the Chimera.
In the dark after sunset, it looked great. Fire just comes out of the earth. Where it is weak, it is blue, barely noticeable. Where it is stronger, it is yellow.
Guys decided to arrange a ritual. They took a pot, a bottle of water and coffee 🙂
They waited almost an hour, but the water had not boiled 😅 Fortunately, a family of hikers, with whom we travelled in parallel, set up camp near by flames. They made us enough fire, and we finally drank coffee.
Satisfied, went down to the camp, had fun for a long time around the campfire, making it difficult for the “larks” to sleep.
In the morning we packed equipment and again went to the chimeras, but with the goal of crossing the mountain. Took photos, there was amazing scenery.
We went down to the lower flames of the Chimera. There were ancient ruins, near which we rested.
Then we finally descended from the mountains. Passing by huge cactuses, we reached a camping near by the beach.
Settled in a campsite, had a little rest. Several people decided to go to the beach. The beach is clean and no one is on it! Delightfully! Except that the sand is so hot that it burns feet 😋
We arranged a radial journey to a cave outside the beach. To find the entrance to the cave, you first need to climb the rock. But then the cave itself goes down, and its second exit opens directly into the sea!
After unusual swimming, we returned to the beach and went to see the ancient city of Olympus, which was nearby.
On the way to the camping, we bought provisions for the following days. The store employee kindly gave a lift for a couple of people and bags to the camping (which is several kilometers), which made it easier for us to carry.
We went along the coast. We crossed the rocky cape, ended up in a bay with a beach, crossed the next cape, ended up in the next bay with a beach. And so on up to the 5th beach, on which we camped.
But in the 3rd bay we had lunch, swam a little and visited a cave. I liked the cave, it’s dark, quiet, and the bats are flying 😌
Resting and relax started in the camp. In the evening, a Swiss with a guitar came to our fire (he and his friend had been traveling in the Middle East for half a year already. He said that they had been to Russia. As a result, we had a musical evening.
All this day we stood on the beach. There were 2 radial routes. But some people decided to stay in the camping to sunbathe and swim for a whole day.
First we visited Cape Small Italy (I don’t know real name of the cape, we just call it that because its shape looks like Italy shape). This is an incredible place! A rocky cape surrounded by the azure sea.
We returned to the camp, all tired and impressed by the views 😌
Not many people had enough forces for the next radial journey. There were 5 of us and the guide. It was an exploration of a cave, the guide had not been to it yet, and did not know what awaits us.
We returned to the 4th bay and found a cave.
Immediately, water was visible in the cave, so we expected that we might have to swim. But no, the water was below the knee. The cave was straight. At some point, the water disappeared… and the shit started! Literally! And now we go ankle-deep in the feces of bats, also known as “guano” (remember Ace Ventura 😉). Pretty quickly reached the end. There was nothing interesting there. But! We woke up the bats. There were plenty of them. They flew around us, flew back and forth through the cave, crawled along the ceiling and squeaked, trying to drive us away. This unusual moment, when you stand ankle-deep in shit and bats are flying around, has stuck in my soul, and not soon I will forget this amazing feeling 😌. We did not want to disturb the local inhabitants for a long time, so left their house.
Looks like people felt the taste of adventure and no one wanted to go back by usual way. The guide wanted to climb a cliff to get to the road (usual way is round the cliff). The rest wanted to go around the rocky cape along the shore. Well, I am with them. Electronics and other things that are pity to wet, we put in a guide’s backpack, then went our own ways.
At first we walked on stones, where water was knee-deep, sometimes waist-high. A vertical cliff wall is on the left of us. Honestly, less extreme than we expected. But at some point Aleksei, the highest of our group, takes a step, and plunges around the neck. It becomes clear… swimming is not avoidable. We didn’t want to return, so we swam. In fact, it took only 2 small sections to swim. The rest path was in shallow water.
And here is the camp. The last night of the campaign came. Everyone gathered for dinner and enjoyed this evening. That evening, both Swiss came to our camp, each with his own guitar, so we had a mega-musical evening!
And then suddenly a downpour began, and everyone scattered about the tents. And this is good, because it was too late 😴
We got up today later than usual, gathered slowly, because there was no place to hurry. We went through the hills along the dirt road towards the nearest town (Tekirova). As we reached it, at the first stop we caught a bus to Antalya.
Arriving at the bus station, we all together went to the underground tram station. Hooray! At least now I took a ride on it 🙂. Each got off the tram in their area, where they booked the hotel.
Vitaly and I got off before everyone else. We stayed in a hotel in the city center, not in the tourist area, but in the residential area, at least there were residential buildings. That was the right decision. Because everything is calm in our area, you passed by shops, and nobody pulls you and doesn’t call to enter “just to see”. And the price tag is lower. The only problem is that few people speak English, but this is a trifle.
However, the campaign didn’t finish. 😉 That evening, the group agreed to meet in the old city (Kaleici). This is a part of Antalya, very atmospheric, where ancient buildings have been preserved. This is a tourist area with shops and restaurants everywhere. Here everyone already speaks Russian and pulls on your sleeves. But less annoying than in Egypt, for example. From the hotel to Kaleici about 20 minutes on foot, as for me, so very close.
In the morning we checked out, left our backpacks at the reception, and went to buy some delicious treats. Near the hotel I bought baklava. The most expensive costs 20 lira per kg. There wasn’t enough free space in the backpack. Already at home I realized that I had to take more and tried to somehow carry it (in my hand luggage, for example), because the baklava is amazingly juicy and tasty! 😋
We returned for backpacks, finally packed our things and went … no, not to the airport .., to Kaleici. Those who did not have morning flight decided to have a farewell lunch. We ate at the canteen for a penny, and now we went to the tram stop. There was not much time before our flight. We don’t even know which terminal we are flying from. While journeying on the tram, Vitaliy looked on the Internet and found out where to fly from. It so happened that the departure time of the flights was changed for everyone, and again Vitaliy, Tatyana and I flew on the same flight.
At the airport the tram stop at “terminal 1”, our trio need to “terminal 2”. It is approximately 2 km. Less than 2 hours left before departure, it means there is no time to loiter. We decided not to take a taxi (they overcharge), immediately went on foot with a quick step.
Here is the terminal, 100 meters left, we cross the road, and I suddenly stumble! I did not immediately understand what had happened, 2 Turkish workers were running in my direction, shouting something. A moment, and I realize that a drain was made across the road. There was a strip of liquid concrete, a strip of the drain itself, and again a strip of liquid concrete. I was wearing sandals. That’s what happened. I stepped into the first strip of concrete (the depth is slightly higher than the ankle) and, stepping over the drain, with my second foot stepped into the second strip of concrete, well, I went out safely. Workers rushed to smooth concrete, which I messed up, not to help me.
And here we have the airport, time is running out, I have concreted feet, it is a pity no one took a picture of this moment 😅 Fortunately, Vitaliy had a bottle of water at hand. Quickly, I took off my sandals and somehow washed my feet. Sandals in hand (there was not enough water for them), and went barefoot.
At the entrance there was a queue to frames with the inspection. So I had a couple of minutes to find a bag and pack the sandals, otherwise a lot of drying mud would crumbled from them. I put the bag with sandals in a small backpack for hand luggage. I went through the search and checked-in barefoot without any problems.
There was a relief because we were in time. I didn’t want to go barefoot on the plane, so I went to wash my miserable sandals. It didn’t work out perfectly, but at first glance it’s not noticeable that I was in something not very clean 😇 Next is the departure area and the plane ✈.