We started off the new year in Denizli where it was very quiet due to a 4 day curfew and a ban on fireworks. When everything was open again we had some fabric repaired at a sewing workshop. The van had quite the audience.
On the 4th of January we drove on to Marmaris. What a beautiful area. It looks like a tropical area. Lush green, high trees, palm trees, and bougainvilles, blossoming even in January. And then the azure blue sea, no wonder Marmaris is so popular.
While driving to Marmaris we were overtaken by a jeep, the driver honked and waved at us, we waved back. This happens every now and then. Usually it’s people who drive a 4×4 as well. At the next corner there was a parking and the jeep driver was waiting for us there, waving and smiling so we pulled over. His name was Hasmet. After a nice chat he offered to take us on a small tour along some places to wild camp. We took him up on the offer and he showed us 3 places. We ended up finding a very nice place near where he showed us and which we probably wouldn’t have found otherwise. We spend a relaxing few days there with very nice weather. Marmaris is a cosy city but with quite a good selection of shops. And because it has a lot of tourists from Europe, the supermarkets there sold some things that we had missed, like ham and bacon.
Leaving Marmaris we followed the D400, a well known coastal road with beautiful views. When we stopped at a viewpoint, we noticed the perfect camp site. Below the road there was s short off road track, leading to a small beach. With just enough room for our van and some bushes for Binkie. So we now had our own private beach! The weather was still great and we had our first BBQ of the year. In January, wow!
We drove on to Dalyan which is famous for Iztuzu beach where turtles nest later in the year and the tombs, carved out in a mountain wall. The tombs are in a fenced off area and the gate was now closed. But we quickly noticed a sort of public path which ran underneath the tombs, behind some fields. So we bypassed the closed gate and got a good close up view of the tombs. A bit of rock climbing was required however. But hey, we didn’t drive all this way and took a ferry to give up so easily 🙂
After Dalyan it wasn’t easy finding a camp site. Most of the land is used by farmers or it is to steep. We finally noticed a road on the map, near the small town of Gey, that lead down to the sea, even if it was a long drive down. The road wasn’t too good either, but well worth it. A nice secluded area by the sea. The sea was really rough here, creating some awesome waves on the rocky coast. Kilian went for a bike ride.
Because the weather at the coast was much better than inland, we decided to stay near the sea. Away from the tourist areas it is quite easy to find a camp site directly at the beach or quit near it. There are usually also a lot of bushes and trees right up to the actual beach, so Binkie has a nice time too.
Near Demre we stayed in the secluded dunes and the weather was so nice I even had a swim in the sea!
We drove on to Cirali where we hiked up to the Chimaeara flames. The flames come up between the rocks and are caused by a natural gas below the earth. Apparently they have been burning for thousands of years. There are a lot of references to Greek mythology in the area as well.
Past Cirali we drove on to Antalya, you can read about that here. We spend the last week of January in the area and even the first two weeks of February because the car needed some maintenance and we were waiting for a package. You can read all about that in our February report later.