At the beginning of November we left the beautiful lake Salda behind and drove on to Saklikent canyon. This is a great canyon; you can walk a few km’s through the canyon until you reach a small waterfall, for which you would need climbing gear. It is quite popular and some safety features have been made and there is a small entrance fee but it is well worth it. After our hike we had lunch in one of the many cute and colourful restaurants.
After Saklikent canyon we drove on to Marmaris. We used the same nice campsite as we did last January. We spend 5 days there. We relaxed, did some shopping and went to the beach. Marmaris is a relaxed city, not too big but with everything that you need. Kilian found a garage that could improve the leaf springs and ordered new tires, they would arrive a few days later.
We spend the days waiting very happy and comfortable at another known campsite near Selimiye. This small off road private campsite is directly at the Azure blue sea with beach. It has some green bushes and beautiful oleanders as well (also see the photo at the top of this page). The weather was fine so we enjoyed swimming in the sea.
After two very relaxing days we drove back to Marmaris for the tires. We had ordered all terrain, all season tires. But instead mud tires had arrived. It took some time and effort to convince the garage that these weren’t the right tires. They tried to convince us that the mud tires were better because they were the latest model. So we had a conversation that went like this; “these are not the right tires for us” “ no but these tires are better” “they are not right for us” “no, but these tires are the latest model” “ we don’t want these tires” “yes, but these are better” “ they are not all terrain” “ no but these are the latest model” Repeat any of these sentences in random order for ten minutes and you get the idea. Finally Kilian noticed the “better” tires were not all season as they didn’t have a snowflake on them and the missing snowflake finally convinced them that these were really not the right tires for us. At the end it was “not a problem” but of course it took some time to order the right tires. We decided to explore the Datca area for the few days it would take for the tires to arrive from Istanbul.
Datca is a truly beautiful area! Green hills, beautiful sea views and beaches. And the ancient town Knidos is huge and well worth a visit. After exploring this open air museum, we found a campsite directly at sea at a secluded beach. Apart from a few hikers who passed by we were the only ones there. We felt very lucky to have found another beautiful campsite. The weather was great so more swimming and relaxing at the beach.
After a few days we drove back to Marmaris and this time the right tires had arrived. We drove off in the direction of Antalya. We had already decided that we wouldn’t drive any further because within a few weeks we would have to turn around again, to slowly drive to Belgium. That would be a long enough drive anyway and of course we can’t be late. On our way to Antalya we spent some time near Dalyan to go for a hike and Kilian went for a bike ride. We also visited the coastal town of Kalekoy which can only be reached by boat or on foot. It is an ancient town with the remains of a castle and tombs and a beautiful coastline. Near Demre we spend another few days at the beach. The weather was now changing and the 22nd of November was the last day I swam in the sea.
On our way to Antalya we stopped for the night at a picknick area near Adrassan. Here at this remote area, Binkie suddenly had 3 friends! 3 kittens, 2 male and one female, of about five months old. They were being fed. However, in the coming winter not many people would be there. And they weren’t neutered, so within a few months the small female cat would be pregnant and soon there would be dozens of cats. So again we reached out to animal charities in the area. Eventually Kas animal friends agreed to take them in to get them neutered and then they would release them in Kas in an area where they would be fed. We would have to bring them though and although the kittens came close to us we couldn’t just pick them up. We managed to lure them in the van with tuna. As soon as I closed the door they freaked out! They went on a rampage through the van trying to escape. I had anticipated this and they couldn’t do any damage. After 10 minutes they calmed down and hid in the back while we drove to Kas. There I got a cage from some volunteers. My experience with catching scared cats came in handy and within a few minutes all three of them were in the cage. We gave the kittens along with a donation of food and money to the volunteers. A few days later they were neutered and they are now living in a park in Kas.
Meanwhile we had decided not to drive any further but to take more time getting to Belgium. More countries are in some form of lockdown again because of covid -what else- and we wanted some more leeway, we can’t risk missing the boat. So we slowly started heading for the border with Bulgaria. Our last real “touristic” stop in Turkey was the Cesme peninsula, west of Izmir. We could have saved our selves the trouble of driving through Izmir traffic because this peninsula really wasn’t worth the visit. Nature isn’t great there, there is lots of trash everywhere and there were almost no campsites and certainly not any nice ones. Big parts of the area are fenced of for different reasons. On the first of December we left the area to drive on to the border. By now the weather was mostly wet and with the temperature down to 16-20°C, a lot less nice than a week ago. Knowing that we are driving towards colder and wetter weather doesn’t exactly make us look forward to December, but it is something we have to do. At least we have Cancun with warm and sunny weather to look forward to!