Fethiye Times is currently planning and training for a mini-trek along part of the St. Paul’s Trail – the second long distance walking path in Turkey mapped and waymarked by Kate Clow of Lycian Way fame.  As a first move we decided to go camping by car…….

Fethiye Times is currently planning and training for a mini-trek along part of the St. Paul’s Trail – the second long distance walking path in Turkey mapped and waymarked by Kate Clow of Lycian Way fame.  As a first move we decided to go camping by car to test tent pitching and camp stove cooking capabilities.  Hence on Wednesday, 12th September we set off along the main road to Muğla – all three members of the Fethiye Times team plus one extra spouse.

About 10km beyond Köyceğiz there is a right turn marked to various places with a brown sign underneath them saying ‘Geyik Kanyon 18’ – or that’s what it said before it was slightly vandalised.  For almost two years Fethiye Times has looked wistfully at this sign whenever passing on the main road, and dreamt of a day when we would turn right and investigate Geyik Kanyon.  Wednesday was the day.

We turned right and drove towards distant mountains and were pleasantly surprised to find more brown signs to the Kanyon along the route.  I’m sure you are familiar with the Turkish ‘lost signs’ syndrome where you turn as directed by a sign and then, as there are no further signs, you never actually manage to get to where you want to go.  Eventually we came to a ‘Geyik Kanyon Oto Park’ sign by the entrance to a large paved car park – completely devoid of cars until we arrived.  A refreshment ‘mola’ was called for and we broke out the cold water and grapes and even managed to feed a small lizard that darted under the car.  Twenty minutes or so went by with various members of the group occasionally saying “I wonder which way the Kanyon is then?”  or “I wonder if it is down there or along that driveable dirt road over there?”  Eventually the Fethiye Times Turkish speaker found an older Turkish woman tending her garden by the car park and asked “Which way is the Kanyon”.  “It’s over there” she replied flinging an arm in the direction of the driveable dirt road.  “Can we drive to it then?” was the next question which received a firm “No” in reply.

{mosimage}Group discussion ensued and the consensus was that, if the Kanyon lay up the dirt road, we would drive as far as possible – it was a hot day so why walk?  Off we set up the dirt road which soon climbed through the ubiquitous pine forests to provide glorious views on all sides – but no Kanyon.  After twenty minutes or so sharp-eared members of the party heard heavy machinery being used in the forest and we stopped.  Three of us marched along a path in the direction of the sounds and were amazed to find ourselves walking through a couple of inches of dust, evidence of the long dry period and also a sign of how easy forest fires can burn.  The forestry men seemed very happy to see us – anything to break up a day of logging – and confirmed that we should have walked down from the car park to see the Kanyon.  We asked tham about the road we were on and they said it came out on the main Denizli – Muğla road after another 15km or so.

You guessed it.  We kept on going leaving the still unvisited Geyik Kanyon far behind and emerged on the main road hell bent on the next part of the adventure – more tomorrow.

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