Thursday, 3 September 2015

Sakklikent Gorge(ous)

Last Friday we ventured out for our first proper excursion to the famous Turkish attraction of Sakklikent Gorge, not too far from Fethiye and Tlos along the South West coast.  I visited the gorge once before around five or six years ago when I first came to Turkey on holiday with my family, and remember it being a must-see.  So we all packed into the little Fiat Albea we've rented, punched some roundabout co-ordinates into the Godsend/SatNav and hoped we'd be able to find the gorge from there.  I didn't take my camera into the gorge itself as it's best to travel as light as possible (ideally nothing) as you never know what might get wet!  So unfortunately I don't have any photos from inside to show you, but in a way, it might be a mystery best kept secret as I really cannot describe how amazing it is inside, it's something which definitely needs to be seen in the flesh.  

You pay 6 lira to enter the gorge (just over a pound), and begin by navigating a wooden walkway set along one of the rocky slopes.  The water rushes below your feet in a wide river at this point, as you walk a little further it gets narrower with smaller rocks.  There were throngs of people, mainly tourists, and I can safely say I have never seen so many selfie sticks in my life.  As you venture deeper into the gorge, the hordes seem to diminish a little, as the terrain gets slightly more difficult.  You do have to be reasonably able-bodied as some parts are trickier than others and involve a bit of climbing.  Luckily, we made it without any serious injuries; the way back was the best as you can literally slide down the rocks where they've been so worn by many a tourist's behind over the years. 

After doing the 4km round-trip trek through the icy cold water that flows through the two vast rock faces, we stopped at one of the many big restaurant/cafes by the entrance to the gorge for a drink sitting literally on the water.  By this point we were getting pretty hungry, and we'd seen a few good looking lunch spots on the way up, so hopped back in the car and thought we'd try our luck.  

We were certainly not disappointed!  Along the road we stopped at one of the restaurants - I'm not sure of the name as none of them are really advertised - where a family were happy to serve us traditional Turkish food.  We ate  fresh lamb and tomato salad dishes with flatbreads (and a few chips, of course), sat cross-legged around a table set on a wooden decking structure covered with rugs and pillows.

It was a perfect pick-me-up to follow our stint in the gorge, and the whole atmosphere made it a day I won't forget.  Turkey really is a beautiful country, and once we away from the beaten track a little more and able to experience the tradition, culture and natural surroundings it seemed a lot less like a popular tourist destination and more like a breath of fresh air, especially visiting from the UK.  

I have so many photos and things I want to write about from our time in Turkey.  In a few days I'll be back in England, and will have to start packing up my room (again) to move into a new house and start my second year of Uni.  Things are getting real, quickly!  Hopefully blogging will provide me with some respite among those maniacal days that are soon to come, but for now I'm going to enjoy what time we have left.  And start thinking about my next post (I've a few ideas up my sleeve).  Hope you're all very well and enjoying the last of the summer,   

Ruby x