Turkey 2008 V: Koprulu Canyon and Altinkaya

Not too far from the Mediterranean coast, inland past Manavgat, you will find the Koprulu Canyon. Lots of local tour companies bring people here to go rafting; the river itself is not that difficult to navigate but it’s good for beginners.

Both times that I visited the canyon, it was screaming hot. As you can see, the land here is really dry – this past August a forest fire near this area was the largest on record.

Here’s the canyon itself – fantastic turquoise water and fantastically cold. The contrast between the 50 degree heat of the sunny day and the glacial water is extreme. Many local people come here to sit in the shade and to BBQ.

Here some local boys come down to the river to play. Turkey has thousands of kilometers of coastline but, as a rule, most Turks cannot swim – unfortunately, many drown during the summer.

Here the young boys are jumping into the river from a tree and, hopefully, remerging.

The villagers in this area live as they have done for hundreds of years. Here a shepherd, watching his flock at the riverside, peeks through the trees.

Not too far from this riverside site, a drive up a very twisty and narrow mountain road brings you to Altinkaya (Golden Stone), from where you have a wonderful view over the valley.

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