Cycling up a Mountain

I was getting awfully tired of the torrential rain and being huddled around the fire in the Crescent Hotel lounge. Yesterday, our free day, the clouds parted about noon and I set off for Kaunos with my little plastic bag of goodies for an art piece I was going to do with the ruins. My plan was to climb to the acropolis and tie many coloured crepe ribbons around a tree there and put a little offering to Spring at the base of it. Having realized that the last time I attempted this climb, I’d gone the wrong way, I turned left at the “Dikkat – falling rock” sign rather than right and made my way very carefully up the hill on what was definitely a goat path – the shit and flies buzzing around my head confirmed that. Because of the rain lately the grass in between the rocks was a bit slippery so I inched my way up the steep rocky incline, zigzagging back and forth across the mountain. Almost at the top the way got quite steep and the path disappeared but I managed to scramble up and was rewarded with a terrific panoramic view across the Dalyan river valley in one direction and Iztuzu Beach in the other.

Putting a bit of a crimp in my plans was the gale force wind on the top. It was blowing too strongly to really do the piece I had in mind, so I tied 2 blue, 2 yellow and 2 pink ribbons to a tree, put a wreath of tiny hot red peppers, pinecones and pomegranate on the stones in front of it, and called it a day. In the distance out over the ocean I saw black clouds rolling in and decided that I had better get off the mountain before the storm hit. I managed to find my way back down again and, feeling raindrops hitting my forehead, went into the theatre and huddled under a tree with the orange juice lady who was kind enough to lend me her umbrella. She had decided to pack it up because obviously there were going to be no takers for orange juice that day and we walked together back to the entrance gate. By then it was absolutely pissing. I trudged slowly down the path towards the river, getting completely drenched, and, after half an hour when the rain had eased slightly, was rowed across the river by the boatwoman. That evening we had dinner riverside at the Golbasi restaurant, where the family allowed us to pull our table right up by the Turkish woodstove – warm at last!

This morning, though, the sun was gloriously back – yippee! We four, along with Murat, rode out of town, past the lake, through the village of Gokbel, and, after a stop at another village tea house, went off-roading up another local mountain peak. The trail was very rocky and muddy in parts and wound up and up through pine forests, meadows of wildflowers and bee boxes, and valleys to the top where we had lunch on the grass outside the Sunset Restaurant. Coming screaming down the other side of the mountain was a blast, and, after fixing a flat that I’d managed to get, we arrived tired but happy back at the ranch. The rest of the afternoon was spent in the sun lounging poolside, with a couple of very cold dips for refreshment.

See pictures here.

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