The magical rocks of Köprülü Kanyon Milli Parkı and wonderful people (January 2023)

After encountering the fire cats, I traveled to Antalya where I was able to provide Rosiante with some much-needed maintenance. She received fresh oil for her engine, a new oil filter, lubrication for her prop shaft, and a new air filter. These improvements greatly benefited Rosiante, but it was swapping the air conditioning filter that had the most noticeable effect for me. Previously, I had been perplexed as to why I couldn’t get the driver’s cabin to smell fresh. However, after replacing the air conditioning filter, the improvement was remarkable – the cabin now smells like a dream.

I discovered a magnificent beach east of Antalya, where I stayed for a few days. During my stay, I had the pleasure of meeting a very friendly shepherd and his flock of sheep. After that beach, I continued my journey by heading north towards the Köprülü Kanyon Milli Parkı, a truly magical place. It instantly reminded me of the magical mountains of Bulgaria. I embarked on a fantastic hike with a little bit of climbing, and was completely captivated by the unique rock formations. They looked as though they belonged to a different planet, a magical realm inhabited by fairy-like creatures who exist in another dimension, invisible to human eyes…

After completing my 25 km hike/ trail run, I found myself feeling both tired and hungry. I began searching for a suitable place to rest for the night, relax. I drove around, stopped at three different places, and while they were pleasant, they just didn’t feel quite right. So, I decided to keep searching. I examined the satellite images on Google Maps and stumbled upon a spot that looked absolutely incredible. In fact, I was so impressed by it that I thought to myself, “If I had to choose a place to build a house in this area, I would choose there.”

After crossing a small river and navigating through some muddy, tight, and rocky paths, I finally arrived at the spot I had discovered on Google Maps. It was even more stunning in person, but to my disappointment, it turned out to be a dead end, with a fenced private property blocking my way. Just as I was about to turn around, I heard a man calling out to me. We met and talked, and I felt an immediate connection with him.

He had been on Rainbow gatherings and since I learned about these gatherings I was feeling that these gatherings could be something special, something that deeply resonates with me. Although I didn’t make it to the big gathering in Turkey in October, I’m still looking forward to be part of one.

The nice guy in the magical stone land had already started building a special place on his property, with plans to create a camping site next to the gorgeous river, some small natural huts, and establish the surrounding woods as a food forest. He had plenty more ideas and I couldn’t help but feel excited about the idea of participating in something like this myself someday. If you want to learn more or contact him directly, be sure to visit his website. And there is a drone video on Youtube were you can get an impression of that beautiful spot.

He then introduced me to his friend, Seher, who was absolutely lovely and stunning. After my tiring hike, I was quite famished, and they graciously invited me to dinner. Their warmth and kindness revitalized me, and we spent a delightful evening together. If I hadn’t needed to leave Turkey, I would have happily stayed longer. However, the next day I needed to make my way to the port to catch the ferry to Cyprus. Seher wanted to visit her family, so she accompanied me and Rosinante until we reached the bus station in the nearest large city.

5 weeks, one beach part 1/4: I’d like to be a tea monk, brothers, Babas and two guns

The places I had found on the Marmaris peninsula were great, but the next beach I found was truly incredible. After reaching the end of the peninsula, I drove east and checked out several places along the way. I passed through mountains, down into coves, up mountains again, down to the next cove, and along the coastline, but none of these places felt like my new home. After a couple of hours of driving, I grew tired. I headed to the next potential home spot, and the path led me through a forest on a slightly off-road forest road. Only a few kilometers away from my destination, I had no internet connection, which was a concern because at that point I desperately wanted to continue my music production courses and stay in touch with friends. But as soon as I reached the beach, I knew immediately that this would be my home for a long time. It was amazing! Located deep in nature at the other end of the forest, without any signs of human development, and the internet connection was perfect.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at this beach and spent it doing many things I enjoyed: making music, playing the cajon, bo staff training, hiking, writing, reading, meditating, yoga, communicating with friends online, and having tea and nuts with the people who occasionally visited this magnificent beach.

Making tea and sharing nuts, thoughts, and stories was one of my favorite things to do. During my time at that beach, I was reading the books “A Psalm For The Wild-Built” and “A Prayer For The Crown-Shy” by Becky Chambers. I loved these books (like maybe all of her books). These books feature a monk who travels around in a tea wagon. In every settlement the monk encounters, he builds a tea place and people come to have tea that he mixes individually for them based on their emotional state. If they like, they may tell him about their lives and the things that are bothering them. The monk would listen to them wholeheartedly and be there for them, but he wouldn’t give much advice. I felt like that was exactly what I would like to do. Later that day, when I came back to the beach from a hike, I heard loud emotional Turkish music. There was a Turkish guy drinking beer and listening to that music. I waved and smiled, he waved me over, gave me a beer, and told me for hours about the trouble he had with his family. All via Google Translate. Although it was beer instead of tea, for that time, I felt like a tea monk, and it felt good.

One day, I hiked along the beautiful single trail that led in both directions along the coast. After an hour, I reached the next big cove. In that one, there were two small buildings and I was curious if anyone lived there. Down at the beach, I met Masoud and we had a great connection from the start. He had come from Iran, was traveling and hiking, and had attended the Rainbow gathering, an event I had also considered attending, but I had been in Bulgaria at the time of the gathering. Now he was living with a friend in a minimalistic hut of a Turkish guy at that beach and was enjoying life. In the hut, there was a poster of Don Quixote and his horse, Rosinate, which I found to be quite funny. We had a great time talking about everything, eating, and making music. He had been playing the setar since he was a little boy, and his playing was beautiful. I recorded some of it. Maybe I can put the recordings into an organic house song at some point. We also talked about how we could stay longer in Turkey than the 90 days we were allowed to. I had researched and had found that for a longer stay, one would need a Turkish address.

On another day, I met his friend Ali and we connected instantly as well. Every week, I would get new supplies from Datca, the next town, and sometimes I brought some things for my Iranian brothers as well. We had a lot of fun, deep conversations and one time when the Turkish owner of the hut was around, we helped collect olives. I love my Iranian brothers, and I hope to meet them again somewhere in the future. Perhaps in Iran at some point.

On another day, a group of about twenty hikers arrived at my home beach. I was relaxing and reading on the beach when one of them approached me and Rosinante. It turned out that he was German and Turkish and had recently moved to Datca, the nearest town to the beach. We talked about the beauty of Turkey and the beach where we were. I told him that I really enjoyed Turkey and would love to stay longer than the ninety days that I am allowed to. Without hesitation, he offered that I might use his address for my temporary residency (aka Ikamet) application. We went to his hiking group and talked to some other guys who were experienced with the process of obtaining a temporary residency in Turkey. They gave us a contact to another woman who was helping foreigners with the process of applying for an Ikamet. With the guys from the hiking group, we had a beautiful conversation about traveling, life, reality, Zen, yoga, and love.

When I went to Datca to get some supplies, I met with Vedat and the super friendly and helpful woman who was helping people to get an Ikamet. More on that topic in another post.

Vedat and I met every week in Datca and had a wonderful time together. We talked about everything, relaxed, had walks around Datca, and always had lunch at Baba Restaurant (find Baba Lokantası on Google Maps). I loved Baba! The food there was so authentic and delicious. Although I very rarely eat meat, I had Köfte! And the prices were incredibly cheap. For a big lunch for two people including deserts and unlimited bread and water we paid about six Euros. And visiting Baba reminded me of my favorite lunch restaurant back in Hamburg: Kardelen (find it on Google Maps)! I really enjoyed the time with Vedat, and after a few weeks, it felt a bit like home to come to Datca. When walking around in Datca, I also met other people that I had gotten to know on my home beach, and that made me feel connected to this place as well.

One evening, after sunset, I saw two dark objects swimming in the ocean, and after some time, the objects made it to the beach. They were two divers who had been hunting for fish. While having some tea and nuts together, we suddenly noticed a swordfish swimming not far away from the beach in the strong light of the moon. It was a magical sight, like a creature from a fairy tale. Although the divers had been in the water for already five hours, they headed back again for some night hunting.

On several occasions, I was visited by the forest department and military police. It was an interesting experience. I had a conversation with the forest department about the beach and the plans that some investors had for it. They wanted to build a hotel complex on it. The guys from the forest department were not happy about that and were trying to prevent these plans from happening.

The military police were searching for illegal immigrants that might have come via the surrounding Greek islands to Turkey. They always asked me if I had seen anyone. I had not, but I was thinking about what I would tell them if I had. When I told the captain of the police about the investor’s plans for the beach, he seemed not to be amused: he drew his gun, pointed at the ocean, and pretended to shoot. 

To be continued…