You may remember several weeks ago we visited Tlos, an ancient city in the mountains behind Fethiye. We decided to check out Saklikent Gorge, a few kilometres away, as we headed back to A B Sea.
This is one of the major tourist destinations close to Fethiye and we’d wanted to visit last time we were in Turkey. At 18km long and 300m deep, Saklikent is one of the deepest canyons in the world. It is the second largest in Europe. And it is the largest gorge in Turkey. Not a bad rep.
It was on the way back to Kaş, so we followed the signs.
About 1 Km before we reached Saklikent, we spotted a sign that said Gizlikent Şelalesi. To our English speaking ears Gizlikent sounded similar to Saklikent, so we figured it might be something worth visiting. Intrigued, we set off down the picturesque road and arrived at what looked like a fairly large complex with a few tourist shops and signs showing food. This was obviously busy during the summer season. However this was January and we could only see one other couple, renting what looked like water shoes, from a guy who seemed happy to have any visitors at all.
Looking at the English on the sign over the door, we learned that ‘Şelalesi’ means waterfall. Cool.
The fellow told us that once we’d descended to the creek, we’d have to walk upstream to actually see the waterfall. We didn’t think we’d do that (and freeze our feet off), so we declined the shoes.
Following his gestured direction, we descended about 250 steps through a delightfully untouched wooded path. As we descended the rugged steps, I instantly began to feel at home, surrounded by the ancient hillside, and Nature’s finest greenery. All lit by cool lemony winter light dappling through the leaves. I took a deep breath and filled my lungs with the ‘green scented air’ and relaxed. What a wonderful discovery.
On the way down was a moss covered tree whose leafless branches reached up towards the light while its roots dug deep into the hillside. A trickle of water quietly made its way through the moss. I instantly regretted my decision to leave my phone/camera in the car but Baz filmed the tree with the Sony and you can see it in this week’s video (as we return to the car park).
After a short walk we arrived at our destination. We carefully picked our way over rocks in the stream to get from the base of the path to the wooden platform which had been built partly over the stream.
I took in another deep breath and exhaled slowly as I turned around, viewing the surroundings. The walls of the hills on either side were covered with maiden’s hair fern which I absolutely love. I tried to grow some in a plant pot in our bathroom in Beerwah, Australia, but had never managed to keep it moist enough. Here though, the natural fine mist from the stream and the cool environment produced ideal growing conditions.
About 50 metres away to my left, where the light suffused around sunlit plants, the stream wended its way into the distance. In the opposite direction, around a bend in the gorge walls, as a wooden sign indicated, lay the waterfall. Dipping my hand into the water, I was pretty sure our lower legs would have become numb after a few steps through the stream, so I wasn’t too disappointed that we hadn’t hired water shoes. We’d have to imagine the waterfall.
Water pouring out of trees seemed to be a visual leitmotif though because growing to the right of the stream as we faced this direction was another very old, moss covered tree that had water dribbling out from its trunk!
Returning up the hill wasn’t a chore and the path soon opened up to the tourist complex. On our left were quite a few tree houses where food and drinks are served in summer. To our right was a small kid’s pool. Taking more time to look at the different glass walled tourist shops, I realised how many different items are sold there, catering for most visitors.
The drive away from Gizlikent was very pretty, with the scenery opening out on a green valley, surrounded in the distance by the high Taurus Mountains. We drove through old rock wall lined country lanes and headed back onto the main road.
Saklikent was literally just around the corner from Gizlikent. As we pulled to a halt on the bridge running over the exit to the gorge we realised how busy this place gets. On either side of the bank of the fast flowing wide river, were many restaurants. The gorge itself is surrounded by very high steep rock walls, and a couple wearing hard hats emerged from the shaded canyon as we looked on.
It was now late in the afternoon and the sun would soon drop behind the hills, after which it would get very cold very quickly. Looking at how dark it was in the gorge, and realising we probably wouldn’t have time to explore the place properly (not to mention there was a likelihood of getting wet and cold in there), we decided to return another day.
A short drive from the gorge, the river bed opens up to about 200 metres in width and you can imagine how much icy water passes that way as the snow melts on the mountains high above.
We drove through a few farming towns along these country roads. They have a much more rustic nature than the picturesque holiday towns along the coast. Nevertheless, they have their own charm. From a more traditional build of house, to goatherds along the way, to a ‘sea’ of plastic covered greenhouses for Turkey’s immense farming industry. It is well worth exploring the interior.
A part of the joy of sailing from coast to coast, country to country, means we have the opportunity of exploring inland too. Arriving back at Kaş marina, I was very thankful that we’d hired the car for a week.
An engine removal
Baz took the opportunity to film the removal of a Perkins engine from our friends’ Beneteau yacht. If you’re curious about how a large engine is removed through a small companionway hatch, reconditioned and reinserted into the boat, then you’ll love this segment in this week’s video. Baz had gone into more detail about this, so I’ll let you read his blog if you’re interested.
To watch the YouTube episode that dovetails with this blog, just click here.
Until next week, I wish you health and happiness, as you take the actions that bring your dreams to life.