How on earth did I forget to mention this: days before I left the campsite, an attempted military coup took place while I slept. A fair chunk of the armies’ upper ranks decided they wanted Erdogan out, using conscripts to block bridges and airports in Istanbul, under the guise of an exercise. Many other targets around Turkey were taken as well. Around 300 people were killed, but it ultimately ended up failing. The resulting “purges” resulted in thousands being arrested and fired, while Erdogan swept in with tighter controls on the country (I have met more than a few who think it was all a way to gain more power).
Turks were glued to TV screens wherever I went, many unsure what it all meant,and what was to happen. Now, weeks later, shit is still hitting the fan.
Anyways, I hitchhiked from Akbuk Bay to Bodrum to see a friend for the first time in years (Bodrum is pretty but a major expensive tourist trap). This particular friend was with me on that Turkish gulet I had volunteered on years ago (no idea how many people who read this were reading back then). I was stuck in Mugla for two hours, but later learned some special forces were hiding up in the nearby mountains (I believe the guys who were to capture Erdogan himself as he vacationed an hour away at the time of the coup), and me with my military rucksack may have looked… Suspicious, I guess? I mean, if a special forces guy was wanted by the government, I doubt he would hitchhike from a major city with a military bag… Anyways.
I fled from Bodrum to Ferthiye, somehow getting a really nice private room in a fancy part of town for dirt cheap. Soaked in sweat, and i’m sure smelling very bad, I must have fit in so well!
From here I journeyed South, checking out some of the beautiful ancient Lycian tombs above the city (which I had all to myself! Thank you tourists for being more interested in beaches and cheap Chinese crap lining the streets), and checking out Kayakoy. Kayakoy being a dead Greek village leftover from the Turkey/Greek war of the early 1900s that saw Muslims expelled from Greece, and Christians likewise from Turkey – all to create majority Muslim/Christian states… It’s pretty crazy to think about.
This one village in particular was really quite big, 2,000 people once called it home. All that is left now are the shells of churches and houses, with fireplaces and some small bits of paint giving the homes some uniqueness from the others. Trees and bushes take over many now. Sad to see what we humans do to each other. On the other hand, it’s always nice to see nature taking back what is hers.
I was on my way to Kabak valley, one of the apparently hippified and picturesque beach of the area. This is what I had constantly been told. “You gotta go!” After passing through yet more tourist-choked towns, I arrived.
Kabak valley/Kabakoy is a steep walk or bus ride down from the main road, where you are then greeted by more campsites stuffed into one little area than I had ever seen before. Prices ranged from “I guess I can spend that much… ” to “are you goddamm kidding me?!” I decided to go with the latter, for some reason, as I was too lazy to search the place at a late hour for other deals. Granted, the food was unlimited for dinner and breakfast.
I tried to get into the mood of the place. I went for a full moon swim, talked to other travelers and vacationers, and strolled past other camps with varying types of music blasting from within… But it didn’t feel like it was for me… It felt constructed, fake, modified, off. I can’t quite say how, it’s just one of those feelings. Others definitely loved the place, and they were welcome to it. But as always, the search goes on.
The next day Ieft, after pondering whether I should try another night. But the little voice told me to go. And who in their right mind doesn’t listen to the little voices in their heads, right? Ridiculous.
My eyes were set on Cappadocia, the most famous and usually most touristic area of Turkey. I hit the road looking forward to being free from Turkeys’ southern humidity, and starting to make some more distance.
Maybe my place is just not finding a place, eh?