A Mini Break

A Mini Break

Our time in Istanbul seemed like eons ago, and it was the last time we stayed in one place without moving for more than a week. Since then, we have been changing accommodations every 3-5 days going from one town to another. It felt like a whirlwind of packing/unpacking, riding public transportation, and walking with our heavy packs looking for the next Airbnb. Today we checked out of our last mini stays, moved on to our next destination, and will stay put for the next 8 days.

But first…

Then we were off to Fethiye, but not before checking out Itzuzu Beach, which is a 20-minute drive from the hotel.

Hawaii, anyone?

Joe and I had wished we could have planned for a beach day here after seeing this. However, Itzuzu Beach wasn’t in the cards today.

Itzuzu Beach is where Carretta caretta (loggerhead turtles) come back to nest annually, and this is where the sea turtle rescue & rehab and conservation facility is located.

Volunteers take in sick and injured sea turtles for rehab, and release them once they’ve recovered.
Some interesting facts about sea turtles
Rehab isn’t just limited to wound care or regular surgical interventions. They do some interesting things such as making a 3D jaw for AKUT 3, after its jaw was damaged by boat propeller.
Unfortunately AKUT 3 succumbed to complications a year later. Notice it’s 3D jaw.

It is disheartening how damaging humans can be on the ecosystem, but at the same time, it is heartening to see that there are still good people in this world who are willing to do something to help.

Dekamer is a nonprofit organization, volunteers and donations are welcome.

After the visit to the sea turtle museum, I wanted to get a bird’s eye view of the beach. However, there was no trailhead from the beach other than the roadway. So we drove in the direction where we thought a viewing platform may be. No luck, but we did find trailheads.

Notice the picture of the hiker going to Kargicak isn’t upright, and looks to be having a hard time. I wonder if it is their way of depicting trail difficulty. I didn’t bring it up with Joe because I was afraid he would just balk at the idea of hiking the trail that would bring us to where I wanted to go.

The trail started off as a dirt road where 4x4s can travel on. The reason for that was quickly revealed to us.

Beehives under pine trees. Joe wondered if this is how pine honey is made.
Bee keepers are keeping their hives along the hiking trail! As we walked down the middle of the path, I tried to stay as calm as possible to avoid attracting attention from the buzzing bees. Luckily, we passed unscathed. However, on our way back we made sure we took a detour to avoid the bees.

At the end of the last beehives, the trail quickly narrowed to a footpath. The trail isn’t heavily used, but we could make out the trail.

We began to see an opening among the trees about 20-25 minutes into the hike.

Bird’s eye view of Itzuzu Beach

Joe was satisfied with the view but I wanted to see if there was more. So he hung back and I ventured on for another 7 minutes (told him if I wasn’t back in 15 minutes, he should look for me).

I could tell that most people stop where Joe stopped, because the path beyond that point was a little harder to discern, but not impossible.

This is 3 minutes in. Now you can see the lake on the other side of the sandy beach, and the reason why this region is called the turquoise coast.
This is the view 7 minutes in. Past this point, the path looks a little sketchy, hence the sign at the beginning of the trail. Thinking back, they should have put a picture of a mountain goat to accurately depict this trail.

It was a lucky thing that Joe was posted where he was, because I completely went off trail heading back. There were so many little trails leading away from where I had come from. Tricky, tricky trail.

If I could have planned a better day for today, I would have either a) put on my swim suit and go swimming in the clear blue ocean, or b) put on my hiking boots, instead of my worn out Vans, and hike the 8 miles of the Kargicak trail.

The drive to Fethiye took us through miles after miles of pomegranate orchards.

When we got to Fethiye, we realized that the town is much bigger than we had imagined. Then, after seeing how nice and spacious the Airbnb is, we decided to tack on 2 additional days to our stay.

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