Monday, 21 July 2008

Turkey - the main course

The Manavgat is quite close to Korpucay but it felt like a world away. The Korpucay area was the most touristy place we went to on our trip, and the river itself was heavily rafted. The Manavgat was just about the complete opposite. Once off the main road you were into a remote unspoiled area. Everyone in this area seemed to be getting by on small scale farming on the rugged terrain surrounding the river. As we got further in the area we realised the boating was going to be committing to say the least.

Getting down to our campsite beside the river

We were surrounded by these......

Moon rise from our campsite

After a good nights sleep and breakfast with a local family, we set off to paddle the "grand canyon" of the Manavgat. We knew that this was probably going to be a long day out......we didn't really comprehend how long. The river started off as a small stream in a steep valley. Once we were in there was clearly no way out. This first section was tough, we would paddle for a hundred metres or so only to come to a boulder choke that we would have to clamber over and around. A couple of times the river would disappear underground. This was hard tiring work. A couple of times we had no choice but jump into the water and swim across pools between the chokes. This was all pretty miserable so there aren't many photos. We had about 3 hours of this before things changed dramatically.

Floating down the top of the river before the boulder choke hell began

Boulder purgatory

The boulder chokes seemed to go on for ever and we were really suffering. Just before it all got too much though we rounded a corner and we saw the welcome sight of huge springs bursting out of the sheer sided gorge which reared up before us. The gorge walls were immense and completely awe inspiring. The spring water flowing between the walls was clean and clear, and the volume of the river increased tenfold. The whitewater really kicked in now. The rapids were long and steep with very short pools in between. Pretty much everything had a line and we started to really enjoy ourselves. The drops kept on coming and the gorge seemed like it was never going to end. Eventually after nine hours on the water we emerged from the canyon to arrive at our campsite. We were absolutely exhausted but we all agreed that we had just experienced one of the best river trips we had ever had.

The walls rise and the springs start to flow.....

With a huge spring to the side of him Frankie fires it up on the first big drop of the canyon

Heading downstream in the gorge

Grandad running the last bit of a double drop

Leaning back a bit too much on the same rapid

Getting ready to get back on the water after one of the few portages in the main canyon

Jamie approaches a nice boof

Approaching a Manavgat 10 footer

Wide view of the same drop

Landing the boof

Frankie lines up the same falls

At the bottom of a nice slide and drop

Grandad lines up on a rapid

Looking back upstream at the canyon

Matt nearing the bottom of a long rapid

The canyon went on and on luckily at the bottom we were able to relax after a long day by looking at yet more Turkish wildlife.



After our long day on the Manavgat we soundly for a long long time! We then packed up and headed over to the Alara river where more adventures both on and off the river were in store. More on that soon..........

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Another helping of Turkey

After a couple of days at the Dalaman we headed east across the mountains to check out a couple more rivers and some more Turkish culture.

We made our way past Antalya stopping only briefly for a kebab and a much needed visit to a Haman (Turkish bath). After a fairly long drive we arrived at a rafting base on the Korpucay river............

One of the many beautiful mosques we saw on our travels

Gotta love Turkish cooking - kebab time!

Hanging out with the law, and knocking back a few cups of cay (Turkish tea)

View from our campsite at the Korpucay

The Korpucay was the easiest river we did. There were loads of nice little waves to mess around on, and it was perfect to chill out on after a couple of days creeking on the Dalaman. The Korpucay was also the first time that we encountered some of the springs that feed the rivers in the region. These springs flow straight out of the gorge walls adding loads of volume to the rivers. They were always a spectacular sight and it was the first time any of us had seen anything like it..........

Another breath-taking bridge - this time at the top of the Korpucay

Frankie messing about below one of the springs

Matt surfs the Korpucay

One of the best things about Turkey was the food which you could always be sure was fresh. This is illustrated by the meal we had after boating on the Korpucay..........

Always make sure you stay to the middle of the flock

Woolly jumpers for everyone

Took about ten minutes from running about the hills to this stage

I don't know who eventually ate these

After a feast of BBQ lamb, and a great nights sleep we headed off to the Manavgat gorges where we encountered the hardest boating of the trip, more on this soon..............

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

A Slice of Turkey

In the middle of June 10 of us headed of to paddle in South West Turkey. It was an superb trip. The rivers were amazing, the locals were incredibly welcoming, the scenery was spectacular, and it was very very hot. All in all it was one of the best boating trips I've ever had. We started off at the Dalaman river which was pretty sweet by anyones standards. Deep gorges, crystal clear water, and of course brilliant continuous rapids. All this about an hour away from the airport. We hired our transport and driver through Get in touch with them if this has whetted your appetite...........

Going for the boof on the Upper Dalaman

Our Dalaman raft base campsite

Miguel going through the motions on a Lower Dalaman rapid

The finish of the Lower Dalaman - nice bridge

Nadir our driver, welcomes us off the river

Heading off down the Upper Dalaman

Frankie slides.......

.....then boofs his way down the Upper Dalaman

In the middle of a nice section on the Upper Dalaman

Frankie comes to the end of the same section

Matt cruises down the upper section

Miguel squeezes between some Upper Dalaman rocks

Frankie at the get out for the Upper Dalaman

After a long day of boating, Grandad goes into Standby

First bit of Turkish wildlife - land crab

Night time at the Dalaman

More Turkey soon, Korpucay, Manavgat and Alara rivers........