Monday, 4 August 2008

Turkey - another large portion

The Alara was just over into the next valley from the Manavgat. It was a pretty stunning place, and we ended up spending a few days there. We were well looked after by a local restaurant owner and his staff. We spent our nights sleeping on the roof of his place, after eating copious amounts of food. The Alara river itself was a quick two minute walk down the hill from the restaurant which was handy as it doubled up as our washing facility. The valley was extremely beautiful and there were several sections to do on the river. We didn't managed to get them all done but the stuff we paddled was excellent, especially the middle Alara canyon also known as the Kaiser Gorge which I would dearly love to have running in the hills near my house.

Chilling out at the Alara restaurant - some of us slept on these platfroms

While the rest of us slept up here

A spring at the put in of the top Alara gorge

Deep in the first Alara canyon

Sheer rock walls don't make for fun portages

Beef drops into the Kaiser gorge

Working through the Kaiser gorge

Ali and Beef work their way down stream

Approaching a boof

Beef gets some air

Ali goes for the boof

A tight Alara drop

Heading off into the canyon

After a long day on the river it's bath time

Donna gets to grips with the washing facilities

Frankie messing about in the bathroom

The Alara was truly amazing. The river was so sweet, I wish I could paddle it regularly, we were sad to go. After spending our time at the Alara we headed back to the Dalaman via Alarahan Castle, which was spectacular in itself. Once back at the Dalaman we spent a couple more days enjoying the river there before the trip home.

Alarahan Castle

The only way to get to the castle was to climb through a series of tunnels.......

.........which were full of bats........

..........who loved to flutter round our heads

Another chilled out evening with great food

Nadir tries to relax before more Turkey Euro 2008 action

As it turned out Turkey was an awesome trip.....I think much better than any of us expected to be. The people were amazingly helpful and friendly, the food superb, the weather was awesome, it was cheap, and the boating was excellent. I can't really fault it. The rivers felt remote and were beautiful, and it's hard to believe that there are places like this so close to UK. I can't recommend South West Turkey enough, creeking in blazing sunshine for a fraction of the cost of an Alps trip - sweet.

Thanks to Alternatif Outdoor who set the trip up for us and especially to Nadir our driver who went above and beyond the call of duty to look after us. I'm sure we'll be back to Turkey soon.....

The gang