Circular Walk from Our Villa (Opus Village B1) to the Deserted Village of Karakaya and Gumusluk Inland Village.

deserted-village-of-karakaya

UPDATED OCTOBER 2013

Distance : about 5 miles

Time : allow 3 and a half hours.

Remember : water, sun screen, sun hat, long trousers*

Grade : Easy to moderate but there two sections (5 minutes’ walk and 10 minutes’ walk) beside a fairly busy road. There is also a 10-15 minute difficult section (*stony and often overgrown) as you approach Karakaya and a short difficult section if you visit the windmill.

Turn left out of Opus top gate. (on Dolmus route) Follow the road uphill for a few minutes and where the road levels before a further climb take a dirt track over to your right.

(For panoramic views of the Greek islands, Gumusluk inland village and surrounding countryside with old windmills on the horizon, continue along the road past the dirt track for another few hundred metres and scramble up the highest mound to your left. Brilliant at sunset!)

The dirt track cuts off a corner and takes you past some posh houses (to your right) with pools and extensive gardens before it reaches the road opposite a development with a blue waterslide.

When you reach the road turn right. Take care on this road. Follow the road downhill to a right hand bend where you see a blue sign pointing left to Karakaya (just before a large water trough on the left). Turn left at this blue sign. Trees overhang the path after a few yards. There is a view of an old windmill over to your right. (You can visit it later in the walk.) Avoid all turnings to the left and when you reach a makeshift broken wooden gate, turn right over a stream bed onto a small track. The next 10 – 15 minutes of the walk is stony underfoot and is on a largely disused ancient track, much overgrown and rock strewn in parts. However, keep thend-of-sunken-tracke stone wall topped with barbed wire to your left and follow the sunken track uphill between two walls. After 10 minutes a house appears on your left behind the stone wall and you reach a track beside the entrance to the property.

Follow this good path a few yards uphill to join another track. You will turn right here to continue the walk, but first turn left for spectacular views of the bay and islands after 50 yards. Retrace your steps and continue up the concrete slope to the ancient village of Karakaya. This path skirts the villaancient-village-of-karakayage, so return to it after you have explored the village. (Many houses are ruins but several have been renovated and are used mainly as holiday homes.) The path brings you out at a parking area and a road. Follow the main road ahead of you lined with telegraph poles on the right. Don’t forget to glance behind you as you walk for some of the best views of Karakaya.water-tap-karakaya

There is also a water tap along the road if you need to replenish your water bottles. After 5 minutes you reach the (yellow) electricity substation and surrounding pylons.

From the substation you can visit the ancient and almost derelict windmill you saw earlier. Allwindmill-at-karakayaow 10 minutes each way. Go through a gap in the fence to the right of the substation, next to an electricity pylon. Climb uphill towards the next pylon and then continue forward. The windmill appears after another few minutes.

To continue the walk, turn off the ‘main’ road at the electricity substation. Pass just to the left of the substation down a path which turns sharply to the left and descends steeply at first. When you reach a house with a low wall and a wire fence above it on your right, continue straight downhill, keeping the wall/fence on your right. You can see the path snaking down towards the village below. Just as the path starts to ascend slightly you pass a pool centred development with a dozen or so villas on your right. (Gümüs Evleri) The track becomes a paved road just before a junction. Bear left here. When you reach the ‘main’ road turn right beside Dia Supermarket**. After a hundred metres turn right after a bus shelter on your right, onto a wide paved road. (Or for shops, a café and the bakers in Gumusluk inland village continue along the road for a few hundred yards, then retrace your steps.) NB the café on the right is ‘men only’ and no alcohol is served. However they are very friendly and when we went there not realising it was men only, they served us and even popped over the road to get us a beer!

The paved road leads to a ‘Sarnac’ (large, white, dome-shawater-cistern-gumusluk-villageped water cistern). Turn right here and keep on this road when it turns into a dirt track. Follow the dirt track for half a mile until it joins the road. Turn right at the road and taking care follow the road back uphill until you reach the development with the blue slide. Take the dirt track to the left (opposite the development) which goes uphill to cut off the corner (as at the start of the walk) Turn left when it reaches the road to return to the Opus site.

**To cut the walk short here: Take the (Gumusluk/Gumuskaya) dolmus from the Dia Supermarket back to the Opus site

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Derekoy and the ‘Big Cheese’ Walk

 

Getting there: From the end of the Opus road (or from Gumusluk fishing village) take the Bodrum dolmus to Derekoy. Get off the dolmus at the museum ‘Collectibles’ at the end of Derekoy village. (a 10 – 15 minute journey)

I find the village of Derekoy fascinating for at least two reasons : the museum ‘Collectibles’ and the gourd lighting shop ‘Le Kabbak’.

‘Collectibles’ is the modern, architectually-designed home of the now retired director of the Maritime Museum in Bodrum. This quirky building, with its winding staircase up to several levels, has an ecclectic mix of old Turkish items such as lamps, jewellery and weights. Light floods in from the large floor to ceiling stained glass window: pale blue segments intermingle with colourful tropical fish.

The gourd lighting shop ‘Le Kabbak’ – a few paces closer to the village than the museum – has a beautiful array of lamps. As you approach you will hear the owner at work, making tiny holes in the gourds and then inserting coloured glass into each one for a unique effect. Have a look round and ask to go into the inner workshop to see some of the gourds lit up. Also for sale are a wide variety of stylish old pots and flagons, seemingly carelessly strewn about by the wall outside. (If you’re passing through Derekoy after dark the whole place looks like something out of a fairy tale.)

The Walk

Distance : about 2 miles each way (*for longer walk – see below)

Time : allow 2 hours.

Remember : water, sun hat, long trousers, walking shoes (picnic?)

Grade : easy

Suggestion : do this walk on a Tuesday when there is a small market in Derekoy so you can buy a few items for a picnic on the way.

The walk starts opposite the museum ‘Collectibles’ and a stall selling more gourd lighting and souvenirs. Take the small tarmac road ‘Kavakderesi Cad’, leading slightly uphill. (CAD is short for Cadesi = Road)

Follow this road as it winds into the countryside. After about 10 or 15 minutes the tarmac runs out, but keep straight on and from this point make sure the stream is always on your right.

You continue on this wide path, crossing a few streams on your way and after about 20 to 30 minutes you will be rewarded with a great view of the ‘big cheese’ : a cleft of rock which looks like a wedge of cheese, ahead of you. We returned to Derekoy soon after this point and took the dolmus back to the Opus turning. (However, if you want a longer walk* try the Sunflower ‘Bodrum to Marmaris’ walk no. 8 : Ortakent, Yaka, Derekoy page 99. There is a copy of the book on the shelf in the living room at the villa.)

Spring in Gumusluk

 We are just back from preparing the villa for the new season. Every year we spend some time at the end of March in Gumusluk, visiting the villa and making sure that all is in order for our forthcoming guests. This year we have repainted the inside, washed the carpets, replaced the BBQ, replaced the lampshades, cleaned the patios etc etc. There is always something to do!

Whenever we go at the beginning of the year we are always reminded how fresh and green the scenery is. There can be the odd day of rain, but generally the weather is around 20 C and it is quite pleasant to sit in the sun with a chilled glass of wine or beer; we were often able to sunbath.

Not being too hot it is also possible to embark on a walk or two and enjoy the profusion of spring flowers. So if you enjoy walking this is definitely the time of year to come (although October and November can also be very pleasant months for walking).

The season had not started properly and the restaurants along the shore were still preparing for the new season when we arrived on 26th March; painting the chairs, tables and pergolas, white washing some walls etc. By the second week of April, however, a few more restaurants were open and they had blankets draped on the back of the chairs in case the evenings got a little chilly.

Not quite the weather for swimming yet – although this didn’t stop two young girls jumping in the larger swimming pool on site. It was ‘cold’ they admitted – but the sun soon warmed them up again.

Mars Cafe

If you’re looking for a warm welcome and excellent value this is it!  Situated next to the ‘dolmus’ station, the Mars Cafe is probably the friendliest establishment in the fishing village. They serve a variety of dishes including vegetarian options, all at very competitive prices.

Mariette and her Turkish husband run the café; it’s more of a bar and restaurant really. Mariette is a very friendly ‘front of house’ host and will even teach you the rules of Backgammon if you want to use one of the boards available for guests.

It’s not exactly a prime position, but makes up for its lack of beach / harbour front with good old-fashioned hospitality and a friendly welcome. Check out their weekly steak night and buffet night and meet some new people. It is a particularly good venue during ‘off peak periods when it attracts a lot of the locals.

Gumusluk Snack Kiosk

If you’re on a budget and have already seen how cheaply you can buy a glass of cay (tea) at the Gumusluk Cay Bar (next to the jetty in Gumusluk Fishing Village), look no further than the small kiosk sitting next to the Bar. Here you can buy piping hot meat balls in fresh Turkish bread for the price of about £1.25.

It’s probably not the place to go for that romantic evening meal, but it does provide a cheap snack at lunch time and a pleasant view of the harbour. You could even splash out on a bottle of water from the Cay bar for another 50 pence!