Mud, mud, glorious mud
There’s this thing called the regulator. It’s basically a dam wall across a river. Usually with water flowing over it.
It’s about 3 feet wide and you have to walk across the bloody thing on the Saint Paul Trail.
Now the advice is to put your gear in waterproof sacks just in case you fall into the fast flowing river
I suspect getting your stuff wet would be the least of your worries. Drowning is pretty high up there
You climb down a vertical 12 foot iron ladder onto the muddy bank on the “dry” side and walk about 50 feet, climb up the 80 degree concrete dam wall and just walk the 400 metres to the other side
The two Russian dudes were not around – no doubt having a lie in after a night wrecked by the sound of lovemaking frogs and a stray hound from hell who barked outside our tents all night.
So I was the first to try to cross. I got to the bottom of the ladder, jumped off – and found myself up to my shins in thick clinging mud..and sinking deeper by the second
With some difficulty I got back to the ladder in time to see Alexander the Great and Greater arrive.
“It’s a bit tricky down there,” I said with typically British understatement
“Very muddy ..up to my shins…hard to move. .”
“Is no problem” said Alex one who I suspect has a military background given the kit he had.
“I am prepared”
He jumped off the ladder two rungs from the bottom ….and was instantly up to his knees in foul-smelling crap
“Told you ,” I said
I dunno what Russian is for f..k off but I’m pretty sure that’s what he said
His mate sensibly made for dry patches of river bed to the other side. We followed him and only had to walk the last 30 m on the damn dam wall.
We got there under the eye of the dam keeper who watched our progress with growing incredulity.
One slip on that wall and we were in the river with no way of getting back up that steep concrete sides
The GPS app proved its worth today, keeping me on track through woodland paths as far as the beautiful Ucan waterfall.
There’s lots I could say about its formation over millennia but there was a bar at the base and I rather lost interest after that, though I did swim in the crystal clear azure water under the 40 foot drop
The only other people I saw all day were day trippers from Antalya whooping their way through forest trails on quad bikes or “giving it large” on the back of 4x4s
“Get a car mate” I distinctly heard someone shout as the passed me in a cloud of dust
I felt sorry for them not experiencing the real Turkey like me.
But, then again, none of them had decided to take a nap leaning against their water bag , thus emptying it and requiring the Hapless Hiker to complete the last 3 km with no water
I made my way to Suleymans pension.
You know those spaghetti westerns where Clint Eastwood arrives in a one street village? It was like that.
Suleyman and his wife are retired primary school teachers. He has a big smiling face and I suspect is a hit with the ladies
He also keeps chickens. Lots and lots of chickens. And bloody great roosters which crow all night. And huge guard dogs which bark all night.
He had a spare shack available in fact I was the only person there.
Bizarrely the room had Christmas decorations hanging from the ceiling…and the biggest centipede I’ve ever seen trying to get out of the wash basin
We sat under a parafin light while I ate.
A bed, shower , 3 beers, dinner, breakfast and a packed lunch for £21 which I reckon is fair enough
This is the regulator …