Saturday, 22 June 2013

A self proclaimed holiday and why just sometimes you should turn left instead of right

Last Sunday was Father's Day of course, and very kindly one of our friends, knowing all five of our children would be in the UK came over to spend the day with us as a surrogate 'child' complete with Father's Day present. As we had decided to have what was actually our first ever BBQ in Turkey and being Turkish she also brought some wonderful lamb to barbecue and some sucuk (Turkish Sausage) which was excellent! We had a fabulous day just lounging and chatting, something we don't often do.

We enjoyed it so much, and felt it did us so much good to have the day off that we actually decided to do no more work on the garden for one whole week and declared this week a self proclaimed holiday! After the rushing about in preparation for the wedding and catching up afterwards we were more than a little exhausted, and tempers were understandably starting to get a little frayed.

So this week we have read our kindles, laid on the sunbeds, swam in the pool, eaten when we have felt like it, been nowhere (apart from my Turkish lessons) AND drunk alcohol! How decadent is that!

We feel a lot better for it, and together with our friend Eddie we decided that today we would go to Oren for a picnic. Sadly and stupidly, we had owned our house in Uzumlu for about three years before actually turning left out of the end of our track instead of right which leads to the village, Fethiye, supplies, the beach and civilisation. What a loss that was because within a very short distance of our house there is the most beautiful scenery, as we climb over the hills to Ortakoy, the village behind us. We discovered this last year when we went on an exploratory trip with relatives who were staying and we were amazed at how lovely the scenery was.

The scenery from Uzumlu to Ortakoy is just stunning
Today we decided to go on to Oren, the village further on which hosts a large trout farming industry, and there are several trout farms there.

One of the things we absolutely love about living here are the plentiful and accessible historical sites. Just a few hundred yards behind our house is 'something', if anyone can tell us what it is we would be very grateful.

Who can tell us what this is? We have seen several around here, but this particular one is very close to our house.
Next stop was to look at some tombs, which lay beside the very rural road between Ortakoy and Oren, which although we know no details look as though they were once a part of a reasonably sized settlement. If anyone knows more about this site we would love to hear about it.

These rock tombs are right beside the road
Ortakoy and Oren nestle in an extremely fertile valley between the mountains and when you see the amount of water coming through from the mountains you can see why it is so fertile. Consequently it is very much a traditional agricultural area. It must be quite successful too, because there are some fairly large Turkish houses spread around the valley. A lot of them have livestock on the ground floor of the houses, with the living accommodation above. This of course keeps the animals cool in the summer, and the living quarters warmer in the winter with the heat from the animals underneath. The down side of course is that it is a bit whiffy, but I imagine you soon get used to that. I did suggest to David that we kept goats and cattle on the ground floor of our house in the winter in order to be warmer upstairs, but he declined the idea and said he would move in with a friend for the winter if that was the case, so I guess that plan is on hold for now.

Ortakoy and Oren lay in a fertile valley between the mountains
Those that don't have stock under their houses seem instead to park a selection of antiquated agricultural machinery or equally antiquated modes of transport. We saw some incredibly old large trucks, still being used. If it still runs why replace it?

Lots of 'useful' agricultural machinery in the valley
We had packed up several different salads and the idea was to buy some trout, have someone cook it for us, then take it away to have a picnic somewhere. We knew that the trout farms were through the village itself and up a mountain track, so we headed up there. The trout farms are a sight to behold, with the incredibly fast flowing water and the sheer quantity of the tanks they have.

Just one of the many trout farms at Oren
On the way up we saw the most beautiful litter of puppies, which I got out of the car to check were OK, and although mum had a sizeable litter the puppies were in good condition, but wary of me. The puppies all barked but wagged their tails, while mum slunk away until I returned to the car. We saw a handsome Kangal at the trout farm and by the size of the pups assumed he was dad. We will try to check on them from time to time.

Wary street dogs but in good condition
Having perused the trout farms we headed back down the mountain track enjoying the beautiful views of the fast flowing river along the way. It is easy to see why the trout farms are situated where they are, and further why the valley is such fertile land.

Lovely scenery at Oren
So back to Oren in search of fish for our picnic, and we found a nice place at the junction of the road to the trout farms, where the owner spoke good English and agreed to cook our trout to take away. Of course we had absolutely no option but to sit in the sunshine by the river and drink an Efes while we waited!

No choice but to have an Efes with our mate Eddie!
We were presented with three beautifully cooked, piping hot and well packaged trout to take away, and we left Oren to find a shady place to stop and enjoy our rather up market picnic - lovely!

Our picnic spot .......
.... and our picnic - yummy!
We all had a fantastic day, and the moral of today's story is sometimes, just sometimes turn left instead of right!


  1. Your second picture looks like an old water cistern. Sounds as though you had a lovely day. I enjoy reading all about your life in Uzumlu it keeps me going until I am back. Thanks x

    1. Thanks for your comments Carol. I wondered if it was a water cistern, because I saw a picture in a book of one similar. But how would that work? Do you or anyone else now?

  2. Looks like a water cistern to me too. Called a sarnıç or gümbet. They are either put over wells or rain water runs over the outside of the dome and into the holes around the side. A bucket on a rope is used to access the water.

  3. Thank you B to B that makes a lot of sense.We'll have to have a closer look next time we go past.