The sun rises over Buyukkonuk’s pastoral land.Exotic birds announce the dawn of a new day;farmers on their roaring miniature tractors set about to work the land;chickens and hunting dogs prowl freely on the unpaved roads;the distinctive smells of manure hangs in the air and I cannot help myself feeling like a ‘farm boy’.
In the small hours,I leave my cosy ‘nest’ and trek along the fields.With each step,the bulky outline of the Besparmak range start to lit up under the warming sun.A gentle limestone track takes me up its flank;a lone snail stretches its slimy body across the rocks trying to reach the nearby meadow.Like him,I take small strides towards a vantage point.
From here,some two hundred meters high up;the land seems to have been cut into equal pieces and then patched up back together;the green blankets recede into the horizon and trees pop out the ground like ‘light-bulbs’.A long track-shaped by countless tractors day-trips to the fields-leads back to the shiny grey mosque’s minaret.The echo of the ‘call to prayers’ resonates against the rock face where the trail-head begins.I consult the information panels and decide to head to the appealing deep-blue waters of the Mediterranean (Akdeniz).
From a distance,the rugged coast seems hazy as the heat of the sun warms the land.I follow a wide track that meanders down through aromatic shrubs and a forested area.It is not long before I reach the main asphalted road;I take a detour from it and stand at the edge of a wooded cliff that dips down into the clear waters of the sea.The waves spill their white foam around the scattered
and I can discern the floating movement of fluffy green algae around the rugged rock edges.
Pushed by a sudden urge to eat fish,I head back onto the main road.I am hoping to find a restaurant along the way.After about half an hour,a car sounds its horn and offers me a lift.The driver speaks good English and drops me off at a restaurant that specialises in local fresh fish.I cannot believe my luck and order sea bass and chips(cips).I take this opportunity to review the pics of the day and take my leave.There is another event taking place in Buyukkonuk which I would like to attend.
The eco-market welcomes everyone with an interest in natural local produces.It promotes values of how to use natural resources;it shows tourists alike what can be achieved with a careful use of nature’s gifts (jams,breads,woven baskets,wooden utensils…);it preserves other resources for the coming generations;and moreover it satisfies the tastebuds as one can appreciate the unique taste of a fig flavoured jam for breakfast.This event is only an introduction to the praised eco-festival (May) which features:workshops,dances and more local produces(cheeses,meats,herbs,pots pourri..).I can see myself taking part and learn so much from it but my time here in rural Karpas has come to an end and I must pack my bags as the southern coast of Turkey (Lycia) awaits. Laurent