We arrived in Cirali, a coastal town town in the valley of Olympos mountains, after about four hours travelling. Our journey was relatively easy despite the sweltering 45C heat and the monstrous bags on our backs.
Cirali is not void of tourists, however the people who come here are generally calm and nature loving, making for a lovely quiet atmosphere. On our walk from the bus stop we were delighted to see an abundance of fruit trees! Figs, pomegranates, grapes, cactus… It took us slightly longer to reach our guesthouse!!!
In the context of WWOOFING, we are in Cirali to volunteer with an initiative working to protect the local turtles. In exchange for our work we have free accommodation and food at a hippie guesthouse suitably named “Sima Peace”. Surrounded by fruit trees, chickens, tortoise and Koko the parrot, we have a sort of tree house cabin with A/C, ensuite and double bed. Much better than the expected tent and cold shower!
The next morning we woke at 5am to the sound of the prayer call from a nearby mosque. We threw on our “Save the turtles” t-shirts and headed to the beach. The sun was rising over the sea and tbe temperature was just right. The view is just breathtaking!
We met Moustafa, the local “expert” who patrols the beach day and night. Our role is to find the nests that show signs of little hatchling’s’pitter patter’ in the sand, and we then need to dig in the nest to check for any struggling hatchlings. This day there were four nests with lots of baby turtles in need of help. Moustafa helps them out of the nest and places them on top of the sand. Guided by the sunlight and the reflection on the water, they then make their way to sea where they finish developing (a post with a more in depth explanation will follow). Tourists with their cameras and hefty feet are a threat so it is our job to warn them and watch that the turtles reach the sea safely. It’s an amazingly, fascinating and heartwarming experience.
We finished just as the sun was fully risen, had a quick deep in the clear warm water and headed home for a delicious turkish breakfast of fresh cheeses, breads and fruit. The heat during the day is unbearable so until late afternoon we can’t do much apart from laze on the beach or hammock… Its a hard life!
What do you think of our experience? Have you been to Cirali before? Have you ever WWOOFed in Turkey? We would love to hear about it!
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