I was casually surfing around Perking the Pansies. I often review older posts and add a word here, change a word there. I do it purely out of personal pickiness as once a post is read it’s dead. I clicked on the ‘Go! Overseas’ badge and, to my horror, found ‘Being Koy’ top of the blogs in their Turkey chart. ‘Perking’ is inexplicably second. Enraged by irrational envy, I hatched a dastardly plot to knock ‘Being Koy’ off the top spot by fair means or foul. Veteran author Kirazli Köy Karyn and I correspond regularly and have made a guest appearance on each other’s blog. Keep your friends close but keep your rivals closer, I say.
Lulling Karyn into a false sense of security with phoney flattery, she was cleverly duped into inviting us to stay for the weekend. This was to be my one chance to dis the idyll, spike Karyn’s cocoa and ‘accidently’ spill my wine into her laptop. Just a dribble though; I am not one to waste even a poor vintage.
Saddled with yet another underperforming hire car, we set out at first light taking the usual Izmir route past dreary Milas, sweeping along the shores of the perpetually pretty Lake Bafa and descending into the Meander basin towards Söke. After a naughty McDonald’s burger break, we pushed on to agro-town, Ortaklar, where we took the Selçuk road. Leaving the impressively dull agrarian plain behind, we climbed into verdant Tuscanesque hills replenished by the recent rains. As we snaked through the forested slopes my resolve to nobble began to wither. Perhaps this is the Eden that Karyn exalts.
We rendezvoused with our host on the wrong side of the railway tracks in Çamlık. Karyn shepherded us into the hills along an uncharted way towards her high hamlet where I expected the men to be men and the goats to be nervous. Nestling in a natural caldron, Kirazli is a visual treat of higgledy-piggledy dwellings with pitched terracotta roofs and gently billowing chimney stacks that warm the cool air with aromatic wood smoke. I’m afraid to admit that this particular working köy does exactly what it says on the tin.