Out of all places I’ve been to, two have the magic power to stop the time. One is Mount Olympus in Greece. The other one is Saklikent Gorge in Turkey. These places have a strange power to bring happiness and peace in your soul. For the entire time you are there, you feel like living an eternal moment. Past and future simply disappear. Everything is “now”: pebbles, water, butterflies, lizards, all beings and non-beings altogether lose their identities to merge into the moment.
The Saklikent Gorge experience consists of walking through a river. The gorge is 20 km long, the longest in Turkey and the second-longest in Europe. Only about 4km of it are walkable. Quite enough, I must say, as it takes almost two hours to do it, then another hour to return. There are tours you can book in either Kas, Fethiye, Oludeniz, Kayakoy or other neighboring towns. I don’t know how much they cost, because we had our own car. Tours are good, however, if you don’t have a car or you can’t be bothered driving. Just get used to the idea that on your way back you’ll most probably stop at some carpet factory. Tour operators have deals to supply such outlets batches of fresh tourists with wallets ready to open to the art of persuasion Turkish people seem to be masters of.
Saklikent is about 40 minutes’ drive from Fethiye and one hour from Oludeniz. It makes an awesome day trip. You don’t need to bring food with you, because there are heaps of restaurants built over the river at the gorge entrance. They serve fresh fish, cold drinks, Turkish coffee and who knows what esle. Turkish beer is good, I recommend you try it.
If you have rubber shoes, take them, because you’ll walk through water for several hours. Flip flops are not so suitable, because the water runs fast and there are a few places where it is quite deep. Not as deep as to fear drowning, but it would reach your thighs. We’ve encountered some solitary flip flops on our way, this is how I know it’s a bad idea. Anyway, it’s not a big deal, you can buy or hire rubber shoes there, in case you forget. Remember to wear sunscreen and a hat, though, as you’ll be walking in full sun for most part of the time.
I’ve been to Saklikent Gorge in mid-June and the water was very cold. However, after the first shock, my feet got used to it. It soon became a nice refreshment to counteract the heat coming from the sun above. It seems that cold water, hot weather and walking on rocks make a great recipe for bringing your mind to peace. For the whole walk, I lived only in the now. I was 100% there, focused on the walk. Everything else vanished. The following quote describes best that moment’s feeling:
“Four snakes gliding up and down a hollow for no purpose that I could see — not to eat, not for love, but only gliding.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
There was no purpose to my walking up the river. I was only gliding. And at the end of the day, I only got half-wet 🙂
Did you ever experience fully living in the present moment? When was it? Let’s talk!