The drama of it all!

Looking down on Long Beach, rime edged bushes in foreground

I like a certain drama in my environment; I was born in the middle of a thunderstorm and I got married on a beach on the Gulf of Mexico under an end of the world sky full of tornadoes.

Some of my earliest memories are of the great storms that sweep into Wales on the back of a north west gale and standing with my Father on the fort above Fishguard harbour, clinging onto his hand, looking into the mouth of the storm as it drove the grey swells of the Irish sea crashing over the breakwaters in fountains of spray. I learnt respect for nature from a Father who sailed the treacherous sounds of Wales for fun and who taught me never turn your back on Mother Nature!

So I love cliffs and crashing waves and dark shadowed mountains and storms that stride across landscapes and skies that can boil with clouds of every colour and I like variety, real seasons, from the yellow dust of summer to the drenching rain of winter. Flat land has never appealed to me and cities close me in and environments that are changeless make me feel tired and strained, yearning to see nature working.

Turkey does dramatic well! The landscape and the climate combine to create an environment rich in drama both scenic and metrological. A few nights ago a huge storm swept down the Aegean coast, flooding the Bodrum peninsula, blowing roofs of buildings, ripping pergolas loose from terraces and turning roof gardens into nothing more than wind burned sticks in pots. My friends Jack and Liam thought the end of the world was upon them as they huddled in their house whilst the road outside turned to a river and the power went off and the rising waters crept under the doors. In Bitez and Ortakent cars were swept along by the floods, ending up in gullies and people were evacuated through the muddy waters by JCB.

Closer to home my friend David lost what remained of his road and is now irritably wading through mud until spring and demanding food parcels be flown in. And down in Akbuk the overly terraced and poorly engineered hillsides shuddered to the crashes of thunder leaving my friends there wondering if finally the whole lot would slide into the sea or would they get away with just a few more sink holes.

Here in Kirazli the storm blew over us as the mountains protected us as usual but the lightening was awe inspiring and you could feel the crashes of thunder vibrating in your bones. The dogs slept through it all as usual and we threw another couple of logs on the soba and watched from the bedroom window, blinded by the magnesium flaring flashes of lightening that lit up the sky over Kusadasi.

Lightening over Kusadasi

By the next morning the storm was past and we were back to rich blue skies and occasional clouds. The storms are ferocious but they pass quickly and we are left with the dramatic scenery washed clean by the deluge until the next storm front arrives.

Speaking of dramatic scenery my friend Kemal sent me these pictures he took yesterday whilst hiking with a group of walkers in the Samson Mountains of the Millipark about fifteen minutes from here. They hike every Sunday and they meet in Davutlar or Guzelcamli and they take on some pretty strenuous routes. The views are amazing, looking down over Long Beach and Kusadasi and towards the summit, where the weather stations and forestry look outs, the thick rime on the trees and bushes shows just how cold it can get up there.

Long Beach and the sea

Long Beach and the foothills that lead to Kirazli

Hoarfrost on Samson mountains

Kemal at the top!


Thanks to Kemal for taking these shots and for letting me use them, they are a view that not many people get to see and it would certainly have killed me go up there and take them!