Off Base Adventures: Karatas

Last Saturday Will and I decided to venture out to another beach. This time completely on our own.
Which is scary when you don’t have a GPS.

We tried plugging it into our iPhones before the left the comforts of wifi at home, hoping the GPS would still track us the whole way…it didn’t. 

We tried to follow the broken google maps route for a while before we turned around and went the slightly longer, but as it turns out, more direct route. 

Karatas is a small, lazy beach town located directly south of Adana. Will picked it out by randomly pointing a finger at the map, I had, however, heard of it from some of the other spouses because you can go there and purchase beautiful blue crabs by the cooler-full. 

Unlike Yumurtalik, we were pleased to see the town had created a nice park area next to be beach, and clearly believed in putting trash in its proper receptacle as evidenced by the bright orange trash cans located up and down the road, every 5 feet or so. 

My assistant, great for helping me tote my gear around…and oh so handsome 🙂
Also unlike Yurmatalik, we had to pay 5TL to park. Not sure if there were free spots somewhere else or not, but it was worth it to us to pay and have our car and stuff just a few steps away.

We walked around the few small streets before settling on the beach. Based on our window shopping fresh fish, bread, and chicken were the local specialties. 

The beach was much smaller than Yurmatalik, and maybe not quite as blue and pretty, but it was much less crowded and the sand was very soft. 

I think we sat on the beach for about 45 minutes before we both decided it was too hot and also way past lunchtime. So we loaded our stuff up and ordered up two “balick ekmeks” and were seated at our own little table by the sea. 

Balik means fish, and ekmek means bread. At one point I thought the combo of the words maybe meant seafood in general, but as it turns out it actually means fish bread. 

The guy chopped up the fish and a bunch of fresh veggies and herbs, and served it all on a fresh loaf of bread (that I’m guessing came from bakery across the street). 

In researching Karatas I had read a post by another blogger who said when he ordered his meal of grilled fish, the cook walked over to some fishermen just down the beach, got two fish, brought them back, cleaned them, cooked them, and then served them to the blogger. We had hoped for that experience as well, but from what we could tell the fishermen were off that day. 

After lunch we hopped in the car and drove around for a little bit before heading home. We happened upon a little market that had us drooling over all the beautiful produce. 

In South Dakota we were so hard pressed to find good fresh produce, and now that we have access to an abundance of it, we have to fight hard not to just go through and buy it all. 

I searched for a long time in SD to find pastured eggs…around here you can purchase them by crate for next to nothing. 

There were vendors with spreads of grains, nuts, and dried fruits. Most of the nuts we identified, but we agreed that we need to read up on our grains so we will know what we are buying. 

This one woman was buying this sack of mixed nuts and seeds. I can’t imagine what she could do with ALL of those! 

We bought some of this mix. We’re still not sure what all is in it, but it was a good savory snack for the drive home. 

We resisted buying much else because we had plans to go to the Sunday market the next morning to stock up for the week. 
On the way home we stopped by the mall, and prided ourselves on how much better we were getting at driving and getting around, where Will had his first experience with Turkish coffee. We had heard it was strong, but I’m not sure we truly understood what was meant by that description. Strong here means that it is equivalent to coffee sludge. As in you are pretty much drinking coffee grounds mixed with a little water. Will swore that after the first sip or so it was much better, but I still don’t know that it will become a regular drink for us haha! Either way, it’s one more thing to check off of our bucket list! 

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