A Mad Donkey and A Broken Castle

Along a very lonely stretch of Türkiye’s Carian Coast, we recently visited the crumbling enclosure of Bozukkale’s ancient citadel.


As we sailed in and set our anchors in its “quiet tranquil bay,” a large herd of goats scampered up the cliffs, their bells clanging, and a certain perturbed wild donkey belched out the loudest screeches and made it known that “quiet” and “tranquil” were subjective terms based upon his mood.


We took our dingy over to the nearby dock and clambered our way up to the remains of the citadel’s wall and spent the afternoon making our way around through the nine towers.


Thanks to the sharp point of the peninsula where it was built, there is a stunning view of the ocean from every point along its walls. You can easily imagine the tactical advantage this parched precipice offered as you looked out across the Aegean Sea.


There are no roads to Bozukkale, which leaves just two options to visit—from the sea by boat, or hike in along the formidably long Carian trail which meanders some 800km along Türkiye’s coastline.


Even the two “sail up” restaurants have their supplies brought in by boat and depend on generators and solar for power.


It’s name, “Bozuk” is the word for broken and “Kale” means castle. And if you look closely on the last photo, you can see the distinct outline of the “broken castle” on the southernmost tip.


By day, we adventured around what’s left of Bozukkale’s crumbling walls, ate THE BEST meze at the nearby restaurant, and cooled the afternoon down by paddle boarding in the waters along the bay.


By evening, we basked in the “tranquil” sounds of the aforementioned donkey who we nicknamed “bossy pants,” as he spent the evening entertaining us by charging the other donkeys and loudly braying at them.


A broken castle, a savory plate of meze, water finally warming up, and one very mad mule. It’s joy distilled.

I hate petting animals, but this is for my sister Stephanie and my friend Kathy–they’d both be proud of me. I figured this poor guy getting brayed at so much by “bossy pants” could use a little kindness.



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