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Contents / Dreaming in green Çaglayan Valley

Drenched in the Black Sea’s luxuriant green, Çaglayan Valley boasts three plateaux, Mese, Çatak and Çamlik...

Lush, spanking fresh green dominated the mountains. We were bumping along a narrow mountain road in the back of a truck that drowned the whole valley in its roar. At the end of the two-hour journey starting from Findikli, a coastal township of Rize province, a few scattered houses came into view in the forest. The engine quieted down. ‘This is it,’ said Yilmaz Öksüz. ‘You’ll have to climb the rest of the way on your own. This is our plateau, Açhozli.’ The rushing Çaglayan River was audible from the depths of the valley. I struck out on a muddy stone path and started to climb. The mist falling from the sky, the droplets of spray from the river, and the dark valley bristling with giant trees reminded me of the haunted road in fairy tales that leads to the mysterious realm. The path got terrifyingly steeper as I climbed, and I grabbed on to the moss-covered box trees so as not to tumble headlong over the precipices. Next to a high waterfall I took a rest, mesmerized by its foaming cascade.

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