Monday, 8 August 2011

One week volunteering in Garp

Garp means “west” in Turkish. It sits on a cape that is the most western part of Asia, on the Aegean coast of Turkey, 2km away from Babakale - a small fishing village and 500klm from Istanbul, with a 300 m private beach, access only by boat or ATV. And Greece is in front of you – Lesbos Island.There are also two windmills providing electricity and organic veggie garden. Water comes from a natural spring in the mountain.
The boathouse 
It was built 5 years’s like a little paradise, the place itself is amazing, so beautiful, crystal water, beautiful sunsets, olive trees, chickens ...


Even the dog is watching!
My yuruk tent
The part that is set for the volunteers is nice, very comfortable and basically you have everything you need. I was sharing one of the traditional yuruk tents (old school Turkish tents but even they were quite modern) with the other. I haven’t been to any other organic farms before but still, I didn’t expect such modern establishments...

Time to contribute
We were helping in the kitchen, collecting pebbles from the beach, helping to finish the stone pavement in front of the house...or just being lazy under the “chardak” on the beach.  If I have to be honest we didnt do much...the first 2 days the owner was here so his antorage as well - cooks,  a housekeeper, other workers, Ukranian girlfriend (Looks like if you are Turkish, loaded and around 45 – 50, to have a Russian or ex Soviet union girlfriend is a must!!!).
But as the land and the whole place belong to the owner of one of the biggest construction companies in imagine what kind of house lies on top of the hill...well look at the photos J. I definitely didn’t expect to find such a house in such a place.
The guest house

So there where constant parties, guests staying in the house or just visiting for lunch or parties, all of them either owners of hotels, yachts or whatever business they had, or hiding some special skills (drums, belly dancing....).  All of us would have late lunches together (at 4 pm) and even later dinners...always including cold watermelon and the traditional Raki. There were lots of drum sessions involved as well, then everyone, guests and hosts together, would take drums or any percussion instruments available and follow the rhythm and beats that Müslüm (really good drum player from Istanbul) was dictating. At some point Bahar (professional belly dancer from Istanbul) would join as well.
Drumming & jamming

Tonight is my last night in Garp – nice sunset as always, dinner that is taking forever (it’s supposed to be an Uzbek rice, but it’s been cooking more than 3 hours now and we are all starving)..and seven Turkish strangers plus one Russian (the girlfriend of one of the guys).
Preparing the dinner
The other volunteer, a French rasta girl left this morning wıth the crazy drum player Müslüm (maybe it is love, maybe something else but they were cute and I wish them all the best ). Most of the other people left as well, only a few guest are still here, some workers and the donkey Monica. It´s time for me to go – I´ve decided to stop by in Ayvacik and see Nigal and Omar again and then continue to Ankara.
Garp's boat in Babakkale 
Chai in Babakale


  1. Do you have any contact information for Garp..? I've been searching all over the internet and I can not find a website or phone number... I would love to go and visit, it looks amazing!

  2. Try the WORKAWAY web site - U might have to register first but that´s the only way. And yeah, it is amazing :)

  3. wow! I'm going to be here next month! I think it will be great. I'm more relaxed after readed your blog!