South of Lake Eğirdir, Lake Kovada takes shape in a narrow weathered karst valley. I hired a bicycle from Eğirdir and cruised ~25 kms through apple orchards, saluting the tractor drivers along the irrigation channel that links the two lakes, to explore the National Park. I circuited a small peninsula jutting into the lake along a rocky trail. It was the middle of autumn so the golden colours of the sycamore maples and Turkey oak were contrasted splendidly with the evergreen pines and bleached karst morphology of the park.
Returning to Eğirdir was not so pleasant because I had to battle a headwind and lake-effect snow. I took a detour through the small farming village of Tepeli to buy some fruit cake and when seeing me on a bench outside the store in the cold devouring it, I was beckoned into a Turkish tea house for çay to warm-up. Inside the dense smoke filled tea house were several elderly men and a couple of young soldiers huddled around a kerosene heater. A more authoritative soldier was conducting an interview at a desk at the back of the room. I could see those huddled around the heater were puzzled as to why I was in their village so I pulled out my phrase book and map to explain my trip to Kovada Gölü Milli Parkı to set their minds at ease. After a couple of glasses of sugary çay I bid hoşçakal and was on my way.