Babakale is a village in the southwestern tip of Çanakkale (Province), in northwestern Turkey. The village is situated on a cape (Cape Baba, Baba Burnu) that is the exact westernmost tip of Asian mainland, marked by a 18th century castle overlooking the Aegean Sea.
Hitching in and out
There is only one (feasible) way in and out of village, which connects it with Gülpınar, a slightly bigger village in the uplands of the area, to the north of Babakale. On their way from Çanakkale to Assos and other resort towns further south, instead of speeding down the main highway D200/E87, most holidaymakers, Turkish and European alike, take the coastal backcountry road which branches off D200/E87 from a junction (signposted Geyikli–Bozcaada) just south of the ruins of the ancient city of Troy, with another connecting road braching off from D200/E87 further south at Ezine. The road leads through the towns and resort villages of Geyikli, Dalyan, Tavaklıiskelesi, and a number of upland villages some distance from the sea before arriving to Gülpınar. (However, do note that before arriving to Dalyan there is a maze of junctions and secondary roads leading to villages all over the place—although most, if not all, of them re-unite into the coastal road you should be taking sooner or later, you may want to obtain a detailed map of the area beforehand and double check with your driver.) It's fairly easy to get a lift from the holidaymakers, who are usually willing to let hitchhikers into their cars, along this route. Best time of the day is the morning while hitching in to Babakale, and around the noon when hitching out of Babakale (as most have their way east to Assos around this time of the day, after a brief stop-over at the castle and perhaps at the coffeehouse on the village square).
There is also another dirt road leading east from Babakale along the coast, marked by some very detailed maps and the entrance of which is visible from the village harbour, but taking it can be dangerous (see the "Safety" section below).
Although not offering a very comfortable ground, you can wild camp at the shingle beach just west of the village, below the castle (take the haunted-looking abandoned wooden mansion on the hill above the beach as a bearing). The access to the beach is through a steep and narrow dirt path, which starts at the western end of the village behind a low, stone garden wall—jump over it, no one wouldn't mind—just next to the road to Gülpınar.
However, to avoid being mistaken as an illegal immigrant (see "Safety" below), you may want to notify some of the villagers that you are just a traveller who intends to camp on the beach and that everything is okay (buying some supplies for the night and having a little chat with the owner at the village store might be a good way of doing that).
Another option is to camp along the road to Gülpınar, further away from Babakale. Most of the territory the road traverses seems to be public property (as it looks as wild as it could be with boulders and shrubs and all, with no visible traces of agriculture), and thus is perfectly legal to wild camp. Besides, you may even get your own beach, if you decide to walk a little away from the road.
Due to its quite remote location and the closeness to the Greek island of Lesvos (which is not visible but just beyond the horizon to southeast), outskirts of Babakale is on the path of illegal immigrants. According to a shop owner in the village, this activity concentrates on the dirt road east from Babakale most—and the witnesses can find themselves in trouble with the smugglers.
And as a result, coast guard has a quite visible presence in the village, and Middle Eastern, South Asian, or African-looking hitchhikers may find themselves being suspected by the officers.
Therefore, no matter how you look or behave, make sure to let some villagers know of your intentions by a short friendly talk if you decide to overnight in the village (and especially if you will wild camp on the beach). They are used to people from far away lands visiting their village, anyway.
However, don't let this distract you from visiting this nice village—know the facts and no-go areas, and you will be fine. The village itself, the road leading to it from Gülpınar and the surrounding areas, and the beach mentioned above at "Sleeping" section is perfectly safe.
On another note, the area around the village is home to a large population of wild boars, which may pose a (minimal) danger. They can even be spotted at the beach in small groups at night. However, they seem to be quite shy of humans and disperse and run away as soon as you stand up on your feet.
Hitchhiker Vidimian hitched the route Çanakkale to Assos via Babakale in summer 2009. He started hitching at Tavaklıiskelesi, about 40-50 km north, in the late afternoon. While the lifts were quite quick (usually offered by the first or second driver on the way), they were short and the traffic level was low, so he could only manage to get to the second village on the road south on his third ride (two cars driven by local villagers, and the third ride on the top of a tractor), after when the traffic level practically dropped to zero. Then, in the absence of other options, he decided to walk, passing through yet another village on foot and almost arriving at the next one, when a driver of the Ezine–Gülpınar–Babakale minibus line incidentally stopped to have some passengers get off at the salt mine, and agreed to take Vidimian to Babakale for free.
Vidimian found this route quite doable by hitchhiking, but he advises any future hitchhikers to start early in the day (and have short breaks along the road if need be) so as not to miss the row of holidaymaker cars driving along.