September 28th to October 4th
After all the hills over the previous 5 days the next couple of days we’re going to be completely flat and away from the backwoods. The route passed between greenhouses in the hundreds. The advice was if you were to take a bus now would be the time, so I did. It was about a 15 minute ride to Kinik. I wanted to see the Lycian site Xanthos. It was about an hour walk to get there from where the bus dropped me off. Most significant was the amphitheater and a large pillar with the most Lycian script yet found. Xanthos at times was the most important Lycian city.
Back in Kinik, no pensions, I decided to take the bus for another half an hour to Kalkan a retreat for British pensioners. Walking the streets after checking into my pension I saw a bar showing the South African – Namibia rugby world cup game. A nice treat for me and a quantum step into civilization after five days away. These bus escapes put me past a couple of sections I probably should have done. Hindsight .
September 29th to Seribelen
The route out of Kalkan headed straight up into bush above town but below higher developments and a highway. I found way-marks and was able to stay with them through very rough terrain. There had been sparse foot traffic but thistles were abundant. It was very discouraging when I stumbled out onto the highway after 2 ½ hours to see a sign that I was just leaving Kalkan. Rather than following the route into the brush I stayed on the road that was too busy to be walking. An hour into this was enough – I started to hitch.
Before long a guy whom I had met earlier came along on a motor scooter. I was skeptical but I climbed on and on we went for possibly 20 minutes to where I was able to walk to Mozaic Pension. This turned out to be a lovely stop run by a French chemist and his Turkish wife. I did a further walk for an hour or so in the rural community of Seribelen which at about 700m was quite a bit cooler than sea level. I ate with the family which included grandfather and son Jean who could understand French but wouldn’t try with me. I had my first Raki, but not to be the last.
September 30th to Gokceoren/Kas
Oliver, my host, made me a nice full breakfast early enough that I was on the way by 8:00. Ideally I would begin walking by 7, but the breakfasts have been so good I have waited for them and not been underway often until close to 9:00. Not good for me, as it becomes obvious.
This was a good day for me. The route was on a rough country road for a while getting up to about 1000m and so it was not blistering. When the way turned to trail it was good trail, even when dropping down a steep rock face.
After a few hours a woman came out of a farmhouse and offered some tea. I was going well and had lots of time so I spent an hour in her place looking at her photos and eating the early lunch she made. It was a great stop.
A Few hours later I dropped down to Gokceoren. It was only just after noon. I had already decided that the next section might be too long for me to do in one day with no water stops and I didn’t really want to spend another afternoon waiting in a small town only to possibly hitch a ride onwards. I paid the pension guy a goodly amount to drive me to Kas where I had planned on spending two nights.
This is another lovely Turkish Mediterranean tourist city. On my second night here I met with a retired Turkish hiking guide connected to a friend in Calgary. He gave me advice on the way ahead.
The first leg of today’s walk was a ferry trip across the Kas bay. Unfortunately the first ferry didn’t run until 9 o’clock. So by the time I started walking it was close to 10. There was a little problem getting started but once underway it was easy to follow the scant trail. I was possibly struggling with the heat earlier than normal which I attributed to the low altitude. I was caught by a 30ish Isreali couple going fast, but I soon caught up when they missed a way-mark and had to make their way back to where I was.
We had a long section of scrambling above the sea which slowed the woman and so we went along together. The man , much faster went ahead and was swimming in a bay when we got there. The woman joined him and I continued slowly. A little after noon I got to a bay where my phone application and my guide friend indicated I would be able to stay. No such luck. They had recently shut down. I had only about ½ l of water left out of 2 l I had started with, not enough. The next place was 4 to 5 hours away. Big mistake on my part. I had had a few woozy periods in the last hour indicating heat stroke which I have suffered too many times to ignore. I had a few options now none very good.
There was a young couple who had come by motor scooter into the bay. She was Turkish and offered to swim out to see if one of the four boats anchored in the bay would take me back to Kas. One did and so a few hours later I was back into the same room I had spent the previous two nights in. I now had some decisions that took me the night to make.
A number of factors lead to my quitting the walk. I had been walking well but was not handling the heat/humidity and the forecasts didn’t show any improvement. Finally the sections ahead seemed to be getting longer and more remote. So it seemed wise to “call uncle”.
I will now have over a month to tour about in Turkey. Over the next days I decided to rent a car for much of that time . Off I go on a very different path.
I have lots of good pictures that I hope to share at some time…