Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lycian Way Day 6 - Pydnai - Bus to Letoon - Xanthos - Bus to Patara March 14, 2013

Soooo...Yeah, today kind of sucked.  Of course, like every day, it was punctuated with delightful sights and people, but overall, not a good day for hiking.

We woke up at Patara Green Park and had a lovely morning. The nice man who worked there talked our ear off, and showed us his new net for the river. He caught one small fish that the cats ate...

As we set off on our hike to the ancient site of Letoon, the Patara Green Park's friendly dog started following us.  He would not go back despite our best efforts. In a blog we read before our trip, a couple hiking the Lycian Way was adopted by a dog that they could not get rid of, despite not feeding it, etc...The dog hiked with them for days, weeks, and there was nothing they could do.  We did not want this to happen to us, so we are ashamed to admit we threw rocks towards the dog to scare him off. Of course, we did not aim at the dog and did not hit the dog, but that dog had had enough rock's thrown at him in his time, that he got the picture pretty fast.  Super sweet dog, I'm so sorry dog lovers, but that dog would  not go home!!!

River near Pydnai

Friendly Dog, Patara Green Park

After we got rid of the dog, we realized we had lost track of the waymarkers, those little red and white devils. From reading the description we thought for sure we would be able to bushwack in from the road to try to meet up with the trail in the trees. After about an hour and a half, we gave up, and started hiking down the road through the valley of tomato greenhouses.  We were stopped a few times by friendly locals encouraging us to get a dolmus to Letoon. We finally realized the folly of crappy road walking, and hopped on the next bus that came by.
Letoon was cool. 2nd Century BC'ish. We were the only ones there, and there were really cute newborn lambs with their mother grazing in the ancient site. The Lonely Planet Guide describes Letoon as "home to some of the finest ruins on the Lycian Way".  Well, ok. Sure. More ancient rocks!

Grant Exploring Letoon

Letoon Theater

Brand New Lambs, Letoon
After getting our fill of Letoon, we headed back down the road (just in time, as a huge bus full of  tourists came barreling down the dirt road). After a nice lunch in a town off the Lonely Planet Track, we decided to walk on to Xanthos, a huge Lycian site. Of course, the guidebook said "It's possible to avoid this walk and give yourself more time at the site by taking a dolmus".  What Kate meant to say is "this portion of the walk is crap, on a busy road with no shoulder and no other redeeming qualities."  Yes, we were learning more and more every day. I forever gave up on the idea of through-hiking every mile of the Lycian Way, because it's just not worth it. We also learned if the author of the guidebook suggests a bus route, it means there is no reason under any circumstances to walk that section, and many times, even when she does not suggest a dolmus, it's still probably the best bet.  

That said, Xanthos was cool. Huge, ancient, and nearly devoid of people.

Exploring Xanthos Ruins

Robin at Xanthos

Xanthos Tomb

Xanthos Tombs

Xanthos Theater
After this epic day of sight-seeing and being lost, we decided to bus it to the town of Patara, which is actually Gelemis, as it was supposed to have better accommodation and restaurants than the Xanthos area. Of course, bamboozled again, the bus got us to the road leading to Gelemis, but we had to road hike the last two miles in a wicked wind to our destination, as there was no regular dolmus service that time of year.

Once there, we went straight to the Flower Pension, and had a lovely evening walking around town.  The storm knocked out the electricity to the whole town, so we sat in the dark drinking our Effes'. We barely found a place to eat dinner in time, as we spent so much time dilly dallying. Another night of funny travel memories, and Flowers Pension is highly recommended.

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