Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lycian Way Day 8 - Xanthos Aqueduct - March 16, 2013

Kalkan - Dolmus to Cavdir - hike Xanthos Aqueduct to Akbel/Kalkan

We had a quick breakfast an hour early at 7am. Our host insisted on getting up early, as he did not want us to go without breakfast. Breakfast is included in the price of 99.9% of hotels in Turkey. We barley made it to the main bus terminal in time for our bus to the Cavdir turnoff, very close to where we left off a few days before in Xanthos. The weather was ominous. We pressed on anyway.

As we hiked down the dirt road, a man in a tea shop invited us in for tea. We agreed, and just as we stepped inside, it started pouring rain, complete with thunder and lightning. You will almost never be disappointed if you agree to tea in Turkey!  Well, the man was so concerned about us hiking in the weather, that he offered to let us stay in his house for the night. We ate some food, drank some tea, hemmed and hawed, and ultimately decided to push on during a break in the weather.

After ignoring the useless directions in the guidebook, we found the red and white markers and eventually saw that we really were hiking on an ancient aqueduct. It was quite indistinct as an aqueduct at first, but gradually the old shape of it materialized out of the earth, and we were hiking in a shallow trench.  Pretty cool!  It's kind of funny hiking in an aqueduct in the rain...A bit wet I'd say.

There were parts where it was quite overgrown with (wet)brush, and it was quite challenging at times, despite it being flat. Funny enough, these pictures are all during short breaks in the weather, so it doesn't look that bad. We were actually quite cold, wet, muddy, and somewhat miserable.

Robin Along the Xanthos Aqueduct

Ancient Engineering

I think we can be friends...

Xanthos Aqueduct and the tomato greenhouses

Looking for Akbel
As usual, there were times where it was impossible to find the waymarkers, and there was no actual trail, so we muddled through the villages as best we could. The mud was unbelievable in places. I was quite embarrassed about how we looked...

Eventually we made it to Akbel, which is up the hill and across the freeway from Kalkan. We were all set on taking a dolmus to Kalkan and were inquiring where the bus stop was when a man started insisting we just walk to Kalkan. As he was dispensing his advice to us, we missed the bus...It's really hard to say if he was messing with us or not! No matter, we found a beer shop, and asked if we could drink a beer outside his store. The shop owner laughed and said of course. Looking at the ground, we saw it was littered with beer bottle caps and there was a bottle opener hanging from the tree. We found the town bar!!! Ah Turkey, we love you. 
Akbel 'bar' and a nice reward
We finally caught a cab to Kalkan, as we really really really didn't want to hike straight down hill across the freeway for two miles to our hotel. We also made arrangements with that taxi driver to pick us in the morning to drive us back to Patara. You see, we were enjoying Kalkan so much, and we didn't think there was any way we could do the whole loop in one day, so we decided to skip a section of the trail instead. We decided in interest of time, a cab was going to be the best bet. I was dejected from another really hard day, and once again decided I didn't need to through-hike the Lycian Way anymore...Pretty hard on my fragile ego, but we couldn't take it anymore with our lack of progress.

Route Map:

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