Saturday, October 12, 2013

Lycian Way Day 14, Almost Zero Day, Kas - March 22, 2013

Day Hike Kas, Photos

It was pouring rain this morning, so we decided against hiking.  Another almost zero day. We had to find a new pansiyon, because our place was waaaayyy too high class with annoying Lonely Planet people everywhere.  Through the pouring rain, we decided on Kaptan Pansiyon.  It was awesome!!!  And not in the guidebooks.
Pirate Robin, Kaptan Pansiyon, Kas

Kas, sleeping dog, Ataturk

Kas, dubious constitution
Besides the rain, etc..., we still just didn't quite feel right.  The rain stopped and the sun came out.  Bamboozled again! We did a short section of the Lycian Way, maybe a few miles, then caught a bus back to town. It was sunny, but was extrememly windy, so probably not a bad idea to stay local one more day.
Day Hike along Lycian Way, Kas to Liman Agzi

Kaptan Pansiyon Roof Terrace sunset, Greek Meis in the distance
I love Kaptan Pansiyon!!! Mmmmm....Effes....G'night.

Day Hike Route

Lycian Way Day 13, Kas - Zero Day - March 21, 2013

Kas, Day off

We needed a day off...So we toured around Kas a little we were feeling a little weird.

Morning Coffee, Kas hotel

Kas, Lycian Tomb
Sick and out of sorts

Lycian Way Day 12, "Stepping Stones" - Phellos - Kas, March 20, 2013

Stepping Stones Camp to Kas -

As per usual, wake up, start hiking.... After crossing the river, it became a staight-up slog through pine forests with few views.  Eventually we reached a saddle. After becoming slightly lost in shin scraping brush (as per usual), we made it to a large water source/ camping spot where we met our first hikers on the trail.  They were hiking in the opposite direction from the guidebook, which is crazy, because those little red and white devils, i.e. the Lycian Way Markers, are nearly impossible to follow in the right direction, let alone having to move forward while looking behind to see if you there are markers.  Yes, it's that hard.

Gedikagizi saddle enroute to Phellos
We reached a road, and decided based on the crappy map and talking to a motorcycle rider, that we could safely follow the road instead of scratching ourselves to death following the markers in the nearby brush. Of course, we wasted a lot of time worrying that we were making a mistake, but eventually picked up the trail again, where we continued through overgrown brush straight up to the ancient sight of "Phellos"
Robin on the awesome trail to Phellos
Phellos was pretty cool, but we were pretty jaded at this point. The guidebook mentioned a life-sized bull statue somewhere, so we spent a lot of time trying to find that, but with no luck.  It's sort of a sprawling sight at the top of a mountain, overgrown everywhere.  Really cool, but like I said, we were jaded, and tired, so were not properly impressed.  Plus I couldn't find my damn bull.
Lycian Way, Phellos Ruins
The march back down the hillside towards the village of Cukuragag was stupid steep, with ankle-roller rocks. Once again, Grant and I had been making fun of the other bloggers who had complained about how rocky the trail was.  We were like, "what's the matter?  Never been hiking before?" Well, this is different.  It's just the right sized rocks that you can't step around them, but when you step on them, which is every step, it causes your ankles to roll.  You are constanly fighting to not fall down or break your legs all while going down a steep hill with a heavy pack.  Woo hoo Lycian Way.

We got down into the village of Cukugag, but nobody from the pansiyon came running out to invite us in.  Also, nobody talked to us.  It was a very different feel then from the other villages we went to.  The guidebook said there were no dolmus's there. Actually it says "There is no bus service to Kas." The Pansiyon didn't seem open, plus we didn't want to hike back uphill to find out for sure, and we desperately did not want to keep walking and find a place to camp.  We found a mother walking her kid home and asked about a dolmus to Kas, just to make sure.  She's like, of course there is one, but it may be awhile.  We waited and waited, watching the town dogs play, and the little boys running up and down the street.  We asked another person about the dolmus, and they assured us there would be one.  Finally, salvation.  A bus to Kas.  Once again, the guidebook was wrong.

The way down to Kas, a larger seaside city, was steep!!!  Very very steep.  By taking the bus and skipping section 13 of the guidebook, we basically saved our knees and a day of our lives.  Who knows if we missed something important, or dramatic, but I kind of don't think so, so highly advise everybody to skip it, and just get a dolmus.

Despite Kas being our salvation, it was also total culture shock. We were back on the Lonely Planet track in a tourist town. We trekked all over trying to find a pansiyon I wanted to stay at, settling in at a top-rated Lonely Planet spot, where I had a terrible time trying to get our laundry done. (pretty important chore when you only have two shirts, one pants, two underwear, two socks, etc...)

Arghh...Food, beer, sleep.

And the Map:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Lycian Way Day 11 - Seribelen through Gokceoren Camp at "Stepping Stones" - March 19, 2013

Saribelen/Sidek to Gokceoren, and on to Stepping Stones

As mentioned in yesterday's post, we woke up to a great breakfast with Kenan.  His wife was busy doing chores, like milking the cow, goats, feeding the chickens, etc...but eventually came in for tea and a little breakfast. In case you didn't read the previous post, they made/grew all this food themselves, i.e. the cheese, yogurt, olives, etc....The bread came from the industrial bakery there adult son works at.

We forgot to mention that story...So funny.  Basically, we asked about his children the night before, and after excitedly showing us pictures of his daughter, we asked about his son. He made motions about his son that made us think he had passed away, so we were a little shaken and embarrassed we had asked. He then showed us a little alcove in his house. We were thinking, gee, this is his son's old room! We continued on with our evening, and as we sat down for dinner, out popped a young man from the alcove!  He had been under the covers so we didn't see him.  He works the night shift at the bakery, so was sleeping.  Poor kid, his dad was dragging strangers into his room while he was sleeping. So funny. By the way ladies, Kenan is desperate to marry him off, so I'm supposed to hook his son up with one of my friends...Any takers? He was pretty nice!

Breakfast with Kenan
Kenan thought it would be funny to put these hats on for this picture. This is the table.  You all sit around it, and pull the table cloth over your lap, then share from all the dishes.

Robin with our hosts and the dog Raki

The Local Mosque, near Kenan's place
Hike hike hike hike hike.....
Slogging away above the Mediterranean

Grant getting well water Saribelen to Gokceoren, probably Tarlali

In the fog

Grant:" I bet there would be a great view from here if it weren't foggy..."

Luckily there was a marker to steer us away from the man-eating goats!

The magical mystical route to Gokceoren

Robin catching a ride with the local Imam!
As we descended down into Gokceoren, we were greeted by another man on a motorcycle. He could see us coming down the hillside, and was expecting other hikers. We hadn't seen them, but he offered us a ride to his pansiyon. We agreed, as we thought it would be nice to have some coffee and a beer.

As we suspected, based on the guidebook, the man was the local Imam. Frankly, because of years of American news (and because I'm not much of a religious person, period), I was a little nervous about meeting an Imam.  I told myself before the trip that the Imams would be just like Grant's Uncle Ron, a  Presbyterian preacher. Uncle Ron is friendly, polite, dresses casually outside of work, doesn't actually preach outside of work, and is just a normal person. Sure enough, that's exactly how this Imam was! We decided not to stay in his Pansiyon, but were happy getting a few groceries from his wife. Onward intrepid hikers.

The next stretch of hiking was down a forest service road, high above the river (not obvious based on the guidebook and map). By the time we found a spring, it was a terrible area to camp, so we pressed on. Finally just as it turned dark, we ended up setting up camp at the far end of somebody's field next to the river. The house seemed unoccupied, but we tried to be as unobtrusive as possible anyway...

And the Map:

Lycian Way Day 10 - Kalkan to Saribelen/Sidek - March 18, 2013

It was time to say goodbye to Kalkan.  Upon reading the guidebook and looking at the map, we realized it didn't make any sense to hike uphill along the freeway. Instead we took a cab up, up, up, and were dropped off at the "domed Ottoman Cistern". Feels good to beat the Lycian Way at it's own game!!!
Getting Smart - cab ride from Kalkan to Ottoman Cistern
From there it was more up, up, up.  Some very beautiful views on the way up to the summer mountain village of Bezirgan...

The climb from Kalkan (can drop off) to Bezirgan

Grant descending into Bezirgan

Robin and crop storage bins, entering Bezirgan
There wasn't much going on in Bezirgan, so we bought some water and snacks at a little shop, and headed straight back out of the valley up a gravel ravine beneath the roadway...
Overlooking Bezirgan after the climb back out
At the top of the road, the lycian markers started taking us further up a weird dirt road.  Along the way was a horrible collection of sheep bones.  It was like a killing field. We felt like were hiking in a garbage dump.  Very creepy, and gross.  I almost threw up from it.  We looked on and could see where we eventually were supposed to go, which was down and across the valley.  The highway had no shoulders and were hairpin turns, so we decided to hike down the hillside which was basically another garbage dump to the roadway, where we crossed it and picked up the markers again.  We have no idea why we were going to be led where she was trying to lead us, but we were happy to skip it. Pretty disappointing section of "trail" here.

That said, we started up and soon entered to little hamlet of Saribelen.  We stopped at the water supply across from the mosque to refill our bottles. While there, a nice man suggested we camp there, and he would make us breakfast in the morning.  We declined, as we really wanted to make it further.  Then another man on a motorcycle invited us to stay at his home. He was pretty insistent, but in a friendly way.  We declined his offer too, but he told us after he dropped off his load at home, he would come back to see if we had changed our minds.

So after all that chatting, I went to refill our water. The valve literally came apart in my hand and started spewing water under an alarming amount of pressure.  "Um, um, um GRANT!!!!"  Grant grabbed the drinking cup that was sitting next to the tap, and cupped it over the faucet.  I ran around trying to find a shutoff valve, but there was none.  We were draining the towns water supply.  Finally, Grant donned his raincoat while I held the cup. He looked at the leftover parts, got his mini pliers out, and then under high pressure, was able to rebuild the valve and turn the water off. Sheesh. Of course, after being approached by people almost constantly, magically when we were in trouble, nobody was around...Hmmm...

We started hiking up the road, having lost about an hour from all this, and the man on the motorcycle approached.  We were over it, so we gave in.  I made Grant get on the motorcycle first, then hopped on when he came back for me.
Robin and our new friend Kenan at his house, Saribelen/Sidek

Robin with baby goat!

Relaxing at Kenan's house before supper
We had an awesome stay at Kenan's house.  He didn't speak much English, but was so expressive and extroverted, that we passed the time pretty well.  I got to play with his baby goat, while his wife spent the time chasing the chickens out of the house, tending the animals, and cooking dinner...She laughed when I tried to offer to help. Dinner was vegetarian, incidentally. They then invited over some friends.  It was all pretty funny.  In the morning, they made us breakfast.  It was cheese from their goats, yogurt from their cow, eggs from there chickens, olives and olive oil from their trees, and of course bread, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Almost everything was made on the property themselves.  Pretty freaking awesome!

We had a great time with Kenan. They did not ask for money, but we paid them what we had been charged at other pansiyons. They made a show of not accepting the money, but then finally happily did, while loading us up with oranges, almonds, and dried figs, then sending us on our way. If a man on a blue motorcycle stops and invites you to his house in Seribelen, just go. You won't regret it

Route Map