Friday, March 21, 2014

Lycian Way Day 19, 27 March 2013

Zeytin to Finike, day two
Last day on the trail

The morning in the yayla was a wonderful place.  Good water, nice sunshine and the whole world before us!

Yayla campsite

All our gear spread out
Here's a nice little pic of all our crap we schlepped around.

All our gear, packed up
And all nice and packed to go.

Pleasant forest walk, summer Yayla down to Finike
The walk from the yayla was nice with pleasant forest and some goat herders along the way.

This is why we were always lost.  Lycian Way Marker; don't go this way X
One of the frustrating themes on the Lycian way is the conflicting trail markers.  This is one of our favorites.  A marker saying 'go this way' alongside a marker saying 'wrong way'.   Which to believe?....

Still overlooking Demre
Alas, for two days, while covering a lot of distance hiking, we always had the same view.

Believe it or not, we were lost here for about 10 minutes
And then again, there were lots of places where we simply couldn't find the way....
(one of our key lessons learned was that if you go more than about 90 seconds without seeing a marker, you're probably lost.  You MUST stop and go find the last marker.  And then only proceed when you find the next marker.  While it seems like wasting time, it will save you hours later. Disregard this rule if you find yourself on a new forest road where all the markers have been bulldozed out of sight!)

These aren't the Goats you're looking for....Belos
Luckily the goat-herder pointed us in the right direction when he found us lost standing in the middle of his paddock staring dumbly at the red and white markers.

Ho Hum, forest cutting, few trail indicators
Lots of missing markers among the forest roads.

Robin on the 'trail', Lycian Way, near Finike

Approaching Finike

Robin officially declaring her fill of the Lycian Way
Well that was it.  The last straw.  Too many frustrating moments.  Too many times being lost.  Not enough awesome.  Not enough elation.  Not enough good trail walking.  We threw in the towel. Finike would be our last stop on the Lycian Way trekking adventure.
But goddammit, even when we thought we were finished, we got lost trying to follow the trail into Finike!  We walked off the trail to a tractor path with markers and the local farmers watching us.  We walked up to the paved road.  Bam!  Lost.  No marker.  No path.  Just pavement down to town with no direction.  We found the town center and gave up on the trail.
Finike Harbor from our hotel balcony
And Map

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lycian Way Day 18, 26 March 2013

'Myra to Finike'
Really, Zeytin to Finike
Early Cab up,

After reading the description for the Myra to Finike section in The Lycian Way guide book, we elected to skip the first part of the trek. We had learned our lesson about the non-essential parts of the hike. And the first section of this leg was a good candidate for skipping. We scheduled an early morning cab to take us to Beloren. First, this allowed us to skip approximately 4 km of busy traffic road walking as well as a very steep uphill section.  I could be wrong about the value of walking that instead.  But by car, seeing the same views, I don't know that the walking would have been worth it?

Smart again!  Took a cab from Demre up to Zeytin
Our ambitious taxi driver would not let us out early and insisted on driving as far as he felt comfortable. Turns out that was ok with us!

Coffee start, dubious Grant after cab drop off
We were dropped off in a windy little saddle of the road.  Cold, under-caffeinated and unsure about our next move, we sat down and made a cup of coffee.

Not Enough Coffee, Too cold, hard to motivate....
After coffee, we decided it was time to move on.  Hard to motivate when you're cold and dubious but that is certainly the situation along the Lycian Way.  On we went....

Lycian Way, Myra to Finike, Looking down to Alakilise (Church of Angel Gabriel)
The Alakilise was certainly a highlight of the trail.  A nice little stop for the imagination to run wild without interference as there was no one around.

Alakilise/Church of Angel Gabriel - 1500 yr old ruined church all to ourselves

Alakilise, Nave Wall

Church of Angel Gabriel

After looking around the church ruins we started the slog up the mountain.  We were not prepared for the next section of trail.

Robin on the 'ankle-roller', straight-up trail from Alakilise
My notes from the trail say, "No trail, just straight up thru scree"
Oh, I guess there were markers along the way. I guess there was a path. A real nice highway. If you're a goat!
Tough, vertical scrambling with not much of a trail and very rocky.

Grant with snow, Lycian Way ridge top near Gavurkarligi Tepesi Yayla
We hoped to find some water near the ridge top and also a nice place to camp.  These both proved elusive.  We stumbled around for awhile looking for the well and never found a great spot.  We decided to push on for a better spot.

More Snow and water well
While the wells were there, we were dubious about the water quality after peering into the wells.

Myra-Finike route, looking back down into Demre and Andriake

Robin looking for water, mountain loop, Myra to Finike
It took us a long time to find some water we liked combined with a good place to camp.  We ended up staying at one of the yayla wells. As it was early in the season the yayla was not yet populated with the summer animals and herders.   long day over the mountain, but we found good water and great camping.

Route Map

Lycian Way Day 17, 25 March 2013

Partial day-off Demre,

When we walked into Andriake Camping, we actually were hoping to catch the dolmus into the town of Demre (knowing nothing of either Andriake or Demre, it's funny the preconceived wants we develop based on imperfect guide book information).
On being told there was no dolmus to Demre, we settled in to Andriake Camping and what a great place to 'settle' as described in our previous post (forgot to mention they brought us a glass of wine to go with our wheelbarrow campfire)

Andriake Camping
Well, we thought maybe there just wasn't a dolmus in the evening. We started walking towards Demre along the road.  There may have a been a dolmus.  But we never saw it.  We walked on tarmac into town, chased by a few dogs and catching some strange looks along the way.  Entirely skipped the Lycian Way route for this bit.  Again, we couldn't see the logic in the Lycian Way guide book.  Instead, we wanted to see the church of St. Nicholas and also Myra.

Church of St Nicholas, Demre
We headed straight for the church of St. Nicholas.  It was fun to see the square all set up for the tourists stopping just for this spot.  Lots of signs in Russian as St. Nicholas is a very popular saint in Russia.

Robin desecrating?
Apparently most of Saint Nicholas has moved to Italy (via enthusiastic relic fans) so maybe there isn't much left to disturb here in Turkey.

St Nicholas Tomb, Demre (Somebody stole them bones)

St Nicholas Statue, Demre
This is our preferred statue (above) as St Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, and children.  We sail for a living, and frankly I don't want to grow up.  (Do atheists need patron saints?....)

Myra carving
We made it over to have a look at Myra too.

Myra Theater

Myra Rock Tombs

Robin at Myra, Lycian Way
We found a hotel in Demre and a cab driver for the morning so that we could prepare for the long haul over the mountain.  The next section of hiking would be a few days in the woods without pansiyons or services and we wanted to regroup for our attempt.  We shopped.  We strategized.  We tried to patch Grant's sleeping pad.  And we arranged for the cab to pick us up early so we could get an early start hiking.

Lycian Way Day 16, 24 March 2013

Ucagiz to Andriake
Back in the saddle?

So after being lost for 2 hours in the scrub brush we decided we were done with the Lycian Way.  We were going to call it quits.  Here we were in beautiful Ucagiz with supposedly easy access to the dolmus. We could just hang out and relax a few days and then move on to tourist through Turkey.  Leave this red-and-white marker struggle behind.  Enjoy our vacation in a different way.

But, after a wonderful night of good food, beer, and a comfortable night's sleep....

We woke to the beautiful views of Ucagiz.  And good Turkish breakfast.  And warm sunshine.
And what the hell?  We can just walk for a while today and it'll probably be fine.  Camp tonight at Andriake and see how we feel? What could possibly go wrong?  Let's go!

Turtle, Lycian Way

Ucagiz Harbor

Ucagiz Pansiyon (Kekova) breakfast
On our tired dragging entry in to Ucagiz the night before, a nice man offered to 'guide' us into town and find us a good pansiyon.  Well, it was a fantastic pansiyon.  And he kept coming back to ask if we wanted a boat harbor tour in the morning.  And he came back in the morning to ask again.  So, resolved to keep hiking, we decided sure! We'll take a boat ride and save some miles hiking and get to see some Mediterranean stuff - why not?
Bus-driver's holiday- fishing boat ride to Kekova
So we got a nice boat ride and got to see the famous sunken city too.
Simena with snow covered Mountains

Simena Fortress

Boat trip, Ucagiz to Simena

Thanks Cap'n!
After the short boat tour, we were dropped at the ruins of Simena.  We needed some bread for our walk so we asked someone on the path and she informed us there was no store there.  But instantly she offered us some bread and beckoned us to follow.  We wandered over to what was apparently her house and she gave us a wonderful loaf of fresh bread and refused our money!  Awesome!  The hospitality of these people is outstanding.
Robin hiking up to Simena Castle

Lycian Tombs, flowers, Simena

Lycian Tomb, Simena

Robin the shepherd
So off we went a hiking.  Robin even got to pretend to be a shepherd for a bit.
Lycian Way, Simena to Andriake

Classic Med sailing Picture

Turtle Mating Season?
We kept hearing strange noises along our hike.  When we stopped to investigate, we found these turtles bonking.
Cakil Plaji, white pebbly beach, Ucagiz to Andriake
By the time we reached Cakil Plaji, the white pebbly beach, we were tired, thirsty and frustrated again. (my trail notes say,"deteriorating path, really crappy trail, overgrown, scrubby, rocky") And we still had quite a way to hike before Andriake.  The first half of the section was nice and interesting.  But after that the trail became once again frustrating and a struggle.
We found that the entire walk along the Lycian Way had this quality.  Two or three hours of great walking - usually due to scenery and not necessarily trail-and then hours of trudgery, frustration and agony.  It was a lot like playing golf - lots of cursing frustration piqued by moments of wonderful beauty happiness and joy.
Crossing the bridge near Andriake

Grant crossing Cayagiz beach to Andriake

Robin and the shipyard, Andriake

Nearing Sunset, Kale/Andriake


Our Andriake camping dinner reservation
We were very happy to find Andriake Camping.  We weren't sure they were even open.  But they had cold beer for us and lots of great camp spots to choose from along with the amenities of water and toilets.  They even had hot supper.
The folks were doing some grounds maintenance including some tree cutting and brush burning.  For our wonderful evening meal, they wheeled over a wheelbarrow full of burning wood for our very own table-side campfire!  Great stuff.

Amazing what a good meal and a nice hotel can do....