Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Three-Day Trek Along the Lycian Way

Shortly after Mom left Turkey, Ferit and I headed out on a three-day trek along the Lycian Way.

The Lycian Way, which stretches 509 km along the southwest coast of Turkey, is commonly referred to as one of the best trekking routes in the world.

I don't know about you, but I had never heard of the Lycian Way before traveling to Turkey. I had, however, heard of the Camino de Santiago, made famous by the movie, "The Way" (a great movie starring Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez). In essence, the Lycian Way is Turkey's version of The Camino.

Me and Ferit, at the official start of the Lycian Way.

As our trek was only three days in length, and as we aren't superhumans, we experienced just a taste of the route -- approximately 35 km, from Fethiye to the Butterfly Valley, in Faralya.

We didn't have our full backpacking gear, and so we weren't prepared to be self-sufficient along the route. Instead, we packed small backpacks with a few necessities (namely clothing, food, and water), and we slept in two hotels along the route -- a not-so-pleasant hotel in Ovacık and an awesome bungalow at the George House in Faralya.

Starting off on the hike.
The path was a good mix of ancient cobblestone paths,
mule and caravan trails, and forest roads.

The path took us along varied terrains,
through forests and scrubland, through villages tucked away in mountains...

...and alongside tall granite cliffs,
with magnificent views of the Mediterranean in the distance.

I guess shooting bullets at signs is a pastime in all countries.

The footpath gets its name from the ancient civilization that once lived in the area.
Our trek took us along these ancient Lycian tombs and sarcophagi.

Here is Ferit, in the ghost town at Kayaköy
(see "The Ghost Town & The Blue Lagoon").
We just walked 9km from our last sign at Fethiye,
and now we have 7km more to reach Ovacık.

In addition to occasional rock cairns, these white and red
"equals signs" served as way markers along the route.
Sometimes it felt like a treasure hunt trying to locate the markers.

Our shadows and their trusty walking sticks.

Posing for a brief moment, above the beautiful bay at Ölüdeniz.

My favorite photo from the hike -- overlooking the Mediterranean.

Ferit and I couldn't get enough of this view!

A scenic gate along the path.

We walked past tons of hives along the route.
Bees appeared to be healthy and plentiful in Turkey.

There were a number of natural water sources along the route.
The water from this pipe flowed directly from the top of Mt Babadağ.
I did my best to set aside my knowledge of giardia and just drink the water.

After the second day of hiking, we arrived at the Butterfly Valley.
There were only two ways into the valley --
by boat or by a steep path that descends along the 400m high walls.

Of course, we took the path climbing down into the valley.
There were a few very, very steep sections of the hike.
Fortunately, fixed ropes were available to assist in descending these sections.
Climbing these sections of the hike made me long for my rock climbing days.

I descended this section (see me at the bottom).
Now it's Ferit's turn!

We explored the valley.
Tucked in the back corner of the valley was a waterfall.

Ferit enjoyed the waterfalls a bit before we climbed back up out of the valley.

We had packed some tahini and Nutella wraps for our lunches.
After three days, the wraps were a little on the dry side.
Fortunately, some tea helped aid the consumption of the final wrap.

At the end of our hike, we hitched a ride back to the starting point with
Michael, an Austrian guy that we met at George House.
Michael wanted to see the ruins at Kayaköy, and so Ferit & I accompanied him.
Though this was our third visit to the Kayaköy ruins,
we still managed to see the ruins from different perspectives.
 And seeing the ruins a third time enabled Ferit to capture
this awesome photo of the setting sun. 

I've never been on a trekking trip before; all previous hikes have either been day hikes or overnight hikes, lugging around a heavy backpack. The Lycian Way offered a nice change-of-pace. Now I'm hungry to do the Camino de Santiago trek!

7 comments:

  1. part of your last blog fits for me on this one. I never thought there were camels but I totally thought it was arid and suffereing from a severe lack of green (like EWA) these photos proved that wrong once again!

    and good job not worrying about beaver fever!

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  2. Ha! There is quite a bit of green in Turkey -- though it certainly has its dry spots, too.

    Just because I didn't worry about beaver fever doesn't mean I haven't suffered from intestinal issues on this trip. :( More on that later.

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    1. Bravo! thank you for sharing your adventures with those of us (temporarily) living the mundane life :)

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    2. Thanks, Ron! Looking forward to hearing about your adventures once you exit the mundane world (though your current adventures in the mundane world ain't too shabby). :)

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  3. Wow, we were so close! Great to read about your adventures... and some amazing pictures too! Thanks for the posts, and happy new year!

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    1. Yeah, I know! We just barely missed each other while you were in Göcek. How fun would it have been to finally meet each other halfway around the world from where we both live? :) Happy new year to you!

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