Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Gelemiş - Kalkan

The Lycian Way day 9.
Distance: 17.6km (145.4km), time spent: 5:45 (57:54).
Altitude (start / end / highest): 15m / 66m / 225m.
Weather: Overcast and sultry, thunder and lightning, then calm.


What a night, the earth was shaking in its foundations. I wake up by the sound of war and inferno outside. It is in the middle of the night, but outside it is completely bright, there are almost no pauses between the lightning flashes. The palm trees stays horizontal in the strong wind, rain is bombarding the window. I think that when I open the door in the morning, there will be nothing left of the building outside, as in the disaster movies from Hollywood. The power goes out during the night. I am extremely happy that I am not sleeping outside in my tent. There was thunder, there was lightning, and then the stars went out.

The ruins of Patara, the amphitheatre to the left and the government hall to the right.

Nothing of this is happening of course, the building is just as whole when I wake up in the morning. Things is just messier outside, though one of the persons at the guesthouse had to go out to secure things. It is raining lightly while I am eating breakfast, what the weather will be like today is a little bit uncertain. It does look lighter, but the forecast is for more thunder to come. The rain stops and I decide to make a go for it.

View of the Patara beach. The beach is 12km long and in the other end you can see the mountains I came down from, now four days ago.

I walk towards Kalkan as if I have the devil at my heels. It is for that reason that I do not use much time to clear out the mismatches between the map, the guidebook and the signposts. I choose to go where the signpost, which I passed yesterday, says the trail goes towards Kalkan. There are ruins on the top of the hills I pass by, below me the past of Patara get smaller and smaller, while it becomes more apparent how long the beach really is. Four days after I arrived at the beach, I finally leaves it.

View over Yalı Burun, dark clouds in the horizon.

There is another view that awaits me on the other side of the ridge after leaving Gelemiş; here it is a less populated area that goes towards Yalı Burun and the two isles of Çatal Adalar. I walk faster than I should; this is a pleasant part of the trail that I should spend more time savouring. The path is passing by some small houses, gardens and orchards; there is even a guesthouse here. Across the ocean, the horizon is dark.

The two isles outside Yalı Burun, Çatal Adalar (Yılan Adası and Siçan Adası).

I slow down my pace when I am getting closer to the tip of Yalı Burun with its two isles, the view here is too nice to bypass. The storm that I can see out on the ocean does not look to have moved any closer at the moment. However, it still linger as a shadow over my walk today, the deep rumblings of thunder is occasionally heard from far away. The houses of Kalkan are visible in the end of the bay, when I leave the headland behind me.

Kalkan in sight at the end of the bay.

A small wheezing sound makes me stop in my tracks, in my haste to reach Kalkan before the storm hits, I almost step on a tortoise. These small fellows are never in a hurry. Delikkemer is still just as impressive when I visit the site for the second time; the trail is passing only 5-10 metres away from where the trail goes the other way. I could almost see myself where I sat and ate lunch yesterday.

Approaching storm when I am above Yeşilköy Koyu.

The host at the Flower Pension warned me to take the path where the trail goes from Delikkemer to Kalkan in rain; I have also heard from others that this section is dangerous. I had hoped to reach there before it starts to rain, but shortly after I left Delikkemer, it begins. When I arrive at the section, I get somewhat perplexed. At the steep slope, the path goes straight down over jagged rocks, but for that reason the rocks provides a good grip for your hands. If you are concentrated, it is no problem, even in the rain.

The trail passes by Delikkemer again on the way to Kalkan, only a few metres away from where the trail goes in the opposite direction towards Gelemiş.

The thunderstorm arrives just before I come to the first houses of Kalkan, and it starts pouring down. The host at the guesthouse, Gül Pansiyon, thought it was tomorrow that I was coming. So, instead of a usual room, I have to make do with an apartment. At a reduced price, but more expensive than the room, though I get a washing machine and has a large living room to myself while the weather is roaring outside.

Above Yeşilköy Koyu, on a section of the trail that many had warned me against walking in rain. It sounds worse than it is, if you are concentrated if offers no problems.

Kalkan is the first town of a decent size you arrive at on the trail (Kaş being the next). The town is popular among tourists, but it still has a relatively relaxed atmosphere. The streets in the centre around the marina are small and nice. It is a break in the thunderstorm, but the wind blows quite fierce in its wake. I meet another hiker on the trail, Melike, a Turkish woman who did not walk today due to the weather. She was of the opinion that I had ran here, not quite the truth, but not so very far away from it either. I eat dinner at the same place as last time, Öz Adana, while there are some heavy flashes behind Eren Tepe.

A colourful staircase in Kalkan.

The walk today was done in too much haste, urged on by the approaching storm. I would like to have visited the area around Yalı Burun without this stress, because it was a nice walk, but I was glad I reached Kalkan before the worst of the weather arrived. A good day.

Kalkan, view from the terrace of the guesthouse.

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