Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Kaleköy - Sura

The Lycian Way day 16.
Distance: 19.5 (265.9km), time spent: 6:41 (106:07).
Altitude (start / end / highest): 22m / 187m / 187m.
Weather: Nice, some clouds.


Another nice day is coming up; behind Kekova in the east, the sun rises unobstructed on the sky. I eat breakfast out on the platform in front of the guesthouse, and even though I miss the kind of bread we have at home, I am now accustomed to the Turkish breakfast (which I now order without tomatoes and olives). The morning's highlight is however not the sunrise, the fine view from the breakfast table or the good breakfast in itself. That is when a large caretta caretta turtle swims right next to me where I sit, it is one of these small magical moments you have. It is undoubtedly tempting to throw of my clothes and jump into the water to swim next to it, but I will not do that, of several reasons.

A caretta caretta turtle swims past me while I eat breakfast in Kaleköy.

I am on my way to pack together my belongings to continue my walk when Melike arrives at Kaleköy, by seaway. It made some kind of sense and is slightly humoristic. And it turns my plans upside down, or rather delays them. With the arrival of Melike, I take up on the offer from the owner of the guesthouse to see the sunken city at Kekova, since we now can share the prize. I was originally tempted, but had chosen not to do it.

We drive out in a small boat, which gives us a small advantage over the bigger operators that uses larger boats; we can get closer to the land and the ruins. From the boat, we can see staircases that leads down into the water, remains of buildings and walls that are submerged. On the land, we can see the contours of houses that fell into the water during one of the earthquakes between year 140 and 600 that lead to the coast here sinking into the water. Though it is only a short boat trip, it felt like a good break from all the walking. On the way back, we drive past what was once an old windmill, now not really an island even anymore.

The ruins of a sunken city at Kekova.

Melike stays behind in Kaleköy and probably takes over my room at the guesthouse. Out from the village, I meet Sasha and Alice just below Simena, who today had started walking from Ûçağız, we keep company further. The day goes straight from the wet element and back to the dry and cracked landscape I have become familiar with in the last days. Here it is so dry that the path is visible as an even drier line on the ground. Just beyond the trail is another ruin, a twin-castle of Simena, recognizable by the characteristic ramparts.

Kaleköy with Simena seen from the sea.

There is a somewhat absurd pattern in the places you get to along this part of the trail. After Kaş, the places alternates between being more of a 'straight' place (Boğazcık, Ûçağız) and a more 'alternative' place (Ufakdere, Purple House). Now, we arrive at a third 'alternative' place, Smuggler's Inn / Pirate Bar. In the bar, there is a group of young and sleepy people that appear to just have woken up. It smells of rum everywhere, quite fitting, probably has been some partying here last night. We settles with just some freshly pressed orange juice and coke without gas.

The path goes through a dry and barren landscape with some odd rocks sticking up from the ground.

We are quickly approaching Demre now, the three Englishmen was not altogether excited about that town. See the ruins of Myra they said, but stay away from the town itself, do not spend the night, it is nothing there. I eventually leaves Sasha and Alice behind me; I am quicker on foot than they are. Just before Çakıl Beach, a small beach with white and round pebbly stones, I meet yet another German, Tobias. Who has lost his camera on the way and is on the way back to try to retrieve it. I think it had become a small crisis if I had lost my camera, but since mine is so big and heavy it will be hard not to notice that it is not there anymore.

The Pirate Bar in Smuggler's Inn, the smell of rum everywhere.

At the Çayağzı beach the path splits in two, that is, it is a little bit difficult understanding what the path really does. The description is somewhat unclear. I however understand as much as I from here can choose between walking further to Andriake and the campsite there, from where you can follow to road to Demre and further through the town back to the trail (unmarked), or take the turn towards the ruins of Sura and walk from there to Myra afterwards. It is further complicated as that path is splitting again.

Path by the sea.

I consider walking further on to Gürses that you will come to after Sura, but needs to fill up with food and water, so I make my way towards Andriake camping first. The entrance to the beach (Çayağzı) goes over another rickety bridge like the one at Pydnai, but I am 'all in' for that kind of amusing crossings (it is not that dangerous either). In Andriake camping, the pleasure is big when I again meet Hanna and Lisa. An unexpected meeting. They had ended up taking a bus to Kaş instead of Kalkan, but was not free of problems even so. Lisa's knee had not been good, but they were anyway finished with their trip and were now just relaxing.

The rickety bridge at the entrance to the Çayağzı beach.

With the hunger satisfied and water refilled, I continue onwards, which is back again to the frail bridge and the junction. Tobias, Sasha and Alice are walking across the beach when I am leaving. The walk up from Andriake is pleasantly enough an improvement, it is a lovely walk with great views back towards the beach and Andriake (which really is the ruins that lies above the beach), as well as back towards Kekova. The waymarks disappears in the usual way later on the climb up and I quickly learn that the Turks are more pragmatic when it comes to following paths. A shepherd directs me in a straight line to where the path will go later, which is somewhat against its purpose. I find back to the trail, which leads me onto a road above.

The trail follows the road for a few kilometres, until it leaves the road at a very steep slope. A quick look at the clock and map makes me forget the initial idea of going to Gürses. On the other hand, I am not entirely sure if the trail as described in the guidebook goes there at all. The ruins of Sura are situated both far below and nearby the road a short walk away. The view is quite cool, with the ruins in the valley below that leads out towards the beach.

View back towards Çayağzı beach and Andriake from the path towards Sura.

The finishing line for today's walk has been drawn; I decide to get back down to Andriake camping again. That means that the night will be spent in the tent, but there are so many there now that I have met, so I want to spend the evening together with them. Getting there without walking back the same way as I came from is however a little bit tricky. It takes some time before I get a dolmuş ride to the road leading down to the beach, from where I have to walk for a while before I am finally back at the campsite. And tomorrow, I have to get myself back up to the junction again; I do not make it easy for myself.

View down to the ruins of Sura and the valley below that goes down to Andriake and the sea.

It is then good that the evening is pleasant and the dinner served is good (köfte from the barbeque). The campsite is nice, though there are many stray dogs here (not aggressive). I have to switch tables at times to speak to all I have met. The evening marks yet another typical parting; it is the last night on the trail for Sasha and Alice. Lisa and Hanna will be staying one more night here, but I will continue walking again tomorrow, alone again. Tobias is also walking further, but he is thinking of having a zero day tomorrow. A curiously famous pattern for me here.

Sunset at Andriake.

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