Sunday, September 20, 2015

Xanthos - Üzümlü

The Lycian Way day 7.
Distance: 13.6km (106.1km), time spent: 5:24 (45:23).
Altitude (start / end / highest): 37m / 306m / 360m.
Weather: Thunder and lightning, then clear, before raining again.


In the morning, and not early in the morning either, I am sitting and waiting to go. Or rather, I am sitting here and waiting for my breakfast, to pay for my stay here, and then go. Apparently, it got late for the hosts last night, and probably quite alcohol induced. My stomach is still troublesome and while I am sitting and waiting, I feel that my motivation is not the best. I ask myself the same question that many probably are asking themselves during a walk, why am I really doing this. I consider quitting, packing up my belongings and travel back home again, and I have only walked for six days.

The bungalow I slept in at Patara Green Park.

That I will be getting late on my way, could turn out to be a lucky turn of events for me though. Dark and ominous clouds has rolled in from the depths of the ocean. There is a thunderstorm on its way and it has gone straight to where the trail is going, you cannot see far in that direction. I have a never so small hope that it might have moved on when I will start to walk from Xanthos again. When the dolmuş are leaving, I see some other hikers about to leave Patara, I am happy that I do not have to walk that section again.

Rain is pouring down after I left Xanthos, Thor is howling and there are lightning strikes on each side of me.

The clock is half past twelve when I finally leaves the ruins of Xanthos, shortly afterwards the first raindrop is making a small wet patch on my clothes. And then it is nothing else to do but wrapping up tight and walk, surrounded by thunder and lightning, I can see lightning strikes at both sides of me. I find myself having a walking companion after Xanthos; a small dog is following after me. When I cross a heavily trafficked road, I have to make sure that it also gets across the road unscathed. The rain turns into a deluge. The dog then suddenly disappears.

In Çavdir, I seek shelter from the weather in a kahve (teahouse). I do not think they are very used to see foreigners there; many are looking at me in an odd (and curious) way. I want to pay for the tea, but they give it to me for free. While I am sitting and drinking tea, the rain stops, so I take the chance to continue walking (the thought of turning back had struck my mind). Perhaps this was just what I needed, to shake off my previous thoughts, when I walk on I feel that I am walking with renewed vigour.

After Çavdir the weather turned better. View from the trail towards Patara beach.

Where the trail goes, there are partly blue sky above, with dark clouds around it. Towards Patara, there is a pale sheen from the roofs of the greenhouses, a quaint colour over the landscape. There are still rumbles in the air, but this time the sound is sharper and tighter. It is not thunder but hunters out shooting birds. The trail after Çavdir has been nice and I feel that I am getting excited, looking forward now. I know what I will be coming to.

There is a pale sheen from the roofs of the greenhouses in the area near Patara. Greenhouses upon greenhouses down towards the beach, beneath retreating clouds. Another blog called the area Tomatostan.

At the top of the Alidere-valley, I arrive at an aqueduct that crosses the valley on a small Roman bridge, and the trail is going on the top of the aqueduct. It does not take long to walk across the bridge, but it is a small moment that I have been looking greatly forward to. Sometimes it is these small moments that are the greatest. The bridge is 2.5m wide and 6m high. The trail is following on the top of the aqueduct from now on and later passes by another small bridge, this time below it. After some trouble with pathfinding in the village of Çayköy, the path is going on a water channel instead of an aqueduct. The vegetation I have to push through is more wet than the channel itself.

The highlight of the day. The Roman bridge that The Lycian Way is going on in the Alidere-valley.

Water seems to be the keyword of the day. Just below the Inpınar-source, the trail goes down in a hollow, where water is sprayed straight out into the air from a pipe. The source itself is located further up, above the path, inside the hillside with a stone-built gallery as an entrance. You can go inside and follow the water for some metres into the hillside. Further up the valley looms the mountains, from where I yet again can hear the sound of thunder.

The temperature has been nice after the storm, not so hot and the air fresh. The storm is however not entirely over. From where I walk, I can see towards the Patara-beach and Pydnai further away, and all around it there is a wall of dark clouds. The last part to Üzümlü goes on a road. Though I know that I have not walked that far today, I feel content with the walk for today. I can see the minaret of the mosque; it is just a small walk there. There is only the problem that the trail does not follow that road.

Aqueduct-trail. The Lycian Way follows the way of the water today; here it is going on a water channel.

Instead, it drags the hikers into a rather meaningless walk through dilapidated gardens and a badly marked path in the middle of the village. I arrive at the mosque and the village centre in the end. There is not much here, two stores and a pide-house, in addition to the aforementioned mosque. Almost at the moment that I arrive, rain is starting plummeting down again. Where there is a place to stay here, I do not know.

Inside the Inpınar-source.

The local grocer invites me into his store and let me sit there while the rain is raging at its worst outside. He makes some phone calls for me, but after what I can understand, there are no places to stay here, or there are no available rooms. I could continue walking, but it is not tempting me now. The grocer offers to drive me down to Kalkan for 30 Turkish lira, and then pick me up again tomorrow; I take him up on his offer.

Dark clouds on the sky, but over the Patara beach there is a break in the weather. Pydnai is located in the far end of the beach, where the mountains in the horizon are coming down.

With Olüdeniz fresh in memory, I am a little bit unsure of what awaits me in Kalkan; I am not ready to wallow up and down in crowdy tourist bars and restaurants. There are enough tourists here, but it feels not as bad as it was in Olüdeniz. My choice of place to stay for the night also turns out to be a lucky one, Gül Pansiyon. The place is run by a nice host and has a roof terrace from where you can sit and look out over Kalkan and the sea.

The view towards Yalı Burun from the terrace of the guesthouse in Kalkan (Gül Pansiyon). In two days, I will be walking around the headland near the two isles.

I leave the usual restaurants in peace when I go to eat dinner; instead, I locate a place where there are only locals. Which is a good sign, though they do not sell beer there. I get company by Christina and Laura from Austria who are also walking on The Lycian Way. They stay at the same guesthouse as I am and started walking from Akbel, which I presumably will be coming to tomorrow. A big dish of pide with salad and a large glass of freshly pressed orange juice is my dinner for the day.

Rather than going to a bar for a beer afterwards, we decide to buy with us some beers and sit down on the terrace of the guesthouse. There, it is quiet and calm with a nice view (even in the dark). It is nice meeting other hikers on the trail, too bad though that these two are some days ahead of me on the path.

Dinner in Kalkan. Pide with salad, on a local restaurant. (The small figure is Lycia-Bill, a lego minifigure I brought along on the walk and he has his own little history from the trail).

This day became a solid upturn for my part and I am glad that I did not listen my failure in motivation. The progress on the trail is not as fast as I had thought (and planned), but I can easily live with that. I feel quite excited again, after being quite indifferent to the trail the last two days, which is a good sign. Still, I wonder why I so quickly begun thinking about quitting, something that I have not done on my previous walks.

<- XanthosÜzümlü ->

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