Saturday, October 3, 2015

Belos - Finike

The Lycian Way day 20.
Distance: 9.3km (317.9km), time spent: 3:38 (126:13).
Altitude (start / end / highest): 906m / 8m / 906m.
Weather: Nice, very hot.


I wake up early to check if the sunrise is just as nice as the sunset of yesterday was, but the hill to the east of me is blocking the view. The light is nice with a red hue, but it is not anything special about it. Even though I slept relatively high up and the temperature was good, I slept on and off during the night. Today, I have shorter walk ahead of me, I have not planned to go further than down to Finike. I want to get some rest for my shoulders and back, the additional kilos has gnawed on my shoulders.

My campsite at the ruins of Belos, the branches around are put there to prevent any animals to get close to the tent (or more correct, provide me with a certain warning if any animals approaches).

Down from Belos it is as if the trail has switched cards from yesterday. Now the waymarking is good, but the scenery I walk through is less exciting. It is nice in the beginning however; after going around the small valley below the ruins, there are several good viewpoints towards the ocean, Demre and Kekova. From the hill above Belen Yayla some loud bangs gives away that there are hunters out, I hope they are vigilant enough and do not mistake me for something else.

Scattered remains of tombs and ruins in Belos.

Between Belos and Belen Yayla, the Lycian Way has shared the path with St. Nicholas Way, something that gives some strange manifestations on the waymarking, especially around the latter summer pasture. Here it looks like they are almost competing against each other. Several of the waymarks show signs of being painted on top of each other. That may also well be the reason why there are waymarks on all of the roads leading out from the junction you get to after Belen Yayla. After consulting my map, I choose the road going to the left, the path going straight ahead I leave alone.

View towards Demre, Kekova and the sea; the ruins of Belos lies at the top of the hill to the right.

I have to walk for a long time before I see a waymark confirming that I had chosen the correct way. The trail follows the road down, with the beach visible from it. The trail has been rerouted before the ruins of Yalakbaşı, probably to avoid a longer walk on the gravel road, but the road would have been preferable. Where the path now goes, it is cumbersome and rugged, partly down in a hollow. The ruins are less exciting, but the view from the top of the hill the ruins are located on is relatively nice.

The road up to Dinek Tepe from Belen Yayla, I did not opt to visit the ruins at the top of the hill.

Leaving Yalakbaşı, the trail goes through what is decidedly the most exciting part of this day. Here the path goes down through a dried out riverbed, where the rock forms layers upon layers of small ledges and stairs you go down upon (reminds me ever so slightly of the Spasimata blocks on the GR20). I wonder if there has been water flowing down here at the same time as the Lycian Way went here, probably not, I cannot see that you could get down here then. I remembered seeing a picture by someone who did the walk in the spring; there was no water here at that time either.

View from the top of Yalakbaşı, another warning of what I have in store for tomorrow.

After the great walk down the dry riverbed, the trail disappear in a boring and bad path down the last stretch towards Finike. The surface is tedious to walk on. It has become generally hotter and hotter the further down I have come, and now I feel that it is enveloping me in a sweat embrace. With the heat, the water is disappearing rapidly. In my mind, I know exactly the first thing I will do when I come to Finike.

After Yalakbaşı, The Lycian Way is going down this dry riverbed, layers of rock forms stairs and ledges that you walk on. The highlight of today.

Just before Finike, I walk past a woman; she must have seen that I am thirsty and tells me that I can find su (water) around the corner. The sound of water from the small tap is welcome. Down in Finike, a large hand holding an orange wishes me welcome (Finike is the orange capital of Turkey, actually it is not, it is supposed to be the orange garden of Antalya). The time has come for a small drinking bonanza, in a small store I buy some water, ice tea and cola and sit down on a bench in the small park next to the marina.

Walking in the heat down to Finike, view across the bay towards Cape Gelidonya.

In Finike, I arrange a place to stay for the night in Keramos Pansiyon, which is located somewhat outside of the town. When I called the guesthouse, I ended up talking with Salih from Kent Pansiyon, as in Spain the guesthouses keep in touch with each other here as well. I drink two freshly pressed orange juices on my way to the guesthouse, which turns out to be a nice place. Clean and with a pleasant garden to sit in.

Outside the Keramos Pansiyon in Finike.

In the guesthouse there is a Belgian woman who has travelled down here several years in a row due to health problems, here I have to admit that I am unable to decipher my own writing in my notebook, so I do not remember her name. Seeing that I am hungry, they offer me some food, macaroni, and then we travel to the local market that is held every Saturday. Ramasan, the host at the guesthouse, and his wife spends a long time buying food at the market, so we get enough time to get a good look around. Food is the primary commodity at the market, but there are also clothes, household items and various trinkets for sale. One seller does not like that I takes pictures and wants two Turkish lira for a picture, merchants good as anyone.

Bread (ekmek) vendor at the market in Finike.

Before dinner, I go for a swim in the sea, which is just one hundred metres away from the pansiyon. The dinner is good. Towards the evening, a group of Chinese arrives and suddenly there are hustle and bustle everywhere. Not the most memorable day on the walk so far, though the stay here at the pansiyon is nice. Tomorrow thirty kilometres on a beach in the heat awaits me.

From the market in Finike.

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