Monday, October 12, 2015

Gölbastığı - Göynük

The Lycian Way day 29.
Distance: 13.0km (464.8km), time spent: 8:23 (181:06).
Altitude (start / end / highest): 972m / 75m / 972m.
Weather: Mostly overast, but some blue windows through the clouds.

In the morning, the clouds are still lying like a tight blanket over the Göynük valley, as they did when I went to bed yesterday. Higher up on the sky, there is a lighter mix of clouds and blue sky. The breakfast here (Gül Mountain Lodge), is nearly just as huge as the dinner yesterday, you get good value for your money for the stay here, and the bread is especially juicy.

Hey..Lycians! Signpost on a tree in Göynük Yaylası.

After breakfast, they drive us back to Likya Yolu and the signpost that made my endpoint yesterday. The ocean of fog in the valley has moved higher up in the sky now and is about to spread its wings over us. Today, we are moving down towards the ocean again, between the dark valley sides of Göynük Kanyonu. In the end of the valley, some kilometres away from the trail, lies Göynük. According to the rumours, Göynük is where most of the hikers on the Lycian Way ends their hike, or start from if they walk in the opposite direction.

A short walk through the woods, which despite its untidy appearance is a pleasant forest, brings us to Göynük Yaylası. The small village is really a collection of small mountain farms and homesteads that lies scattered around at the top of the valley. After leaving the village, there is no places until you get down to the privately owned park at the bottom of the valley. That there is an overweight of Russian hikers on this part of the trail is evident by all the signs in Russian and Cyrillic that we pass by.

View down the Göynük valley from Göynük Yaylası.

Going down, the trail will twice cross Göynük Çayi, the river that runs through the gorge. At the first crossing, there is another hiker sitting and shaving. The descent to the river is the most 'dangerous' part of the walk so far by my account; it goes steep down over eroded earth and loose rocks. It is easy to get hurt if you should fall. On a rock by the riverside there is written a warning about scorpions in large and white paint, I do not see any. It is late in the year, there is not much water flowing in the river now.

An odd crab up in the mountains, it is peculiar to encounter such a critter so far from the ocean.

I have now gotten so used to the waymarking often takes its own ways and routes, as if it lives its own life, that I have begun to recognize when it is happening. Parts of the trail in the beginning goes down on an old mule path. Where the path leaves the mule track and enters the slope to the right of the track, there are no waymarks. They are pointing resolutely further along the mule path. My assumption is confirmed when the hiker we saw shaving by the river comes back, he had walked for about twenty minutes down the road before he frustrated perceived that the marking had ceased to exist.

Above the Göynük valley bottom, in the fall there is little water flow in the river running through the valley (Göynük Çayi).

The correct path takes us steep down to the valley bottom, where the river breaks its way between the cliffs and rocks. Due to the low water level it is now easy to jump from stone to stone when we crosses the river the second time, but how it will be here when the water is flooding I am unsure of. At the bottom, there is a large group of Russians that is making a lot of noise while they are bathing in a nice pool. They confirms smilingly that it is a refreshing bath. It does look quite tempting. We are now walking in the middle of steep valley sides on both sides, with the clouds lying like a ceiling at the top.

Where the path crosses the river, like stepping stones, you can jump from stone to stone.

Up from the river, I walk past fields of pink flowers when the trail is moving for a short while into the forest and a small side valley. In the side valley, a small river is running and the guidebook describes it as a nice place to camp. Which is apparent, I walk past a campfire that is still coming smoke from. At a closer look, I can see that it is still a fire burning. No one is seen or heard nearby, it looks abandoned. I find this really irresponsible, now that it is as dry as it is, so I pour some water on where it is still burning.

A leaf with a nice pattern on it, almost like a fractal.

After the campfire, a long and hard ascent awaits me. The trail goes up the side valley before it turns around and emerges up and above the Göynük valley again. A large group of hikers passes me by; it is probably the guests that Gül Mountain Lodge is expecting today. It takes its time letting everyone pass by (it reminds me a lot of my encounters with the group of hikers I met in South Korea). I find a suitable location for lunch, in a clearing with a campfire in the middle. Yet another large group is arriving, they sit down together with me. Melike is coming just as I am about to continue.

The trail is now bearing higher and the view back up the valley becomes better and better. Small outcrops that you can walk out on makes it possible to gaze out over the valley bottom far below and where the gorge reaches back towards the houses of Göynük Yaylası. The boulders I see below is where the river is flowing, the clouds I see above are tighter and more dramatic now. It is a cool walk. Over the mountains where the trail continues tomorrow, the clouds are tearing at the mountainsides. The path follows the valley high up, before it descends again when it nears the end of the gorge.

View of the Göynük gorge in the direction of Göynük Yaylası. The riverbed is visible far below.

At the bottom of the gorge a suspension bridge appears over the river, which I look down upon from above, just below the bridge there is a small café. Behind is the valley and mountains that the trail towards Hisarçandır is entering, now hidden from my eyes. I walk down to the valley so that I can cross the suspension bridge and leave the path next to a Likya Yolu signpost, but I do not think this is the real trail. The bridge is part of a parkour park and is therefore not available to walk on. I return back up to the trail.

The Lycian Way through the Göynük valley.

Which continues further in the same height for a short while, before it meet its end a little further down in the valley. Amusingly, the last part of the path goes on top of an irrigation channel. The walk down the valley has been great. I am now located in the privately owned park just outside of Göynük, which is a popular tourist destination where the visitors can walk further up in the bottom of Göynük Kanyonu. I sit down in the small café, while I am waiting for Melike. After she has arrived, we go exploring a small cave that is going somewhat deep into the mountain, before heading for the park exit.

Göynük Kanyonu, below there is a parkour park and a small café. In the background is the valley and the mountains where the Lycian Way continues further towards Hisarçandır.

In Göynük, we find a pansiyon not far away from the park, the price is too high, but we do not bother trying to find a better place. None that we talked to knew about any places nearby, so we went for the first and best (and possibly the only) place we drove by in the taxi. The place advertised that they had food, but there were none to have. So, I made the journey to the village itself to buy some food and drinks for us. I get a lift to the village with a guest at the place, but I have to walk the 2-3 kilometres back again. In the meantime, Melike had anyway managed to make the hostess drive and buy some food for us; we eat a good take-away pide for dinner.

Inside a cave at the exit of the Göynük Kanyonu.

In the evening, we sit on the terrace outside Melike's room. It is the last night on the walk with Melike, she will not continue further from here. The time has run out, she will return to Olympos for a yoga-appointment there. Which means that I will be alone again, this time I doubt that I will meet any more people, but then again there are only two days left to go. The announced thunderstorm never materialized.

<- GölbastığıHisarçandır Kale ->

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