Monday, October 5, 2015

Karaöz - Gelidonya

The Lycian Way day 22.
Distance: 8.0km (355.8km), time spent: 1:53 (137:01).
Altitude (start / end / highest): 30m / 150m / 150m.
Weather: A thin veil of clouds on the sky only.


There were two places that stood on top of my 'wish list' of places to see on the Lycian Way, the ruins of Alakilise and the lighthouse at Cape Gelidonya. As for all the long distance trails I have walked, there are certain places that attracts attention to themselves. I wanted to camp at both of these places, but the possibility of camping at Alakilise was lost due to practical reasons. Gelidonya Feneri, on the other hand, I will not let go off. Since it is only 8km out there from Karaöz, you may safely say that this could almost go for a zero day.

Looking back towards Karaöz.

No worries for sleeping long in the morning then, in other words. What worries me more is that it stings when I go swimming; I have small red sores on my feet afterwards. I have no idea of what is causing these sores; it does diminish the joy of a refreshing swim somewhat. Besides this trip down to the beach to go swimming, I do not make much out of myself at the place. I relax. When I at last continue walking, the clock has already reached half past two. Before I go, I eat lunch at the café down at the beach, barbecued chicken. The cats at the place stares voracious at my food.

Korsan Koyu / Pirate Bay, modern 'pirates'. Not much pirate-like anymore of those visiting the Pirate Bay.

On the sky, there is a thin veil of clouds when I leave Karaöz on the gravel track Likya Yolu clings to. The track makes for an easy walk and since I still am most occupied about what awaits me at the end of the road, it does not bother me much. I do wonder more about those two detours the trail makes from the gravel track, since they do not contribute anything noteworthy to the experience but short and partly cumbersome breaks from the road.

An odd makeshift café with various peculiar sculptures and installations above Korsan Koyu.

The detour down to Korsan Koyu, or Pirate Bay, is more noteworthy. A short walk just above the water before you get to the remains of Byzantine buildings, followed by the small bay that before housed both the old town of Melanippe and a hideout for pirates. Now only the ruins are left of Melanippe and pirates are just a breath from the past. Instead, the bay now looks like it is some kind of sanctuary for various fringe people, a makeshift camp for the more free spirited. I snatch a few pictures, but otherwise just walks straight past it.

The gravel track bringing the trail out towards Cape Gelidonya.

The trail then goes straight through a more modern pirate's personal makeshift café, adorned with numerous installations. A scooter almost buried in rocks. Sculptures of stones, branches, bushes, various things and fruits are everywhere. I let myself be deprived, for a cold fanta and some minutes of my time. Further on after Korsan Koyu, the trail returns to the gravel road. It continues towards the tip of Cape Gelidonya, first through woods, then alongside the coast with a view out to the ocean. At a junction, the trail leaves the road and continues on a wooden path for the last climb up to the lighthouse, 17km to Adrasan.

Wooden path up towards Gelidonya Feneri.

Upwards the path zigzags back and forth, then the top of the lighthouse appears from behind the trees. The place is almost exactly like how I envisioned it to be, just the way I wanted it to be. However, I am not alone, at the same time as I arrives, there are three boys coming in from the opposite direction. Russians. They do not speak English that well, or do not want to talk so much. Relaxes at the platform outside the buildings. Then they move on, planning to go to Karaöz and a little bit further.

The lighthouse at Gelidonya, with the köşk and the bench below it.

When I no longer can hear their voices from the path below, I am truly alone. Alone together with a disused lighthouse. 79 years since the first light was released from here, and shone out over the stunning view to the ocean and the isles jutting up from it. Next to the lighthouse is a large köşk (a platform with benches), something that indicates that this is a popular hiking destination. On a flat surface, of few possible, is a bench with a table. This is the best place I find to pitch my tent, so I have appropriated the place.

Gelidonya Lighthouse and view towards the ocean and the group of islands called Şıldanlar Adaları.

Near the lighthouse, there is an almost striking view towards both the sunset and sunrise. It is a nearly perfect place to camp; there is just one exception though (more like two to be more exact). And that is what humans carries with them and never returns with. Garbage. It still makes me downcast that people seldom carries back what they bring with them, especially since it then weights a lot less when they brought it out. Missing or unsafe water is the other small exception, a cistern exists here, but it is not reliable.

View towards Şıldanlar Adaları, down and almost at the tip of the cape is another and newer lighthouse, Yardımcı Feneri.

For dinner, I again return to noodles, of the sole reason that I had more left of it. I carried with me an Efes Xtra, which is well worth the small additional weight for today and tomorrow. The small veil of clouds on the sky does not prevent a nice sunset. In the light, the lighthouse and the buildings are coloured red. The islands below, Şıldanlar Adaları, becomes vermilion-red cliffs. When the darkness has descended, it turns out that it is not entirely dark in the lighthouse after all, at regular intervals there is a small beacon lighting up in the dark.

Sunset from Gelidonya.

Today was a short walk, but it was the stay here at the lighthouse out on the cape of Gelidonya that was the goal for the day. And that goal was fulfilled. I have had a good time out here, despite the aforementioned problem with a little bit too much garbage. A peaceful atmosphere surrounds the place. I walked for a while during the day and worried that it would be raining, there was something in the weather that carried some premonitions about it, but it failed to materialize and stayed nice. I have now finished about two thirds of the trail, tomorrow I begin on the eastern part of the trail. When I crawl into my tent, I am primarily unsure of how hot it will be, but I was prepared to sacrifice a cold night for this experience. Ah Gelidonya.

My campsite next to the lighthouse.

<- KaraözAdrasan ->

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