Friday, September 25, 2015

Gökçeören - Gedikefe Ovası

The Lycian Way day 12.
Distance: 29.0 (203.4km), time spent: 9:49 (81:45).
Altitude (start / end / highest): 842m / 497m / 1045m.
Weather: Clear and blue sky.

Yesterday, Serkan and I decided to walk together from Gökçeören. How far we will go, I do not know, that is an open question. In the guidebook, this stage ends in Çukurbağ. I have had some problems sleeping in the nights here, but this night I slept very well. More joyful is it that I now do not feel anything of the stomach problems I had earlier.

On the way out of Gökçeören, the trail goes along the path and then down to the valley bottom at the end of the picture.

The days of rain and thunder seems to be over when we are leaving, above us the sky has forgotten the clouds. We have luckily not gone very far, we are still within the borders of the village when I find out that I have forgotten my cell phone back at the guesthouse and that we have to turn back to retrieve it. The first thing that we encounter after leaving Gökçeören is some kilometres on a forest track.

Serkan on the forest track after leaving Gökçeören.

Though it is comfortable walking on the forest track, it is not the most exciting. That the most interesting about the walk was a man humping by on a nearly wreck of a motorcycle says it all. At Hacioğlan (the village itself lies hidden higher up) we are at ways end. Hanging on a tree is a note with Wait written on it, what we shall wait for is however not good to know. We can see Sasha and Alice's tent further into the woods, but it is probably not they who has hung up the note telling us to wait for them. Hacioğlan is a remote area down here, even though you can see a large road higher up further ahead.

Moss on the way to hide a waymark on a stone.

There is a sense of being on a pure transport leg (are you not always that?) today, the trail has not managed to follow up the exciting landscape of yesterday. Fortunately, it does get better in the ascent from Hacioğlan where Serkan and I gets our reward in the form of the view of the white mountain Akdağ. The white colour is in stark contrast to the blue sky and the green ridge the mountain juts out from, you could have taken it for snow.

The path up from Hacioğlan.

The trail leads up to a rocky pass below Eren Tepe. And disappears. The writer of the blog Hike the Lycian Way are not far away from the truth when they write that it almost is necessary with a GPS on this trail. After scrutinizing the most obvious exits from the rocky field, we find the path in the end, without the aid of the red and white blazes leading us on the right way. Other hikers have obvious experienced the same problem and tried to help by building cairns where the path goes.

The white mountain of Akdağ.

It does not get easier after the pass, forestry works makes us play detectives or perhaps more to the point Indians (they supposedly were excellent pathfinders). That the trail is hard to find is probably not the reason why a farm with a reasonably large house is abandoned, inside there are signs that the cabin is used sporadically by passers-by walkers and vagrants. We pass several makeshift camps that appear to have received some hard battering in the previous bad weather, but it is also possible that they just are abandoned and that no one has cared about tidying up after themselves.

A rocky field below Eren Tepe. The trail is visible, before it disappears in the rocks.

At the top of a ridge, we find the ruins of Phellos. From here, there are good views of the surrounding area, but it must have been cumbersome getting to and from the place. I am most impressed by the big square tomb with the three sealed doors in the front, which unfortunately has been broken open. The next big tomb shares the same fate and sight, by looking inside you can see that the grave-robbers has carved further into the rooms behind. Hidden around in the trees at the top of the ridge, you will find remains of the buildings at the place. I catch myself yet again forgetting to read about the ruins when I am at the place, this time I missed the bas-relief of a life-sized bull.

From the inside of an abandoned farm, now more used as an abode for vagrants.

From the ruins, we can look down to where the trail goes towards Kaş. The town itself we cannot see, it lies out of sight beneath the cliffs in the horizon. A huge plain just before the cliffs looks suitable as a place to stop for the day, but I am still in doubt whether the temperature is good enough to sleep in my tent. We climb down from the ruins to Çukurbağ where a flock of goats meet us. Due to the uncertainty of how warm it will be during the night, we look a little around for accommodations here; we find nothing and continue walking in the direction of Kaş.

Phellos, a big square tomb with the mountain of Asas Dağı in the background.

The sun is dangerously on its way down when we come to a place called Eflatun, where there is accommodation. The place seems nice, though the price is high. Since I consider staying, Serkan is continuing alone. Shortly afterwards, I follow after him, I wonder what it is that I am doing. Serkan has been a nice walking companion, so I feel that it would be unkind to leave him alone in the evening. I walk faster than him, luckily, so I catches up with him. He looks a little bit surprised when I appear.

View from Phellos. The huge plain of Gedikefe Ovası is visible in the upper right of the picture, Kaş lies beneath the cliffs beyond.

We arrive at the huge plain that we could see above from Phellos, which is marked on the map as Gedikefe Ovası. High up on the mountain ridge behind us, we can see Phellos that we came down from. For a while, I wonder if it will be difficult finding a good place for our tents on the plain, there are stones everywhere. However, we are fortunate and finds a great place next to a large tree. Where it clearly has been people camping before, the ground has been cleared of rocks. The tents are pitched and we go searching for firewood.

Our campsite with the fire at Gedikefe Ovası.

I do not regret that I choose not to stay at Eflatun, when darkness has arrived, we have made a nice fire. Around us, there are sounds in the dark, twigs breaking and howls in the distant. Serkan has to remind me that I have to be careful when I am moving stones here; there could be scorpions underneath them. For dinner, I cook noodles, not standard food down here, but it is easy and light food to bring with you in the backpack. Sitting outside beneath the clear starry sky in front of the fire was the absolute highlight on a day that otherwise offered a nice, but not the most exciting walk.

<- GökçeörenKaş ->

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