Saturday, September 19, 2015

Pydnai - Xanthos

The Lycian Way day 6.
Distance: 14.1km (92.5km), time spent: 7:22 (39:59).
Altitude (start / end / highest): 11m / 37m / 37m.
Weather: Clear in the morning, more cloudy througout the day, thunderstorm in the afternoon and evening.

The chill air in the room during the night has made wonders and I have slept well, though I did wake up from time to time. When I arise, I feel less of the stomach problems, but they are not entirely gone. There are no additional points added for guessing what is prepared for breakfast, but I have begun to ask not to get tomatoes and olives for it. I do not like throwing away food.

Approaching Pydnai, in the morning after leaving Özlen's Restaurant & Pansiyon.

The Lycian Way is on course straight through Pydnai and with my backpack on, I have to almost crawl through the opening where the path goes. Where the trail leaves the ruins lies the remains of a church, the only building that is somewhat intact. From Pydnai, the trail is fitting enough just as ruined, the waymarks has passed into history and I walk back and forth before deciding to just go in the direction of Patara. Yet another of the bridges that looks quite provisional carries me across the river again near the mouth towards the sea.

The entrance to Pydnai, the trail went through the hole in the wall.

At the beach lies Patara Green Park, here I meet Simon-Pieter, Nils and Quintin again. Since I have not seen them in the last days, I had not expected to meet them again. They had stayed the night in a bungalow here and had a good night. I stay for a while talking with them. They had got sick in Gey and had in the end got down from Bel by car.

After Pydnai, the trail goes on a long section through an area of dunes by the Patara beach; the area could be flooded in the winter. Barely a waymark to be seen.

From here on most of the walk is about tomatoes and greenhouses, when I looked out over the area that reaches inwards from the beach yesterday, there were almost nothing else to see. Another blog that I have read called the area Tomatostan. And the trail is straying into all of these greenhouses with the waymarking getting lost. After Patara, there is a long, hot and mercilessly walk through the plain next to the beach, before the monotonous road changes to monotonous greenhouses.

It is quite obvious what is for sale here, at a local seller just before Letoon. I bought myself something to drink and were invited to sit down in the backyard. Almost everyone in the house came and sat down together with me and an eager discussion ensued, including the neighbours. Of what I cannot tell, I do not know Turkish.

Where the trail actually was going were also difficult to find, I did not see a single waymark before long after having left the beach, and then almost barely visible on a rock. Before that, I had walked several times back and forth on the roads leading away from Patara and Pydnai. I had to just make a decision to take a road and looked at the map for where I could be back on the trail again, the road I choose was accidentally the path.

Letoon. The goddess Leto apparently turned three shepherds into frogs here after they had chased her away from a spring. The temples were then built here at the spring with the frogs.

Then, in the middle of all the tomatoes, an area that looks like a construction site for huge lego-bricks appears. Spread around the area there are big rocks, both square and round. Some of them are stacked on top of each other and creates pillars and foundations for buildings. The area is the temple to the goddess Leto, Letoon, and the ruins are a precious break from the greenhouses. The remains of the buildings that are lying in the water is what draws the biggest attention for my part. In the background, there are now dark clouds.

Dark clouds above the amphitheatre at Letoon.

After having left Letoon, I have to smile, or laugh, when I see Chris beyond of where I am having a food break. Though I cannot remember seeing them passing me by. This time, it is they that has walked the wrong way, and has spent most of their walk between the greenhouses. Not that I can blame them, I was on my way there myself. We keep company ahead, where a local market in Kumluova creates chaos in the traffic and is the only exciting thing on the trail. Apparently, it got quite rowdy during the evening at Özlens. There was some bickering between some other guests and a smartphone was thrown into the river, with a consequent bath.

On the way to Kinik on a less exciting part of the trail. Over the mountains in the horizon there is little getting through the dark and heavy layer of clouds.

In Kinik, we go our separate ways, I continue to Xanthos while Craig, Mike and Chris has had enough of ruins and stays in Kinik. The location of what is left of the political capital of Lycia is the reason why I enjoy these ruins better than Letoon, which is accounted as has been the religious capital. Goats also likes Xanthos better and has made a home out of the upper rows of the amphitheatre. Past the ruins, you can look out over Kinik and the area down towards Patara. I consider walking further to Çavdir, but changes my mind and draw a finishing line at the buildings from the past.

Out from Kinik up towards Xanthos.

The French boys arrives; it is also the last day for them as well. Back in Kinik, I go looking for the Englishmen, but cannot find them, cannot find a lot else either. They had planned to travel to Kaş and in the lack of something here in Kinik, perhaps a lack of everything, they are probably on their way there now. I decide to catch a dolmuş back to the Patara beach and stay in one of the bungalows there. At the otogar (bus-station), I point at Patara and where I want to go on the map and is sent away on the wrong bus, in the direction of the opposite side of the beach.

Typical Lycian tombs in Xanthos. Closes is a pillar tomb with a frieze (the frieze is a reproduction) and behind a saddle-back tomb.

The dark clouds has made the threat seriously and rain is pummelling down when I go to find where the bus to Pydnai is leaving from. There, I have to wait for a long time while there is lightning and thunder all around me, uncertain of when the bus will come. I arrive at Patara Green Park when it has become dark, it should have felt like a small adventure, but it does not. I get a bungalow. The shower here is of the kind you find on beaches.

Xanthos. The Lycian Way is continuing on the road in the background.

Hungry and with a stomachache, I order dinner. Fried fish, with a large plate of chips and a just as large plate with salad. The food tastes good, but I am unable to eat everything, my stomach is protesting and I have to capitulate. I climb into my bungalow to sleep; it feels chilly enough inside it. The hosts invited me to sit down with them and some guests, but I was too tired to take up on the offer. Things does not feel so good; with the exception of the ruins, this day has had little to offer.

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