Hoş Çakal - last steps on the Lykia Yolu ?
11 April 2011 | Finike
Geoff - windy
A weather window for walking - neither hot nor cold, the days are now longer. We dolmüşed it down to the town of Kınık three hours away on the coast highway, with packs loaded to the gunwales with camping gear. We intended to walk through from the greenhouse laden plain behind Patara Beach to Kabak near Fethiye. This would take us along the tops of the Yedi Burun - the Seven Capes - the jutting out bits of Lycian Turkey that are notorious for swirling currents when the offshore wind is blowing up against the 800 m cliffs.
The first day was an uneventful slog through agro industrial no man's land, gaining blisters as our reward, but we secured a nice, solitary campsite at the western edge of Patara Beach, under the ruins of Roman Pydnae.
The second day took us up the rocky slopes to a lovely green campsite amidst an olive grove and almond trees, surrounded by mountains near an ancient Ottoman cistern. The gaps in the wall were a bit disturbing (a badger's swimming pool?) as we reached into its depths for water, but we suffered no stomach aches as a result. Anyway we always boil suspect water for a minute or two to be sure. There was quite a cacophony of bird sounds as the new day dawned. No doubt using the open cistern as their watering hole. As it turned out there was a modern, sealed cistern only 500 metres along the track which we discovered early the next morning.
By the end of the third day we had traversed most of the capes, with their sheer drop offs down to the shimmering, turqoise waters in the coves below. Cloud and rain threatened, then delivered, and we camped in a small, stony space near a waterfall, which echoed amidst the call of the keçi herd nearby. By this stage our new petrol stove had run out of fuel as we underfilled it from the start without really testing how much fuel it would use over three days, so we lit a fire under a pine tree - it kept us warm, dry and fed.
The last day had perfect weather and perfect walking as we skirted the steep walls of Kabak valley. Last year we had stared at these same walls, wondering how on Earth anybody could traverse them, but an ancient mule path had been etched into the cliffside and although little used today still demonstrated its medieval engineering brilliance. There were a few tricky bits, rough and tumbling scree slopes, which if they had been in New Zealand and Australia would have been littered with signs warning adventurous walking to keep clear. Kabak was our end of the line - we had walked the "first" stretch of the Lykia Yolu between Ovaçik and Kabak last year. Our second dolmüş of the trip took us out along that scary road to Fethiye for a comfortable bed in a pension near Ece marina, then back to the boat the next day ladened with Saraoni's boatyard "presents".