March 30, 2015
We woke up to a beautiful day which would be perfect for our walk. And besides that there was a good chance there would be no rain today. So after breakfast Sue put us into a taxi, which took us to the start of the walk. Our plan was to walk the part of the Lycian Way past Gelidonya Point, which Jon described as the “iconic” stage of the Way.
The taxi driver dropped us off at a road junction with a sign pointing to Gelidonya Lighthouse, and we set off. For the first part we walked along a dirt road through a pleasant forest. The going was easy, so it made for a good start. Before long we turned onto a trail and, following the red-and-white Lycian Way markers, started climbing up to the lighthouse. The track was quite rocky, but as we climbed the views got better. Today was the first day we were able to see the beautiful blue colour of the Mediterranean.
Soon we arrived at the lighthouse. (It’s not working any more, having been replaced by a more modern “light on a stick” model farther down the slope.) There was a couple from South Africa here who were carrying very large backpacks; there was camping gear in the packs but so far they hadn’t used it. We looked around for a short while, but it was far too early for lunch so we continued to climb up the trail. The headland on which the lighthouse stands is called Taşlıkburnu, meaning something like “Stony Point”, and we were walking up and down over rocky slopes and even scree slopes.
Offshore we could see a few islands. Just off Gelidonya Point was a cluster of small ones and farther along was a larger one, Suluada. It had a nice-looking beach on the side we could see, but you sure wouldn’t want to be marooned there. We were a bit surprised that there were almost no boats offshore; no fishing boats, no sailboats, only a single coast guard boat.
Soon the trail turned into a steep descent which was slippery in places, and we were glad that the weather was fine, otherwise it could have been a lot more treacherous. According to our route card we were heading down to a flat area with a large boulder. There were a lot of boulders near the trail, but finally we came to some boulders which were very large so we decided that one of them was the large boulder mentioned on the card. However the trail was very well marked, so any fear of getting lost was unfounded.
In the pine forest we met a British couple who we had met previously on another section of the Lycian Way, so we stopped and chatted for a while. They were using a company called “On Foot” and were getting a good deal because they were the first guests of the season and were giving feedback to the company. Continuing along the trail, we climbed to the saddle between Taşlıkburnu and Kızıl Sırt. At least we thought it was the saddle, but in fact we had to continue side-hilling along to the real high point of the day, at 470 meters.
It was a beautiful trail and we’d had a beautiful day for it. We walked down from the saddle through the forest until we reached what our route card called the “camel farm”. Fortunately it’s long since defunct and we didn’t have to walk through herds of camels! However there were several hoopoes here, so we tried to get photographs of them. From here the track was a dirt road which led us down into Adrasan and directly to the hotel. Our day had been perfect and a great way to end the hiking part of the trip.
It was only 4 pm, so we had plenty of time for showers before dinner. Dinner was very good as usual, but it was much quieter since the Scottish women had left earlier in the day. However the Leeds group filled the gap quite nicely and we had an entertaining evening.
Next: Puttering Around