Ain’t nothing sweeter than being allowed to get naked on a deserted beach under the blazing silver moonlight and embrace in the humbling glaze of the spitting campfire – while meditating on the mysteries of life after trekking the skin colored killing field track all day, under the scorching sun-rays? Does this sound like your kind of hike?
This was my highlight of this Roam!
But lets start at the beginning, now might be a good time to mention the state of the trails. They mostly consist of old Roman roads, old footpaths and animal trails – predominantly mules. Often it can be stony and down right hard underneath your feet, really not suitable for mountain biking like some crazy Russians attempt on trails in Nepal. Because it lies between the mountains and the coast it often has steep slopes and the bushes are over grown and grabby. It was researched, designed and waymarked by Kate Clow, a British/Turkish amateur historian, in 1999.
Now the reason I mention this is because on this section of the trail the rocks were super sharp, slippery, over sized and the bushes were unkempt. My stomach jumped into my throat when I noticed, up ahead, two scratched up, tired and very badly sun-burnt girls, coming our way. They still had high spirits, which is always encouraging, but I knew they were trying to save face – and besides the state of them said it all! We stopped and talked for a minute and then wished each other good luck. Needless to say we were literally hiking struggle street with fantastic views – this day.
Luckily there is good public transport all along the trail and opportunities to swim, canoe or paraglide. We didn’t do any of these until we reached a suitable spot to camp, with fresh water for drinking and cooking the supplies we had purchased earlier. When you are hiking on tough terrain, I feel it’s better to just keep pushing for as long as you can before taking a rest. For me anyway, if I stop, it’s all over! I get comfortable and lazy and I am less motivated to get up and go again. But it depends on your style, like anything when hiking long distances, you have to find what works for you!
Although, I had never been so happy to stop and set up shop for the night.
Naturally the first thing to do with dwindling daylight is soak it up between some floating foam noodles!! Right?
But back to some seriousness – It is sooo important to pick a camping spot with fresh water. If you can’t find any and you have not brought any with you – you should keep hiking until you find fresh water. Or if you are unsure about a stream, then you could dip your finger in and taste for salt. If there is a salt taste, find something else, if not then you can use this water. You will need to either boil it or put some iodine tablets into your jug/bottle.
Then of-course the cooking begins! Pasta, pasta, pasta – it is the easiest, cheapest, and tastiest dish you can cook on a camping stove! And all those carbs will help you push harder the next day.
The most alluring aspect about camping and hiking for me is being alone with mother nature and her incredible beauty! There is so much time to spend – sometimes I play games, like stacking rocks for other hikers to see they’re on the right track, maybe sometimes in the wrong direction ;)….sometimes I have silly competitions with the people who roam with me – like who can swim the fastest to the island or pull the most hilarious pose while balanced on a cliff face, but this night, I just felt like being cheeky and mediating on the full moons (yes plural) and wondering about the nature of life. The full moons kept it light and reminded me of the fact that I was on the right track! Oh mother nature – how she nurtures us even though she doesn’t need us – but oh, how we need her!
Keeping on keeping on – next morning was a quick pack up and a short three hour hike along a similar coastal track as the above photos – more ankle twisting goodness! Which then surprising converted to a desert like track what seemed to be someones farm land, back yard. The sounds of goats bells dangling around their slender necks in the distance and the excitement of maybe being able to pat a baby goat spurred me on, harder than any previous days.
No goats yet but there was a sly turtle that was so camouflaged into the rocks I could have been forgiven for standing on him/her.
Once we reached the coastline again, we also hit the goat jackpot! No babies – but there was this cool dude with his sick layered dualistic haircut!
The end was now in sight after another three hours of easy beautiful scenic hiking in the Demre area we had reached our next spot to set up shop for the night – Kalekoy!
Kalekoy is a popular yachting destination because of its easy accessibility in between Kas and Demre. It can be reached on foot from Ucagiz, you can also take short dingy boat ride to Ucagiz like Steve and I did. Kalekoy boasts a Byzantine majestic castle on top of the highest hill over looking the small relaxed town and scattered century old tombs. One infamous and the most photographed tomb is even situated in the bay, partially sunken underwater like the village of Lycian necropolic it belongs to.
The first encounter with the Kalykoy people was almost our last as we approached this tiny tomb scattered town, a lovely warm smiled, middle aged Turkish lady and her very rowdy grandson, picking fruit on the serene afternoon, calmly asked us with her hand jesters if we needed a room? To which of course we agreed, by smiling and nodding our heads. Most folk in this area won’t speak a lick of English – so if you haven’t brushed up on your Turkish language skills – it is impromptu sign language all the way! Which is frustrating and fun at the same time – guaranteed someone will be laughing though. 🙂 Even if it is at yourself and how ridiculous you look..
We graciously bargained a better price (never take the first offered price, unless you know it is super fair), took the room and headed out to explore the area.
Of course they tried to charge for the castle entrance again – so of course we found alternative ways of exploring the tourist traps. Haven’t you learnt roamers, we are called nomads and vagabonds for a reason!?
Remember it’s not the destination – it’s the journey!
So what do you think roamies? Would you wager you travel insurance excess claim and take a walk on the wild side? Risking a twisted ankle on this rugged track to enjoy the unspoiled omnipresent beauty of south western turkey for almost nothing but some sweat and maybe a few crocodile tears?