Lycian Way Patara-Kas
Walking along the Lycia way – part of it – was a sort of last minute decision. We had thought about it when planning our Turkey trip but dismissed it as it would have involved lot of domestic travel and would take days away from other things. But true to our nature – hikers at heart – we curtailed other plans to accomodate the backpacking trip. Overall we hadnt planned much about the trip. We had a broad idea of the route and had picked the Patara to Kas portion of the hike, but didnt know the distances between the campsites or the elevation profile or whether it was well maintained etc. We assumed it would be a easy hike and we have already done a lot of hiking so it was up our alley. Oh well we were up for a surprise adventure.
Day 1 – Patara
We started hiking quite late from Patara, but the goal was to hike for an hour, find a nice campsite and camp. It took a bit of asking around to get out of Patara and on the trial. There are no signs of trail in the village as it actually bypasses the village. We met a nice guide who told us the trail is nearby, and then also gave us some directions to keep taking right. Soon we saw a nice big yellow trail sign. There were 2 ways to get to Kalkan, one was 10 km and other 12 km. We opted for the shorter one. Later where the longer trail merged the shorter one, I had a feeling that longer one went closer to coast and had more views of ocean. In any case, after about an hour of easy hiking on the trail, we found a perfect campsite. It was pretty much on the trail as it was quite rocky, but since no one was going to walk by, it was ok. Setting up camp was fast, and then we just sat down to watch the sun dip into the sea.
Day 2 – Patara – Kalkan – Bezirgan
We got up 7:00ish with sun rays falling on our tent and left for Kalkan. This trail was quite wide. We had breakfast from the bread and tomatoes we packed yesterday. Soon we came upon a nice well with a bucket hanging near it. Since we were low on water, we got some water from it and filled up our water bottles. Then we came upon some fields, and then soon some ruined walls. Just after the ruins we started on a much narrower trail, and then soon it was boulder field of stingy limestones. Crossing the field was tricky, but there were some guiding markers. After boulder fields, the train was quite overgrown and not with just plants, but with really stingy thorny bushes. I was so glad I was wearing full pants. The bushes did scratch my new thermarest sleeping pad though. There were couple of tricky spots here, but still it was not hard to cross this. We had constant awesome views of sea below.
Kalkan is a small tourist town. It was full of dream villas, some of which on sale, so tempting ?. The town was empty as it was not tourist season yet. We had lunch at expensive a place with sea view, our most expensive meal of the trip. This is where we lost the trail also, the markers were there, and then they were gone. No one in the town seem to know about Lycian Way. So we asked about the town. We were told many things including, there is no more Lycian Way, it ends at Kalkan, or why don’t you take the road, or Bezirgan is really far, don’t go there. Finally after lot of asking we found that we have to walk for couple of km on the concrete road. It was really hot and this walk completely exhausted us. Not hitching a ride here was a big mistake. But finally we reached a point on the road where there was a sign for Lycian Way. The sun was bearing down on us, and the hike from here was all uphill. We were completely exhausted, irritated and it was not fun.
Finally we reached the top of the pass, and it was beautiful. There was nice flat area with some wells. We had another beautiful campsite, setup camp and went in. We were too tired to even think about eating, so just had some leftovers and slept. It was a full moon night, and the view was really amazing.