Friday, October 26, 2007

Dog tired

Anyone who knows me will probably know I don't like dogs - I'm scared of them. Well, Turkey has the scariest dogs I've ever seen. The Kangol is bred to guard livestock against attack from wolves or bears. They are big dogs - about the size of a hatchback - and often wear collars of nails either to protect them from wolves or just to look hard. Walking here means you will probably meet one sooner or later. We met three on our walk from Kas. It was a bad day for us really - after five hours of fairly rugged coastal paths, made worse by the mud from recent rain, we decided we couldn't continue on the section of the walk we were doing. We had planned to camp but had not found water all day. Our guidebook indicated three houses - they were deserted. We decided to take a small road that would take us back to the main road and it was along this we were angrily greeted by three Kangols. Admittedly one was a puppy - about the size of a German Shepherd, but it was three too many. We waved to their owner, the dogs got closer, we shouted to the owner, I could count the dogs' fangs, the owner waved us on. What trauma.
Eventually we reached the main road and flagged a bus down going to Kale. We talked about whether we could continue our walk with the lack of water. In Kale there was an anti-PKK rally taking place following an attack in the South-East. 8 soldiers taken hostage, the military threatening to enter northern Iraq, ultra-nationalists clamouring for action. The rally met at Ataturk's statue in the main square. Too many flags and a shouting speaker. A minute's silence for the "martyrs" (soldiers) killed, and then the national anthem. All a bit scary really. We left immediately for Ucagiz.
Happily we found a nice pension and got chatting to Canadian neighbours, Ruth and Gordon, who are on a cycling holiday here. They have enhanced the quality of our travelling experience by donating to us a spare travel-plug, an essential piece of kit if you need to soak your smalls overnight. The next night two German guys turned up who had also walked the stretch from Kas. They too had given up for want of water. We returned to Kale to visit Lycian rock-cut tombs and a theatre. However we skipped on St. Nicholas' church. Born in Patara, he was bishop here around 600 AD. There was a very tasteful statue commemorating his work and generosity to children.

Our next bus dropped us at a trout farm and restaurant. We ate trout. We then descended down towards the sea. On a ridge in pine trees we camped just above Chimaera. This is a strange place where gases seep from the ground and ignite on contact with the air. There are two places where continuous flames are burning, and these became the focus of a fire cult in Lycian times. It was a great spot to camp, but I felt it was the last time I would carry water to a campsite. Next day we descended to Cirali beach. Here all the pensions are hidden amongst the citrus fruit orchards behind the beach. We stayed three nights and relaxed on the beach. This was our last stop on the Lycian Way.

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