Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Lycian Way trek

Against the advice of the Lonely Planet, I embarked on a three day trek on the south coast of Turkey in the blistering heat of mid-summer. It was stupendously hot, but well worth it for the experience.

The trek followed the coast around from near Patra to Oldeniz (just below Fethiye on the western side of this map).

In the weeks prior to starting the trek, i had joined forces with three other independent travellers, whom were all keen to come along for the ride (Sadly, only myself and one companion survived the three days).

For many thousands of years this mountainous and rugged coastal area of Turkey has attracted and been home to many different peoples. After initially being ruled by the Hittites of Anatolia, the Lycian peoples who lived in South west Turkey soon came under the influence of the expanding Greek state. The Greeks eventually were displaced by Persians who in turn were pushed out by Alexander the Great of Macedonia in the 3rd Century BC.
In the 2nd Century BC, after some bloody battles, the Romans took control of the area but eventually bestowed it a considerable degree of autonomy. The Lycian province flourished until the Roman Empire split up, Lycia became part of the Byzantine, Christian, world. The next major influence on the area was the coming of the Turks and the absorbtion of Lycia into the Ottoman Empire which finally led to the formation of modern Turkey.
The Lycian way is a historical trade route used by the Lycian people during that era. Anyway, thats enough history. The entire track can be walked in 30 days, but i picked what was described as a beatiful coastal area of the track and decided to walk it in 3 days.

The views of emerald green ocean and golden coastline below made it well worth the 40 degrees plus heat. In some parts we were able (happily) to walk through pine forests for shelter.

THe track involved walking through pristine and isolated local villagers, to mildly touristy beach bars and backpacker hostels that can be reached from nearby tourist towns by boat. This suited me because it made for luxuries at the end of each days trek. Here are some photos.
The trek was marked by picturesque little towns and interesting locals (we were invited to share in a celebratory lunch in one village, unfortunately they werent able to communicate to us exactly what was being celebrated - it was still fun). Many of the beaches are surrounded by dramatic cliffs, which must carefully be climbed down to get to the beach from the track. Im talking cliffs that are higher than mount victoria, and much steeper. My italian friend nearly had a hernia (is that even a word).

1 comment:

Mum and Dad said...

Hi Jase
I'm envious this would be a walk I'd love to do if it was 20deg. If there was a place for a drink at the end of the day Dad might even do it with me. Lucky you

Love Mum