It was a typical Mediterranean winter day: wet and cold, and showed no signs of providing any respite. After waiting in vain for a few hours for the rain to halt, I decided to take a walk along Fethiye’s marina. The deserted walkways and near empty pubs and restaurants in the sleepy town of Fethiye did not help me much. It was one of those days when solo travel tends to lose its charm and the need for company is accentuated by bouts of home-sickness. Eventually, I decided to enter a café to pep myself up, well cognizant of the limitations of the therapeutic effects of gluttony. I sat there watching the rain drops drip down its glass walls and dancing off the pavement, the anchored boats and yachts swaying in the gentle but cold wind, my meditative state interrupted only occasionally by blurred figure of young lovers strolling by, lost in each other’s arms.
It continued to rain for better part of the next morning. I checked out of the hotel at Fethiye and made my way to Ovacik, the take-off point for my Lycian walk. The streets wore a curfew look. I was greeted with surprise by a young Turkish man as I walked past his guest house. He offered me a room in the guest-house which was still work in progress with plans to have it operational by the summer, before the package holiday crowd would descend to Olu Deniz. I spent the evening walking down to Olu Deniz and back. I had planned to set off on the Lycian walkway the next day. A bit of asking around and I could hit the trail head in about half an hour from Ovacik.
“Shortly, the pine trees gave way to the scrubby Mediterranean landscape with stunning views of the blue lagoon”
The way-marking throughout the route is great. I would assume that during summer time this path would be a little more crowded.
I was getting thirsty, and since I had not done much research I was ignorant of the fact that there weren’t a lot of water sources along the route. A couple of wells that I encountered seemed to have various kinds of bugs and it wasn’t a great idea to drink that water. About 10 Km. through the route, surfaced signs of a village settlement. Elated, I hurried down to the small village settlement, where I met a group of hikers from Spain who had arranged a stop at one of the houses for their lunch. I conversed with them for a bit in my unpolished Spanish. I could also arrange a fabulous traditional Turkish lunch with the villagers- during which the host family and I conversed only in keywords and signage. Two delightful young girls kept laughing and giggling while I ate my lunch, offered me their desserts, and posed for me. Feeling refreshed, I bid goodbye to the young girls as they saw me off to the entrance, and continued with my hike.
I had left behind the views of the Mediterranean and passed through a rather long section of forests. Terraced farmlands followed next, and by this time I was getting really tired. I had made up my mind to hitch a ride as I was now walking on dirt roads and was seeing a few farmers’ tractors going up and down the road. Quite a few tractors passed by before I managed a ride in a jeep making its way down toward Ovacik. In the jeep were two naturalists – one from Israel and one from Turkey. It was an interesting to learn about their lifestyle – they spent every 6 months doing organic farming and living on the Mediterranean coast and the rest six travelling in India. They dropped me off at the main road which hugs the coast, and walked my way to the stunningly beautiful village of Faralaya. The village is best known for the pretty Butterfly beach, well hidden between two cliffs, with the azure Mediterranean extending into infinity. Bliss.
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