By , February 14, 2013 8:56 am

There’s no point in beating around the bush. Turkey has been one of our favourite countries. So much so that it’s a very strong contender for THE favourite country of the entire trip. It felt both European and Eastern. I suppose that’s to say that it felt familiar, comfortable, organized and yet was strange, exotic, and welcoming.

There’s plenty of culture to experience, beautiful landscapes to see, and the people are amazing. Turkey was really easy for us to travel around on our own, as it is highly developed. English was well spoken at all of the hotels and travel companies that we used. Avoiding the pre-packaged tours meant that we could also avoid the famously aggressive carpet salesmen and other tourist market touts which so often give Turkey a bad rap amongst tour package travellers.

We would go back in a heartbeat – especially to experience Eastern Turkey.


Length of Stay:   46 days
Average Cost per Day for Two People:  $42.44
Places Visited:  9 + Lycian Way
Distance Traveled: 200 km by foot and 3518 km in 20 buses
Days Sick:  We had a common cold for about a week each.
Biggest Tourist Traps:  Carpet Stores
Exchange Rate:  $1 CAD =1.80 Turkish Lira

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Our Route

Istanbul – Göreme (Cappadocia) – Antalya – Lycian Way [walking from Fethiye to Kaş]  – Demre – Olympos – Pamukkale – Ephesus – Istanbul



  • The friendliest of people. We were constantly given free meals, teas, Turkish coffees, and were entertained for hours just because our hosts genuinely wanted us to feel welcome in their country.
  • Mayhem and The Lycian Way. We’ve written about this extensively.
  • They have many impressive mosques and…
  • Dervishes that spin.
  • Lets not forget the amazing rock carved hoodoos and underground cities of Cappadocia.
  • Roman/Greek/Lycian ruins.
  • Wild pomegranates… the reddest and most delicious I’ve ever tasted.
  • Turkish breakfasts included with every room – fresh bread, honey, jam, yogurt, cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, and lots and lots of olives.

Flags everywhere


  • Carpet salesmen. Easy enough to avoid, they stick pretty close to their stores. If they bother you, just walk away.
  • Night buses. The price was fair, the seats were comfortable and the staff came around regularly with complementary tea and coffee service. Unfortunately, the buses don’t have bathrooms on board. As a result, there is a lights-on-stop every few hours leaving little to no chance for anyone to actually sleep during the night.
  • Taxi drivers. We managed to only take a taxi twice in Turkey. Both times I felt that I had paid far too much. Fortunately, I believed that the driver would cause me to be seriously maimed in a deadly accident before we arrived at our destination only one of the times.


  • Call to prayer can be heard everywhere. Cities, towns, mountains, valleys, and beaches. Five times a day, seven days a week. It’s a live performance every day, it’s full of emotion, and it’s something I grew to appreciate in a totally non-religious sort of way. Believe it or not, I actually missed the call to prayers after leaving Turkey.
  • Even though both my parents are diabetic, I was still able to eat several pounds of sugar-saturated dough in a single sitting without triggering my own pancreas to fail.
  • You can’t eat raw olives off of the tree. Too bitter.  Trust me, I tried over and over again.

Lessons Learned

  • Don’t go for a long multi-day hike in new boots (unless your name is Mike, in which case it’s fine).
  • Firefighters really do rescue kittens from high places


Where Did We Spend Our Time?

Istanbul – 9 days
Göreme (Cappadocia) – 5 days
Antalya- 2 days
Lycian Way [Fethiye to Kaş] – 14 days
Demre (Myra) – 1 day
Olympos – 9 days
Pamukkale – 2 days
Ephesus – 4 days

By , February 12, 2013 8:28 am

Tomb with Ephesus Library.  Just try to get a (nearly) people-free picture like this in the high season… I dare you.

For weeks now, we’ve been travelling along the western coast of Turkey and have been hitting ghost town after ghost town after ghost town.  (Note: This post was written in December, when we were still in Turkey).  As we walked the Lycian Way, we were surprised to find that even the largest centres (like Kalkan and Kaş) were virtually abandoned.  Almost all the restaurants were shut up for the season, hotels were closed down, and tumbleweeds were tumbling through the streets. While in Kaş, we were literally the only people in our building.  Olympos, where we spent 9 days R&Ring after the hike, had a population of approximately 11.  Pamukkale was a little busier, though most travelers were in and out in a single day as part of a tour. And the town of Selçuk (the base for exploring Ephesus) was similarly dead.  At least as far as the tourists go.

All of this off-season travel can be great… it means great rates at hotels, discounts and free tea at restaurants, “private” dorm rooms, and a break from the tourist throngs.

But there are a lot of downsides to off-season travel too.  Ferries are shut down, less restaurants mean less selection, “guaranteed everyday departure” buses don’t run everyday, regularly scheduled dolmuşes have you wait for a few hours until they get another client, and attractions are closed for renovations.

We REALLY wanted to fit a quick trip to the Greek island of Samos into our Turkish travels.  Samos is the birthplace of Pythagoras and since we’re both pretty big math nerds – me much more so than Mike – the visit would have meant a lot to us.  We were actually in the town of Kusadasi, which means we were only a few miles as the crow flies from Samos.  And yet no boats were running.  The only way to make the trip, from as far as we could tell, was to fly to Athens and then to Samos or wait for the New Year’s Eve boat/hotel package out to Samos. Neither of these were feasible options, so Pythagoras’ birthplace will have to wait for another trip.

We also wanted to visit the ruins of Aphrodisias, a 2.5 hour bus trip from Pamukkale.  Normally, there’s a return day trip offered everyday – but not in the winter.  They need at least 5 passengers to run the bus.  We could have pieced together the public transportation ourselves, but we decided the added time for transfers, hassle, and cost weren’t worth it.

So that brings us to Ephesus.  The Ephesus Museum in Selçuk, which I really wanted to see, was shut for renovations.  So was the Citadel of Ayasuluk (though this has been closed for restoration for a while… it’s not just an off-season thing).  As we were walking to the Ephesus ruins, one of the carpet shop owners called out to us to see why we were in Turkey in the winter because, as he says, “it’s much nicer in the summer.  Everyone else comes in the summer.”

Walking to the ruins

So was it worth the trip?


We had a great time exploring the large site of Ephesus.  The ruins were impressive and we had many parts of them to ourselves.  Though there were still a few tour bus cattle herding operations, the groups seemed to hit up the main sights and then quickly move on.  While I sat and gazed at the splendour of the Library of Celsus, I noticed several different groups arrive, snap their pictures, and move on.  At times, there were only about a dozen people in the Library area.



Marble street

Ancient toilets



Statue at Library

I drove Mike nuts taking pictures of all the cats at the ruins

Tile mosiac floor

We were also the only ones in the Terrace Houses exhibit (which have a separate entrance fee) and they were our favourite part of Ephesus. We were able to stare 2000-year-old aristocratic grandeur in the face, and it was every bit as glamorous as you would expect our modern day royalty to be used to. Walls were gilded in shining polished marble, floors were covered in detailed mosaics, and there were indoor pools, courtyards, plumbing and even heated flooring. It was a glimpse of something totally different than we got at any of the other ancient ruins we’ve visited.

Terrace Houses

Tiled floor mosiac in Terrace Houses

Remnants of ancient plumbing in the Terrace Houses

Terrace Houses


Ephesus is located about 3 km from Selçuk.  Don’t let the taxi drivers fool you… it’s an easy walk.  You can stop and check out the last remaining pillar of the Temple of Artemis (one of the 7 Ancient Wonders of the World) on the way.  It’s not much to see, but there’s no entrance fee.

All that remains of the Temple of Artemis.

If walking isn’t really your thing, dolmuses leave the otogar every 45 minutes (perhaps more often in the busy season) and cost a few lira.  Entrance fee is 25 lira/person.  If you want to see the Terrace Houses within the site, you’ll have to fork over another 15 lira at its entrance.  [Note: We usually skip these extra admission attractions, but this time we decided it might just be worthwhile – and, in our frugal opinion, it was.]

If you didn’t get enough photos here, you can always check out our Ephesus photo gallery!

By , February 10, 2013 9:31 am

It was stunning photos like this that brought us to Pamukkale, which literally means “cotton castle” in Turkish.

Terraces of Pamukkale

This giant white terraced hill has been built up bit by bit since early times made from a mineral deposit called travertine which is deposited from the ever-flowing hot spring. At the top lies the ancient ruins of Hierapolis, a city founded in the 2nd century BC.

The closest city to the site is Denizli. From there, it is a 20 minute (free) shuttle ride to the tourist village of Pamukkale where the streets are packed full of hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, tourist agents, and little else. We were there in the cool off-season. An important fact that I’ll refer to in just a minute. For now, just keep in mind that the ambient temperature was about 5°C during the hot part of the day, and a bit cooler at night.

From our hotel in Denizli, it was a quick walk to the entrance gate where we paid 30 Lira each, ($15 CAD). The entrance is more or less at the base of the terraces, and the only way up is to walk. It’s not really a steep walk, but is still difficult for one reason. You have to do it barefoot (to protect the UNESCO site).

Despite it’s fluffy snowy complexion, this deposited travertine is anything but soft. It’s hard and prickly. Not sharp enough to cut open our well-callused hiking feet, but sharp enough to cause some pain and discomfort. In truth though, the surface wasn’t really that bad to walk on. The cold was.

Not Exactly Smooth; Hard as Rock

Looks Cold Doesn’t It?

Remember how I said that the ambient temperature was just a handful of degrees above freezing? The water flowing around our feet was just a little bit colder than that by the time it reached the bottom. It was kind of a mixed blessing – on one hand, it served to numb the pain from the sharp textured surface.  On the other, it was cool enough that we had to do double time up the hill for fear of losing a toe or two to near-frostbite. Fortunately, once we hit about the halfway point, the true colours of the hot spring started to show through and the water began to warm.

Starting to Warm Up?

That was the terraces. After climbing them, there really wasn’t much to do but snap a few photos. We were not allowed to swim in any of the terraced pools, like the photos we’d seen in the travel agencies. I’m not sure if they are permanently closed, or if it’s just for off season restoration. Instead, there was an indoor pool filled with hot spring water. But it too was off-limits, unless you were willing to pay an additional 40 lira! ($20 CAD!) for the privilege of swimming, which incidentally nobody was. For once we didn’t feel like the only cheapskates around!


That brings us to the ruins on the top. To say the least, they were impressive. It’s a large site, with a lot of buildings, roads, and a sewer system. There was also a large necropolis with the largest collection of Lycian sarcophagi that we saw in any one place. It’s probably best showcased with a few photos.


By , February 6, 2013 9:15 am

Olympos was, in my opinion, the ultimate place-to-chillax-and-catch-up-on-the-blog that we’ve seen. There are two qualifications to be made here however.

1) It was low season. And low season in Turkey means low season. There’s next to no one there. To give you an idea, our hostel alone had somewhere over 300 beds, but the whole time we were there, less than a dozen of them were occupied on any one night. That’s even more impressive when you consider that our hostel was the only one of about 20 hostels that was still open. During the summer, this would not be a chillax place, it would be a wild crowded party town. I’m sure of it.

2) Even though it ranks supreme on our list of places to catch up on the blog, I actually did very little work on the blog. Instead I wasted away my time learning a new software program called blender that is used for 3D rendering. It was kind of fun, but a huge time sink. Now (a month and a half later) I’m still writing about Turkey, and kind of wish I hadn’t wasted all that time.

Feel free to make this your desktop background. The Earth made using blender.

Feel free to make this your desktop background. The Earth made using blender.

Why It Was So Awesome

The Hostel

I don’t normally name drop, but the hostel we stayed at was a big part of what made Olympos what it was for us. So I’ll tell you. We stayed at Bayrams Tree Hostel. Now the treehouses were not what you are thinking. They are just simple buildings without foundations. Not really anything to do with trees at all. But they had perks!

  • All you can eat oranges. They are just growing all around you. Pick what you can eat, and few more for the beach.
  • Free Tea and Coffee. All day long.
  • Comfortable tables with access to wi-fi and electricity.
  • Wood space heater, to keep you cozy
  • Buffet Style breakfast and supper. Both of which are delicious, and suitable for both vegetarians (like us) and meat eaters too.

It all adds up to a workstation that you never have to leave. You don’t have to shop for groceries, you don’t need to cook, you don’t need to do anything but drink your free coffee, eat two meals a day, and work in the cozy warm silence.

The Work Station

The Sights

Although we did spend our fair share of time just chilling and working playing on the computer, we didn’t spend all of our time inside. There are three main attractions within walking distance.

The Ruins:

Olympos was a prominent Lycian city. Around 100 BC it was invaded and occupied by Cilician Pirates until 78 AD where it was captured by Rome. Today it’s pretty much in ruins. Still remaining are several burial tombs, some stone sarcophagi, a theatre, and a lot of stone walls.

There is an entry fee to get into the ruins, but it’s fairly minimal. You can buy a 10 pack of entries for 7.50 Lira ($4 CAD).  The posted price is 5 lira for a single entry (which is also required to access the beach), so make sure you buy the unadvertised 10 pack.

On your first walk through the site can seem small. Especially if you are just following the path towards the beach. But, there is a lot more there. Walk a little ways into the wooded areas (along paths) on either side to get a feel for how big the site truly is. A lot of it has been cleared, and many buildings are undergoing active digging and preservation. When we were there, the biggest area of cleared and restored buildings was roped off to the public from the main path, but following a side path, we ended up walking through it anyways. None of the workers seemed to mind much.

Olympos Ruins

The river runs through the ruins to the beach

The Beach:

To get to the beach, you need to walk through the ruins and pay the minimal entry fee.

Clear waters, sandy beach, impressive towering cliffs crested with castle ruins, and a view of Mount Olympos (one of only 20 mountains to go by that name in Classic World). Do I need to say much more?

Mount Olympos Above the Clouds

Castle Crowned Cliff

The Eternal Flames (Chimaera):

The Chimaera Flames are the birthplace of the legends of the Chimaera. The flames are naturally occurring and have been burning for at least thousands of years. If the name is accurate, I suspect they will continue to burn for eternity.

You can get there by following the Lycian Way, or the road. Taking the road took us an hour and a half to get to the entrance. After paying the fee of 4 lira ($2 CAD) each we were free to walk up the hill following the not-so-groomed path to the ruins and lower flames.

Don’t expect huge, knock-your-socks-off flames, because you’ll be disappointed.  Do think about their history and how long they’ve been there and you’ll be impressed.  We thought they were pretty damn cool.  You can even roast marshmallows on them if you want (you’ll have to plan ahead and bring some, but they have some cheap German-style marshmallow-like things for sale in most of the convenience stores around the hostels).

The Chimaera Flames

This was our 10-years-together anniversary. The Eternal Flames seemed a fitting symbol of our love.

We carried on the path up a little higher and found the upper flames. We didn’t finish there though, we carried on climbing until we had  summitted a couple of nearby peaks to check out the views.

The Climbers

The View

The View


By , February 3, 2013 8:00 am

Myra was an ancient town in Lycia. Today what remains is the impressive rock-cut-tomb necropolis and the equally impressive Roman theatre. The site is compact, but has some of the most impressive rock carvings we’ve seen in Turkey. Very detailed and clear. Entrance is 15 Lira ($7.50 CAD) per person.

Myra was also the home of Saint Nicholas, who was the bishop of Myra in the 4th century AD, and later went on to become known as the jolly fat fellow, who lives in the North Pole and delivers presents to all the good boys and girls once a year. If you believe that sort of thing.

Despite being in a predominantly Muslim country, the town of Demre (the modern name of the modern city surrounding the ruins of Myra) knows a tourist attraction when it sees one. For 15 Lira ($7.50 CAD) you can visit the church of Saint Nicholas. Something we didn’t do. I know it’s old and religiously significant and all, but we’re just churched out. As in we’ve seen a lot of churches since we left home, and we really don’t care if we see another one. The church is just the start of it. The town has erected several statues, restaurants, and shopping centers in his honor. If you have time, I found this writeup on the four different Santa Clauses of Demre interesting. You may too.

Anyways, Christmas has come and gone and so has Santa’s time in this post. Without further adieu I give you photos from our walk through the Myra ruin site.

The Famous Necropolis

The Necropolis

The Necropolis

Roman Theatre

Roman Theatre

Rock Carvings

Rock Carvings

Rock Carvings

Rock Carvings

By , January 30, 2013 8:16 am

After reading through our 4 part journal of the Lycian Way and some of the comments we received (thank you by the way, we love comments), it became apparent that our description of the long distance trail may have sounded… well… um… rather unpleasant. And that worried us, because that’s entirely the wrong impression. To clarify, here’s the message we wanted you to take home.

All together, we loved our time on the Lycian Way. The scenery was stunning, the people were amazing and we had a huge sense of accomplishment each and every day. We took home a tonne of stories as evidenced by our 4 part journal, enjoyed beautiful campsites, shared bread and cheese with the friendliest of people despite lacking a common language, became attached to our canine companion Mayhem, saw impressive ruins of ancient cities, and so much more.

Had the nights not become too cold for us, we would have completed the trek. They did though, and we chose to stop early. Now we really do want to go back and finish it, and maybe even attempt some of the other long distance trails that Turkey has to offer.

Our private clifftop sunset

So why did it sound so bad in our journal? Well, I guess the stories of wild pigs in the night, getting lost multiple times, and the added pains of the flu and headaches are the ones we thought were the most entertaining. They are the stories we tend to tell when were swapping stories with newly met friends.

I suppose we could have taken the time to write a paragraph on every amazing vista, the refreshing taste of fresh spring water sampled from the stream on its way down the mountain, the peaceful breaks we took under olive trees and ancient fruit orchards hidden in majestic hills, and all of the not-so difficult parts of the trail we walked while completely healthy and in good spirits. Had we done that our journal could easily have tripled or quadrupled in size. But that wouldn’t be good storytelling.

If you were thinking about doing the Lycian Way yourself I really hope that we’ve inspired you to do it. It’s an amazing experience, just don’t go into it thinking it’ll be a walk in the park. It’s not, but the challenge is half of the fun.

P.S.  There are oodles of options to walk the Lycian Way.  If schlepping about with heavy backpacks like we did isn’t your cup of tea, you can walk many parts of it as a series of daytrips carrying only water and some snacks.  Another option would be to bring your clothes but leave the tent at home and plan your route to stay in pansions(guest houses) every night.

Hiking on the edge of the world

By , January 27, 2013 6:21 am

This is Part 4 of 4. Click for Part 1, for Part 2, for Part 3.

Day 11
Kalkan – 4 km before Saribelen
13 km (7hours)

Today’s trail was mostly uphill and fairly well-marked and well-defined.  As we climbed, we passed a shepherdess with her sheep and goats.  She had just stopped to sit on a rock and split open a pomegranate.  As we passed, she smiled, and held out a hand full of pomegranate seeds for each of us.  She obviously had very little and, like so many times before on this trail, her kindness and generosity surprised and moved us.

Sheep on the trail

As we crossed a yayla (a large, flat mountain plateau), someone called out to us.  Though we couldn’t understand her words, her tone and gestures made her meaning clear enough.  She didn’t want Mayhem (the dog that had adopted us for the better part of the trail and had been with us for over a week) anywhere near the yayla.  I think she was worried about Mayhem barking at or chasing her sheep.  She needn’t have worried – by this time, we had realized that although Mayhem loved to chase goats in the cliffs, she left them completely alone when there was a village or shepherd nearby.


Apple tree

We quickly crossed the yayla, so as not to upset the locals further with Mayhem’s presence.   We stopped in the village of Bezirgan at the edge of the yayla to restock with supplies.  We had only replenished our emergency and snack stops at Kalkan, counting on the store here for lunch and supper supplies (who wants to carry the extra weight all morning when you don’t have to?).  The store was closed as it was Friday prayer time, so we rested on some benches outside of the mosque, waiting for about half an hour for the prayers to finish.

When the mosque let out, it appeared all the men in the village headed straight to the store to buy their lunch.  We managed to snag the last few loaves of bread, then proceeded to ask for some Ayran and cheese located in the cooler.  The owner refused to sell them to us, telling us that they were “finished.”  We weren’t sure if the cooler didn’t work and thus they were rotten, or if they were past date, or if he just didn’t want to sell us the few supplies he had in this remote village.  So we made a lunch of the bread and supplemented it with some of the nuts and raisins we were carrying.


After the yayla, the trail made a steep descent through a valley.  Here, the scenery turned downright apocalyptic – the grass and road were littered with pieces of dismembered cows – skulls, leg bones, and ribs could all be seen (some with rotting flesh still attached).  There was even an entire hide lying in the middle of the road.  The stench was almost unbearable.

Cow graveyard?

At the bottom of the valley, after passing through some more scratchy brush like we had encountered back near Delikkemer, we found a good tent site and decided to call it quits a little early (about 3:15 pm).

Thorny bushes overgrowing the trail… ouch!

Our tent site for the night

We were past the bovine massacre and it really was quite the picturesque spot.  There was a farmhouse nearby, with a mama dog with four pups who didn’t take too kindly to Mayhem, but we figured it would do.  The sun was setting behind the surrounding mountains, and it was cold.  We had our toques and mitts on before we had even finished setting up camp.

We cooked up some soup noodles with cream of vegetable soup for flavouring, hoping to repeat our delicious bulgur wheat experiment.  Alas, all we got was soup flavoured dough balls.  Since we were low on supplies, we choked them back and crawled into our sleeping bags by 4:30 just to conserve what heat we had left.

Day 12
4 km before Saribelen – location near Stepping Stones
25 km (8 hours)

Last night was probably the most challenging night yet – more challenging than the wild pigs, the bubbling brook that sprang up beneath us as we slept, and the tent pole that broke during an intense electrical storm.  We were COLD all night, and the barks of Mayhem and the local dogs kept waking us up and reminding us of that fact.

My sleeping bag was rated to 10°C at the “comfort” level, though at the “extreme” it was supposed to be good to -8°C.  We figured it was pretty darn close to zero that night and even with a sleeping bag liner, there was nothing comfortable about it.

When I finally “woke” up, my feet were like ice and totally numb.  We broke camp as quickly as our frozen limbs would allow, making a breakfast of some more nuts and chocolate.  We were too cold even to stand around heating up some coffee or tea.

We walked briskly, trying to warm ourselves and after about an hour, felt pretty good.  We debated whether the time to quit  was upon us (we had originally decided to keep walking until it got too cold for us), but thought that maybe it was just a freakishly cold night and things would get better.  Besides, we should be able to make camp at lower elevations for the next few nights, so it should be warmer.

A chilly start to the morning

The Mediterranean, from a viewpoint

Lycian scenery

Checking out a lizard on a rock

We crossed a stream and the waymarkers became tough to follow, but we had learned enough from the six previous times we got lost to stick close to the last one we saw and search for the trail.

Mayhem, taking a break

When we arrived in the village of Gökceören, there was a group of locals sitting at some picnic tables and chatting.  We asked where the market was.  We were told there wasn’t one, but were invited to sit down and have some tea.  Since this was our last chance for food in the next 25 or so kilometres, we were a little worried – we had already started eating down our extra stocks after the last store wouldn’t sell us much.

As we waited for our tea, we asked if there was somewhere to buy bread – bread is a staple in Turkey, so we figured they had to have at least that.  We were pointed in the direction of the house a woman had disappeared into to make our tea, and Mike went in.  She gave him a loaf of bread and sent him back out.  We started eating the bread, and were soon delivered tea, a bowl of olives, and a bowl of homemade sheep’s cheese.  We dug in, happy to have something other than nuts to fuel our hike.  When we finished the loaf of bread, the woman ran inside and brought us another.  Everyone seemed very concerned that we get enough to eat and offered us a place to stay in the village.  We didn’t want to rely on their hospitality for all our meals, so we decided to press forward.  We thanked them and offered to pay for the food, but of course they refused.

After walking through the village, we realized we hadn’t come across a public water source.  We stopped at a house and asked where we could find water (with the help of our Turkish phrasebook).  The boy grabbed our water bottles and filled them up out of their outdoor tap for us.

Camp for the night

When we arrived at the night’s campsite, we were happy that it was much warmer than the previous afternoon.  We skipped supper, and went to bed early.


Checking out tomorrow’s route

Beautiful sunset

Day 13
Near Stepping Stones – Kaş
21 km (8 hours)

We woke up FREEZING cold – my toes were numb and, after rubbing some warmth into them, aching.  We looked at each other, acknowledging what we both had unilaterally decided in the night – the trek was over.  It was just too freaking cold at night for the warm weather gear we were carrying.

Foggy, cold morning

Mayhem takes in the view as she waits for us to break camp

We started walking with mitts and toque and slowly started to unthaw.  As we walked, we debated the merits of continuing the trek while staying in pansions each night.  We ultimately decided we wanted the whole experience (including camping in the solitude and beauty of the wilderness) and wouldn’t be satisfied spending $25-40 a night on accommodation.

We climbed up and up.  A little ways before Phellos, we lost track of the trail since it had been destroyed by a newly bulldozed road.  I climbed up a steep embankment and found the path where we expected it to be, then followed it back to a more reasonable location for Mike to climb up and join me.

Bulldozed road

When we stopped at a spring to fill up with water, Mayhem found what was probably her best meal of the trip – the ground nearby was littered with three different types of mostly fresh bread and meaty bones from some farmers’ discarded meal.  We stopped and rested until she had had her fill.  Since we still didn’t have much for food (we hadn’t been able to buy more than a few loaves of bread for the last 48 hours), our sustenance came from snacking on the remainder of our nuts, prunes, cookies and chocolate that we were carrying.

Filling our water bottles

Lycian Way sign markers

When we reached Phellos, we spent a little while poking around the ruins.

Sarcophagus at Phellos

Mike at the ruins

View from Phellos

Raised sarcophagus at Phellos

We walked through the village of Çukurbağ without incident, and carried on through some fields.  We thought we had lost the trail, but carried on in the direction we assumed was correct.  After quite some time, we found a waymarker – we were actually on the right path the whole time!  We reached the edge of the cliff, and started descending the steep trail to Kaş.  The climb down was bittersweet – we were happy to have the end of the cold nights in sight, but sad to be leaving the trail before the end.

View as we descended the cliff

Last bit of the trail for us, overlooking Kaş


We stopped about 20 minutes before reaching Kaş, and said our private goodbyes to Mayhem.  We knew this would be the end of the road for her, too, and weren’t sure what would happen with her when we got into town.

As we scrambled down the last bit of path, we found ourselves instantly thrown back in the real world on the shoulder of a busy highway.  A minivan quickly stopped and asked if we were looking for a pansion.  We said we were and they told us to hop in.  We were tired (we skipped a few breaks near the end so we wouldn’t lose the light climbing down the cliff) and were relieved to have a ride to downtown.  Easily the worst part of any long hike is having to walk a long distance through a town or city, on concrete and asphalt, at the end of a long day.

We climbed into the van and, as the family shut the door, realized that Mayhem couldn’t come with us.  We gave her a last look and, after the door had been slammed shut, looked at each other with a great sadness in our eyes.  Mayhem had been our constant companion and guardian for the past eleven days and just like that she was gone!  We felt terrible, but also knew it was for the best – if we had walked into town, she would hang around and wait for us and we’d just have to do the same thing when we left town on a bus.

Our pansion in Kaş

View from our pansion breakfast table

We had the entire hotel to ourselves (like I mentioned before, everywhere was a ghost town in the off season).  We spent the evening wandering through downtown, and then munching on burek, olives, and bananas for supper.

We spent the next day relaxing and sightseeing, exploring the ruins in Kaş (also known as Antiphellos).  The trek was done.

Theatre in Antiphellos

Me, sitting at the top of the theatre

Exploring the tombs

The sun sets on our Lycian Way experience