The Lycian Way to Phellos, and, Sigh, Back

Trip Start Feb 08, 2008
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Trip End Sep 11, 2009


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Flag of Turkey  , Antalya,
Wednesday, June 10, 2009

This is unfinished and unedited, and was just in "draft" form. But I'm publishing it now, just for you, Tom.

I knew it was going to be a long hot one. So I got up and left the pension early. This aforded a fine early morning sunrise picture of the Greek Island of Megisti (or Turkish, Meis) in the sunrise.

Above town, just off the highway was a sign at the base of the steep hillside pointing the way. My objective was Phellos, a lot further than 5 km. In fact, I think the stated distance to Çukurbağ is mistated.

For the most part the Lycian Way is adequately trail marked. Red and  white stripes are painted on rocks, trees, posts and so on. Sometimes a red X indicates an apparent path not to be taken. On  the  other hand, I have found a lack of markings sometimes at points I would call "points of ambiguity." I have wandered off the wrong way on occassions, but have always become reacquainted with the trail. One time, though, after a little late day anxiety bushwhacking through the forest.

Also,  I seem to have hiked more trail segments in reverse order of the verbal instructions, as this time. I'm more a visual person than a, well, literate one, so verbal descriptions of directions in nature are often unsatisfactory for me. And, trying to follow them in reverse order, as on this hike, does not make it any easier. However, with some experience at it, the night before I more or less "reverse engineered" the route, trying to draw a map, as I understood the instructions, for the direction of my hike.

This worked pretty well, though I lost the trail on two occasions, both in the same area. It was more aggravating than worrisome as in both instances it was in open territory and I knew the distant, observable objective area. Still, it gets frustrating. Especially for me perhaps, a former technical illustrator for whom my objective for my  work was, "No ambiguities! Don't put the customer in a situation of embarasing confustion." (That's how I felt trying to do algebra).

Anyway, across the plain, the middle section of the hike, I came upon a turtle, as one often does in Turkey. This one obviously had taken some shocks. One wonders how these blows were rendered, as the Turks, I have read are respectible of turtles. Falling rocks? Who knows?

Phellos was an ancient Lycian city. And it was perched on the crest of a hill seen across the plain once one climbed up from Kaş and topped the crest of the plateau.

About the first object I saw was this huge sarcophagus, sitting akilter in the bushes. These are the kinds of things that always draw my attention and wonderment. The stones are so huge and heavy, how did those people ever get them to these places!? All I could do was put my hat and pack to try and demonstrate the scale. The footing is bad enough for anyone these days with hiking boots. Was the ground any different 2000 years ago! And, what was their footwear like? Was the climate and vegitation different, absent the many varieties of thorn bushes. None  of the  guide books addresses such questions.
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