trip report by site editor Rick McCharles
I enjoyed my meal and fast wifi at Rachel’s Bakery and 50’s Diner. Too much.
Turned out I stayed too long.
To make it to McKay’s Harbour Overnight Rest Area I’d need to hike fast.
I parked at the Cemetery Road trailhead and dashed into the … apple trees.
The Bruce here is a gorgeous hike along the Niagara Escarpment with views out to Barrow Bay.
The footing is tricky. Especially approaching cliff edge.
It was getting dark far too quickly.
Finally I decided to wild camp rather than risk stumbling on in the dark. This spot was excellent, actually. (The cross pole on my tent broke, however. Design failure for the Hubba NX.)
Next morning — at the turnoff — the name changes to the Cotswold Way – Bruce Friendship Trail.
No rush this morning. I stopped to enjoy the views much more often than the previous evening.
The Lion’s Head is one of these jutting overhangs.
This is a pothole in a glacial erratic.
I took the Ilse Hanel to loop back to my vehicle. There are many options on the Lion’s Head. And it’s so well signed you never need to pull out your map.
Happy to be back at the trailhead after about 15km total. No damage done to the vehicle overnight.
See my photos on Flickr.
The Bruce Trail is more than 890 km (550 mi) long and there are over 400 km (250 mi) of associated side trails. I spent a week hiking some of the best sections.
Explore the Bruce – Lion’s Head
Some wolves on the Canadian west coast get 90% of their food along the water.
I saw a mother and her young feeding on a dead whale on my 2012 North Coast Trail hike. Sightings are quite common on that coastline.
Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.
2017 trip report by site editor Rick McCharles – day 4 / 6
I was enjoying my pension in Çıralı. No rush getting back on the trail this morning.
This is the very end of the slighlty rainy season. It was again hazy, but I got no more than a few drops over the entire week.
A morning stroll up the beach towards the Hippy colony found dozens doing some sort of chanting dance.
Good exercise, I guess.
I finally left at check-out time walking the 4km across town for the 3rd time.
There are people cycle touring here, but not as many as I’d expect. A mountain bike would be ideal.
It was Noon when I started the next section of trail.
As usual, up and up.
As usual, a series of beautiful beaches.
This one was astoundingly clean. Some camping group had decided to pick up the trash.
This is my kind of hike.
This was the first water source I came across. An old well.
At the bottom was a giant bullfrog.
I’d not seen any hikers for some time when the recently rerouted trail took a turn inland.
I was soon lost.
My only option seemed to be a scramble up this waterfall.
It was a route, but the paint colour was wrong.
I finally decided to backtrack from this point.
In no rush now, I did a little side trip site seeing.
And set up my tent when I found a beach with a water supply. And a resident hermit from Istanbul who spends many weeks a year here.
I wandered the beach. Scrambled rocky headlands. Read two different books. Poked washed up jellyfish.
My only option was to backtrack to town next morning and take an alternative Lycian Way trail.
Navigation is the biggest problem on this trail. The guidebook is simply not sufficient. There is an iPhone app that is better but still not perfect. BEST would be GPS tracks from previous hikers.
Happily a Ukrainian group arrived to camp. The guide would be pleased for me to follow them onward next day. 🙂 He’d done this section many times.
I cooked up dinner at dusk.
Sat around the beach fire with my new friends. And had a great night’s sleep.
2017 trip report by site editor Rick McCharles – day 3 / 6
Keen to be on my way, I was up and on the road by 7:30am. Almost nobody awake.
Finding the trailhead out of departing towns is the biggest challenge on the Likya. My guidebook said to head in the direction of a concrete bridge.
I spent about an hour wandering these greenhouses. No concrete bridge.
So … I walked back to my pension to enjoy the free breakfast I’d missed. Breakfast starts about 8:30am in Turkey.
I got conflicting advice on how to find the Lycian Way. If I spoke a bit of Turkish it would have been easier.
I’d seen this road sign earlier. No concrete bridge. But I was heading for Olympos.
I waded across this creek. And found an alternate (better) route out of town.
My trail eventually intersected with the Lycian Way proper.
It was clear sailing now.
Navigation was easy, I mean. But this trail seems little used. There is a lot of deadfall over the track.
Happily there are few thorny or stinging plants. Few. Not none.
It was a long way up to some meadows.
On this section I saw only one hiking couple from France. And an old gent selling fresh squeezed orange juice.
I did come across the second land tortoise of my life. About a foot long.
Happily much of the day’s hiking was in the trees. No sunburn. Love the Mediterranean climate.
Getting down was much easier than climbing up. Eventually I exited in the middle of … OLYMPOS. In the Necropolis Tombs some dating from the 1st century AD.
The Olympos ruins themselves are quite impressive, not as much so as Ephesus but still worth seeing. The relative lack of tourist traffic compared to Ephesus means the site is largely overgrown, which gives the place a “mystical” feel, so you have to do some hiking to get to some of the remains. …
Strangely there seems to be no easy way to enter or leave OLYMPOS. This couple ended up turning back. Lost.
Here’s the official entrance. You need swim, wade or scramble to get here from the beach.
All in all Olympos was one of my favourite stops during the week.
There is a Hippy enclave uphill from these ruins. I gave them a miss and carried on into town.
I walked all 4km of the beach front of Çıralı checking with pensions and hotels recommended by Lonely Planet.
In the end I backtracked all 4km with full pack to one of the first pensions. (US$33 including breakfast and fast wifi.)
No time to rest. I borrowed a pension bike and cycled the same 4km and 3 more up to some eternal flames.
I felt I’d earned my big salad and chicken dinner this day.
2017 trip report by site editor Rick McCharles – day 2 / 6
I was excited to get to the famous Lycian landmark lighthouse today. Happily the trail this day was well marked. I was hiking up and over to Adrasan.
Most of the Likya Yolu signage is the traditional European paint.
It’s easy to get lost on this Trail. If you can’t find paint you (reluctantly) follow stone cairns put together by past hikers.
It was a steep, stony climb. Up and up.
Aren’t lighthouses down on the ocean?
Here was my first view.
Actually, that’s not the lighthouse.
It’s here, way up high.
This is a popular campsite. At least 10 people had tented overnight.
Personally I was turned off. The place is filthy. The water supply questionable.
Turks are litterbugs. I’d seen that in town. And it seems there’s nobody responsible for carrying out trash.
I left quickly.
It is a lovely bit of the Mediterranean, however. Up and up.
First on the trail today I was breaking through plenty of spider webs. The odd tent caterpillar too.
At a tranquil lunch spot I left a Summit Stone.
I was pleased to have seen no mosquitoes. Very few insects of any kind, in fact.
Much of this day was in the trees. I was neither too hot nor too sun baked.
The water is lovely. Views from up high stunning.
Flowers seem to have bloomed long ago.
I found the day challenging with near constant climbs and descents on rough trails.
The last 5km to town were a pleasure. I was happy to reach the beach town of Adrasan.
Adrasan is a holiday town full of tourists in the Summer. It was dead the night I was there. Tourism is down in 2017 due to the many bad headlines in the news. For example PRESIDENT shuts down Wikipedia.
I picked one of dozens of pensions because their restaurant was propped up over the river.
After a couple of hot showers, I tucked into lamb dinner.
My cabin with very AC and breakfast cost me US$27. Turkey is very inexpensive. And good value.
2017 trip report by site editor Rick McCharles
Investigated and then waymarked by Kate Clow, a Britishwoman living in Turkey, with the help of a number of volunteers and Turkish Ministry of Culture in early 2000s, Lycian Way connects a number of villages, mountain hamlets, Lycian and Roman sites on its route and ranges from 0 m (sea level) to 1,800 m summit of Mt Tahtalı (known by the name Olympos in ancient times) at elevation.
It’s not a single footpath that has been intact since times immemorial, rather it’s a collection of ancient paths, mule and caravan trails, forest and backcountry roads.
I planned to do about a week on the 500km+ Lycian Way in May.
But what section?
Kate Clow and the staff of Cultural Routes Society in Antalya gave me advice and — more importantly — instruction on how to reach the trailhead.
I took a local bus out to the gigantic Migros grocery store to pick up last minute supplies.
Then caught an intercity bus in transit to Kumluca.
The driver pointed me in the direction of Mavikent, a coastal town. I’d walked about 2km on the road before the local dolmuş (taxis van) passed by taking me the rest of the way to the coast.
I’d assumed the van would stop at some town centre plaza or Mosque. It did not. The driver ended up in the middle of nowhere parked, I’m guessing, at his home.
I walked back about 2km to a very impressive hotel called the Şah Inn Paradise to get directions to the Lycian Way. Hotel desk staff speaks English.
The manager kindly put me in a golf cart and had a driver take me to the Mediterranean. A great way to begin.
A great way until this hotel staff woman began yelling at me.
I was taking photos close to the ladies beach, not allowed in Muslim nations.
Still, this was an ideal start, the last of a very long beach section.
Kate Clow told me literally no hikers walk the flat, boring 20km delta of the Alakir Cay river. They all take public transport around the flats to this point.
Sea turtles nest here. Sadly this one had (somehow) been killed.
When the sand ended I walked the road past many family campgrounds. This one had a Mosque.
Though I carried 3 days food my plan was to eat at least one big restaurant meal each day.
Chicken kabobs in Karaoz.
I never eat alone in Turkey. There are always friends hanging out hoping for a morsel.
I was feeling pretty good about the hike at this point.
My restaurant host recommended I not hike as far as the lighthouse. Instead I should find a quiet spot close to water about an hour past Karaoz. Good advice.
I walked in on a farm road and set up my tent atop this cliff.
Red wine as the sun set fell on the Mediterranean.