Monday had been largely a beach and scrub walk. Tuesday had been stony, steep paths and a high ridge. Today, for the last of the trio, we would be mostly on tracks above steep cliffs and with views out over the Mediterranean. An excellent variety.
And to add to the variety, on Monday we had a sandwich lunch sitting in an amphitheatre. On Tuesday we came back to Kalkan for a köfte lunch in a café. And on Wednesday a clifftop picnic was planned complete with table and chairs. More excellent variety.
Gey and Yediburunlar
We met our companions for the day, Roy & Caroline, at a petrol station on the D400 highway about twenty minutes drive to the west of Kalkan. A signpost indicated the turn-off to Sidyma, an historic site. We drove in convoy along the Sidyma road for about one kilometre then took a left turn in a little hamlet. After about 10km, we turned left at the village of Avlan. The road then started to climb to Gey. About half way along we noticed Lycian Way red and white way-marks, which reminded us that we had walked this way a couple of years ago. On that day we walked from Alinca to Bel, around 15 km. Today we were going to take things a little easier and explore the Yediburunlar (the seven noses or headlands) and covering maybe 8 km.
From the centre of Gey we turned on to a very stony tractor track following a signpost to The Lighthouse Restaurant and Hotel. We followed the track through strip fields defined by low rock walls. It looked a fairly primitive form of farming but the walls and the crops were well tended. The track ended in a little parking area probably about 400m (~1300 ft) above the sea. An ideal place for the picnic planned for lunchtime.
Leaving the cars behind, we walked back up towards Gey and took the left turn to the Lighthouse. This is a relatively modern stone building with a number of holiday cottages scattered along the cliff edges. It has the most magnificent setting, perched on a clifftop looking down to turquoise bays. The place was preparing to close for the winter but coffee was available. We picked an outside table on a stone, paved platform in front of the main building. An idyllic setting and the coffee was excellent. This would make a great place for few days retreat from Kalkan on another visit.
(I should point out that there was/is a real lighthouse nearby, further out on one of the headlands. The site is probably only accessible from the sea. The modern building has adopted its name.)
We took our leave and continued up the track to Gey village to join the Lycian Way going in the direction of Bel. After nearly two kilometres, a narrower track turned off to the right and promised to take us towards one or more of the Yedi Burun. Although we were heading for the sea, the track started upwards before rising over a mound and beginning a gentle descent to the cliff edge in the distance. The ground we passed through was as cultivated as the terrain permitted. At one point we passed a long row of beehives. They were very active with worker bees everywhere. We just hoped they didn’t take a fancy to us as there was nowhere to run to.
A short way further and the track came to an end on a small grassy platform perched on the top of a three or four hundred metre drop to the sea. It was impossible to see down to the shoreline. After a short break to admire the view, we turned around and took the same route back to Gey.
Throughout the walk we passed no one until we were nearly back in the village. Then we met two small groups heading westward along the Lycian Way. A Turkish couple stopped and asked us to take photographs on their camera. Naturally we obliged.
The first village house is a very nondescript concrete structure with no real charm. I’d read that the people here are mostly Alevi, a Shiite Islam sect. They seem to lead very basic lives at a very slow pace. A young lady was crouched on the front step trying to light a small paraffin stove. She seemed to be completely un-phased by the problems she was having trying to get it working. Probably it happens every day.
We could now see in the distance the area where we had left the cars. This reminded us that the makings of a picnic were waiting. The route was mostly downhill and Roy and myself quickened our pace. The fields to our left were covered in a network of walls. The walls separate the crops and animals. They also help to level the fields on sloping ground. But most importantly, in my opinion, they are a way of using up all the stones that get dug up when tilling the ground.
Just after we reached the cars and had started to set up the picnic furniture, my telephone rang. “Where are you?” came the plaintive cry. Caroline and Margaret had been so deep in conversation they had no idea as to how to find the cars! Soon we were all reunited and the serious task of enjoying a most delicious spread could get started.
Everything was homemade. Caroline is a wonderful and imaginative cook. The centrepiece was a chicken pie made in the style of a pork pie. The very best. With a selection of meze style dishes and alcoholic ginger beer, lunch was underway. And the setting was idyllic. In one direction lay the coastal hills and in the other, below the cliffs, lay the vast expanse of the blue Mediterranean. And above was a bright sky with a scattering of puffy clouds. Just a normal, perfect, November day in Turkey!!!!