Tues 9 Nov
I awoke at 4.00am and had plenty of time to prepare for the 6.00am bus to the airport. The check in was quite quick and easy but I had to pay £1 for a sealed plastic bag to hold my lip seal and hand cleaner! Then I had the most expensive breakfast ever at £9.20 and it was pretty awful at that!
Anyway, everything went well and the flight fine but we were served breakfast instead of lunch. I am pretty glad I indulged in that extra breakfast as it was a very long time before we had a chance to eat again. On arrival we were met by the Ramblers representative and drove Antalya. Before dinner we had a brief explore of the Old City where the hotel was located and then a lovely meal seated in the gardens at 7.30pm Turkish time (2 hours ahead). Early to bed after an exceedingly long day.
Wed 10 Nov – day 1
Thankfully my roommate awoke and managed to get me to breakfast for 7.30am. It was a lovely self service breakfast and then a 3 ½ hour journey by coach to Kas. It did not seem that long and at our comfort stop managed to purchased a delicious drink of lemon and I hope to be able to buy more. Yum, Yum.
We stopped for lunch in a small village and a family cooked for us over a sort of barbeque. Lunch of pancake type things, fresh tomato and cucumber, along with a yoghurt drink was 10TL. Then we walked down to our hotel. At the end, adjoining the main road, a sign said 5K but it seemed more like 8 miles!! The going underfoot was very rough. Eventually we arrived at a magnificent view point above Kas and looking out over the sea. It was wonderful but a heat haze made any photography unlikely. Then came a difficult descent. It was long and difficult over scree and rocks and we were very glad to reach the bottom without any broken limbs or slipping too much.
We walked down a steep road to our hotel. We had a lovely room with a balcony and bougainvillia clambering all over it. The view was fantastic with the setting sun behind the nearby mosque, sea and islands. At 5.30 and dark we walked down into the town and the harbour. Everywhere looked so lovely with their sparkling shops selling all sorts of tourist souvenirs. Then back for dinner at 7.30pm.
Mmm, last night? Well the room may have been larger than our last but it was pretty basic! There was not much room in the shower, no hairdryer and seemingly, only one plug. The bed was comfy enough but a strange arrangement with a fitted bottom sheet and then a heavy bedspread type top that was very rough. Over this was a folded double bedspread. The hotel had lovely views from the balcony but the Mosque was only 100 yds away and so at 5.30am we were blasted with the call for prayer. As it started, one dog barked and in no time there was a dog’s chorus, all whining and howling. Perhaps they were being called for prayer too! Perhaps I will sleep better tonight.
The breakfast was not so nice as the previous hotel either although there was TEA! Lots of yoghurt and honey but otherwise an assortment of cheese, hard boiled eggs, cucumber, tomatoes and olives. I did not feel too full and know I will the energy later. I learnt, this is the norm for Turkish breakfast. We bought our various packed lunches and met the bus at 9.30am. It was very hot. We drove for approx 40 mins and climbed over rough ground to a Roman aqueduct. It was amazing at 1400BC. Then we followed a track for seemingly miles, whilst several dogs followed us. We thought they followed us for food but when we actually did stop for lunch, they lay some distance from us, resting and did not bother us for food at all. Allide (our delightful young Turkish guide) showed us a well and demonstrated with a shiny new bucket hanging in a nearby tree. Then we came to Patara and a ruined Roman city of similar age to the aqueduct. Again it was amazing. We stopped in the shadow of three arches to enjoy lunch. We explored the ruins including a superb Roman Amphitheatre, where we were able to climb up into the upper seating. Unfortunately, the group left at ground level and in the arena would not perform for us, even though we clapped and booed. Then onto the most beautiful, pure white sandy beach with waves crashing on the shore. We sheltered (from the sun) beneath a thatched beach bar and some of us went for a swim. Actually the sea was so strong it became more of a fun dip as we wrestled with the under pull of the waves. It was so refreshing but I was extremely exhausted on leaving the sea. Back to the bus and the long drive back to Kas. After a shower, nap and freshen up, we wondered down into Kas for a fabulous meal at a street restaurant.
Friday 12 Nov – day 3
I slept a little better last night but only after taking a sleeping tablet! Apart from the yoghurt and honey, I do not find the breakfast very appealing and rather a poor start to the day.
Today we met at the bus at 9.00am and drove for an hour. We stopped at Xanthos another ruined Roman town. Wow, what an amazing site. We were allowed an hour to explore the incredible ruins. We even saw a tortoise scrambling amongst the ruins. Then onto the start of our hike. Today was an exhausting scramble through scrub, over hills with steep climbs. The views were always similar and the route arduous but we all managed it. We balanced on the edge of another Roman aqueduct which would have supplied water to the city of Xanthos. We ended our walk in the village of Uzumlu where most of us exhausted had refreshments but NO beer (as it was a Friday) before travelling on the bus back to the hotel. We saw some lovely homes, tucked into the hillside with bougainvillea tumbling everywhere, various animals and village homes or farmsteads. We saw pomegranates growing wild on the trees, picked myrtle berries which we ate!
Sat 13 Nov – day 4
As we were so exhausted we slept well. We boarded the bus at 9.00am and journeyed for an hour, stopping briefly to view some Lycian tombs by the road side.
The walk today was more interesting as we climbed into the mountains with different views. The terrain was extremely rocky with Tor like structures similar to Dartmoor. The route was a mixture of rocky scrambles, rough tracks and pathways. We stopped at a green valley by a water point, surrounded by goats. It was a large herd and an elderly lady in traditional pheasant clothes guarded them. The goats crowded us and almost mobbed Halide. Later the lady let me take her photograph holding a white goat. On again, through scenic boulder strewn landscape. Much later we came to a homestead, totally isolated. The fields nearby had been cleared of stones and the lush ground was well cultivated. The lady of the house invited us to take tea and encouraged us to take a look inside her very simple home. The man of the house welcomed us and showed us photographs sent to him by a previous ‘Ramblers group’. He was so proud of this album. It was truly lovely to see a totally different and un-commercialised way of life. Then onwards again. Some of the group became concerned that we had spent too long at the homestead and we had not allowed enough daylight hours to descend safely to the bus or to allow any time for errors. But nothing happened and we arrived at the bus and village totally exhausted after a lovely day (my favourite day). Then a very hair raising drive over mountain roads with unprotected hairpin bends.
Later after showers and a brief rest, we went down to the Quay for a meal in a fish restaurant. I am afraid to say, none of us were impressed with either the service or the food, nor the prices of the drinks. The fish smelt odd and was not cooked properly. The town looked quite busy with folk enjoying Saturday evening.
Sun 14 Nov – day 5
Our rest day or day off. My feet and legs need a rest so chose not to join the optional walk to a nearby beach but to amble slowly around the resort. My roommate joined me or….I joined her. On reaching the Quay we realised we had not seen any of the little boutique style shops offering their attempting wares. As we were at the Quay, decided we should enjoy this area first and walked along the stone jetty. It was another hot day but thankfully at the pier end, there was a lovely breeze. We sat for some time enjoying the peace, the environment and watching for other Rambler participants. Liz & Graeme joined us later and we chatted about this and that. Liz had done the ML training as well as myself. Then we started back along the lower quay as the breeze was now quite strong with violent gusts. We found a delightful harbour side cafe and participated in refreshments and then up those enticing back lanes to the delightful shops. It did not take us long to spend a substantial amount and we were broke! We headed back down to the Quay to enjoy a Carte D’or ice cream, after which we climbed back up to the hotel ready for our Turkish Bath. Six of us packed into the hotel taxi and were taken to the Club. Wow, what an experience. Our young Turkish guide Halide joined us at the hotel. We were steamed, cooled, steamed again and then herded into the actual Turkish Bath room. This was tiled throughout and not unlike a sauna. We were scrubbed, exfoliated, covered in froth, massaged and then rinsed with cold and warm water. Our next treatment involved a face mask of something that looked like mud! Then a very welcome cup of apple tea. It was a wonderful treatment and we all felt so clean and rested. When the pack had dried, we washed our faces, donned our clothes and journeyed back to the hotel. A wonderful experience for 45TL. Later at the hotel the main dish was fish but after last night’s efforts could not face the experience.
Mon 15 Nov – day 6
Again we met at the bus at 9.00am. The walk was supposed to be tough and 17K. It turned out even longer as the bus could not get to the start point, owing to drainage work taking place and heavy plant vehicles. The going uphill was quite gentle and the views lovely. We plodded along stopping for lunch at a clearing near the top. We ate from strawberry trees! Very nice but not as nice as English strawberries. We climbed and scrambled over the rough tracks, through bushes and scratchy trees, till we came to Phellos, another ancient ruined city. It was amazing, almost right on top of the ridge of the mountain. All around were mountains and far reaching views, only everything is in a heat haze. We started walking at 9.45am and finished at 4.45pm. A long day, but thankfully, slightly cooler. For our evening meal we went down to the harbour and had a pleasant meal overlooking the harbour side square.
We leave Kas. Kas was a very pleasant small resort. Peaceful, picturesque with friendly people. Dogs and cats roamed completely free, feeding from where ever they could and sleeping under bins. They appeared to be tagged and we later learnt there was an animal sanctuary nearby that cared for them and seeing as they were spayed, they all lived very peaceably together and were absolutely no trouble. The hotel needed a bit of updating and really it was only just an upmarket Youth Hostel. The shops were interesting, open early and closing late with all sorts of goodies on sale and the sales people were not too pushy.