Day 1: Bus from Antalya to Fethiye (Ölüdeniz)

Sunset the night before

After spending a few days in Istanbul and Antalya enjoying the food and sights of Turkey, we took a dolmuş (pronounced: dole-mush) minibus from Antalya to Fethiye, the start of our hike. We laughed that it took just 4 hours to drive the distance we were going to walk back in a mere 4 weeks.

Will we still be laughing about this in 4 weeks?

First Crisis

We had a mild freak-out yesterday when we realized it was the start of Bayram, one of the biggest festival weeks in Turkey. All the buses were sold out, and we worried we wouldn’t be able to get to the start…and we’d already put our laptops in storage and had to do all our research in person.

If you try booking a bus in town you’ll be dealing with a tour agency, and they generally book the bigger tour buses for foreigners. But if you go directly to the bus station to the dolmuş area you can find a minibus leaving just about every hour with locals on it. We had no problem getting a seat and enjoyed a beautiful ride.

First Destination

After arriving at the station in Fethiye we took a short taxi ride to our hotel in Ölüdeniz, though we could have also taken another dolmuş to save a bit of cash. Both are available just outside the bus station, but the fun cajoling of the taxi drivers who were all playing cards convinced us to go that route.
We stayed at the Sultan Motel, a lodge near the start of the trail and a bit outside the craziness of the town. The room was clean and the bed comfy, and there is a pool and lounging chairs to enjoy. It’s also a short dolmuş ride down to the beach, where you can swim, lounge, or even go paragliding.

First Fight

We spent some time swimming in the blue sea of the Mediterranean before going to the grocery store to stock up for tomorrow’s hike. This is when we had our first fight…over cheese. It’s funny how the stress of a challenge plays out in your communication, and for us it was over what cheese to buy and how we were spending our travel budget.

Nerves are high as we wonder whether we’ll be able to do this without driving each other crazy over the next month.

First Food

Turkish pide (pronounced: pee-day). This take on pizza is one of the cheapest and easiest to find foods in town. It’s probably not on anyone’s healthy eating list, but paired with a salad it is pretty satisfying. In our bag for tomorrow we have packed cheese, bread, sausage, fruit, and 6 liters of water between us.

Time for a good night’s sleep because we have a VERY early start tomorrow. Man, I hope we’re ready for this!

Daily Stats

Where We Slept

Sultan Motel in Ölüdeniz, right at the start of the trail

Hours Walked

0

Perks

Great hotel right on the trail, swimming in the Mediterranean Sea

Problems

A little hiccup in worrying about the bus from Antalya to Fethiye, but it all worked out. When it doubt, do what the locals do.