Day 27: Gelidonya Lighthouse to Adrasan

Breakfast at the lighthouse

This lighthouse is perfectly placed to watch the sun clocking in or clocking out for the day. After breaking camp and eating breakfast at the base of the lighthouse, we began the walk up the coast to Adrasan.

It was beautiful. We were above the coast, but not too high, and we could see the tree-covered island in the distance. The path was rocky but good. We had only been walking a short while when we heard the first BOOM! We looked out to see several naval ships in the water along with a smaller coastguard speedboat. Then a helicopter came flying in low.

View of the islands from the trail

What in the heck was going on?

Then we heard 3 “whoosh-boom” sounds followed by 3 sprays of water. Where they launching torpedoes?

We stood on the trail watching as about a dozen ships changed formation and shot what appeared to be torpedoes. We had been on this digital detox for a few weeks now, so we wondered if we had missed some sort of escalation with Syria or other war-time announcement. Then we thought it must be a training exercise. Warren made up elaborate spy stories as we stood there watching, trying to pinpoint where the next BOOM! would eventually erupt into a spray of water.

After a while we continued walking, but for the next 2 hours we were never far from the war games out to sea. It was a curious blend of being fully immersed in the timelessness of nature and then being brought back to the modern world with the sound of war.

It was a beautiful, shady walk among pines, and we passed a few groups of day trippers. In fact, the past 2 days we’ve seen far more walkers than we’ve seen on the entire route so far.

Hiking up a scree field

We finally began descending into Adrasan, first going through a deserted camel camp where we were able to refill water (and also a good flat ground for camping). We’re not sure if the camel camp is deserted permanently or just because of the lateness of the season. But it would have been great to see some camels!

Rewarding view of Andrasan

Adrasan was a really small beach town with tons of pansiyons, most of them closed for the season. We walked by the Ön Otel and met the manager Kareem, who showed us a pristine room with white sheets, a hot shower, and a balcony overlooking the pool and the beach. His cute little dog and off-season pricing were the final points in his favor and we decided to stay there rather than camp for the night since our plans were going to diverge again the next day.

This was by far the nicest hotel we’ve stayed at so far in Turkey, and we enjoyed beers in the sunshine after a hot shower and a planning session for the next few days of walking. Tomorrow we ascend almost 700 meters in what is estimated to be an 8-1/2 hour day, and Sherry has decided instead to take the road around and meet us at the ruins of Olympos.

We took a short walk around this village and discovered Mehmet, the owner of the local shop down the street. This guy was a character, slapping his knees with delight at almost everything that was said and contorting his face as comically as Jim Carrey as he told stories. We sat on plastic chairs in front of his store eating pomegranate seeds and then bought some fruit and bread for the following day’s walk.

Kareem cooked chicken kebabs, rice, salad, tzaziki, broccoli and roasted peppers for dinner, and for dessert we had slices of halva, which is a dense, sweet type of dessert made from tahini or nut butter and served at room temperature. We told him we were off early in the morning so had no need of breakfast, but he offered to open up the kitchen at 6 a.m. so we could at least make coffee before leaving. What a guy.

Kareem also told us the war games we observed were actually war games. The military does it twice a year and they warn regular boats from the area so everyone knows when it is happening. We were lucky to have seen it!

Daily Stats

Where We Stayed

Ön Otel, with perhaps the nicest manager we’ve met so far. Great location, food, amenities at a nice price.

Hours Walked

5:45

Perks

Sunrise at the lighthouse, gorgeous coastal walk, front-row seat to live war games, a great hotel right across the street from the beach.

Problems

This was a picture-perfect day from start to finish.