Day 3: Faralya to Alinca (including Kabak Beach)

Alinca sign

What was I saying yesterday about not being sore? Today we woke up with sore backs and legs. But after a few minutes of moving around, we were ready to go again. It does take some adjustment to sleep in a tent because there is not a lot of room to maneuver at night. But we are feeling pretty comfy at night sleeping on our Big Agnes Air Core mattress pads. It takes about 30 breaths of air to inflate, and the mattress slides right into the bottom pocket of the sleeping bag for a mini air bed.

The only downside we’ve noted is the inability to get into the fetal position or really curl up without unzipping since the sleeping bag is tied down to the mat. Maybe tomorrow night we’ll try the sleeping bags on top of the mattresses and see if that works out better.

We decided to have breakfast in Kabak, which is a short walk from here. The guidebook says Mama’s Restauarant is the place to go, so that’s where we went. We got a little bit lost on the first leg because we couldn’t find the red/white Lycian Way marks for the turnoff, but we eventually found our way to Kabak via the road and  to Mama’s.

We had a traditional Turkish breakfast of honey, bread, cheese, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a boiled egg along with some Nescafe. We ate underneath a grape arbor, and before leaving Mama gave us some grapes and her husband Nasmir sold us some of their homemade honey.

The path continues just to the side of Mama’s Restauarant, and on the way down we saw another great eatery, The Olive Garden (and no, it’s not like the one you’re thinking of). We took an alternate path through The Olive Garden restaurant due to some construction on the original path, and as we kept descending all we could think of was, “we have to eventually go back up!”

We arrived at the most beautiful little beach we’d ever seen. We laid our packs on some rocks and quickly stripped down to our swimsuits to take a swim. It was glorious. In fact, as I write this I wonder why we didn’t stay here overnight. But were still gung-ho with energy and decided to keep walking into the next day’s itinerary to Alinca.

Kabak beach

The climb from Kabak beach to Alinca is one of the hardest climbs we’ve done. It’s just a punishing uphill battle. Maybe it was the heft of our packs, the warm sun, or maybe it was because we spent too much energy swimming. Either way, we had to stop several times on the way up to rest and drink water.

But that meant we got to meet other people, like a group of Turkish women traveling together as a practice run for walking the entire route in the spring. Or the orthodontic students, Burak and Utku, from Ankara who were looking for an escape from the busy-ness of the city. And even three walkers from England who were day-tripping it around Kabak as part of their holiday.

Looking back

We are wondering if we’ll always meet this many people or if it’s just because of the Turkish holiday and end of season for most foreign travelers. We’ll see.

We finally arrived in Alinca and found a family settling down to have tea. They invited us to stay at their pansiyon and share a meal, and we took them up on the second offer. We also bought cheese, bread, and fruit from them for later.

As we settled down to eat, our orthodontic friends from earlier arrived and joined us. We talked about Turkish customs, politics, and…mustaches.

These two informed us that the mustache on a man often represents his political views.

  • The right-wing nationalists wear a mustache that turns down at the edges of the lips (what we in the US might call a “redneck” mustache)
  • The almost-Hitler looking mustache is for proponents of political Islam
  • The leftist has a more walrus-like mustache, and the one with the twirly ends is all about living in the grand Ottoman past

They were both clean-shaven, so we could only guess at their political views!

First Storm

After hearing the rates of 50 lira for basically a cot in an uninsulated room or 35 lira to camp on their rocky lawn, we decided to wild camp again. We left our new friends and walked into the next day’s route toward Gey and found a beautiful camp spot on a ledge overlooking the water. It was magical. There was just enough room for our tent, and since our new friends told us rain was expected the next day, we thought it would be a treat to enjoy the good weather and view here.

We set up camp, patting ourselves on the back for finding such a great location for free. We drifted to sleep to the sound of the waves lapping the shore and couldn’t believe our luck to have 2 spectacular camping locations in a row.

Camping location - Day 2

The wind started just before midnight. By 1 a.m. it was flattening the tent on occasion. Then the rain started. This was no small shower but a full-force storm, and we were perched on the edge of a cliff. We had ridden out a healthy storm in the tent before in Scotland, but that time we were on level ground and not overlooking the sea. How long should we hold out, and if we decided to leave, where would we go for shelter?

At about 3:30 we quickly packed up our bags inside the tent and put on our headlamps. We waited for a lull in the storm to get out and take down the tent, thankful for our “practice run” in stormy Scotland in taking down a tent in bad weather. Still, it wasn’t easy, and we kept worrying our tent would catch the wind and go flying into the sea.

Once everything was packed up we began the slow ascent back up to Alinca, our closest town. The wind was so strong it nearly knocked us off the path. It was only 2 km away, but it felt like forever. We arrived at a pansiyon we thought was closed and nestled in together on the porch to ride out the storm. We took out a sleeping bag and huddled together, thinking how our perfect night had gone so wrong!

Daily Stats

Where We Slept

Half the night camping on a cliff overlooking the sea below the village of Alinca, and half the night huddled under the porch at a pansiyon in Alinca after the storm hit.

Hours Walked

5:45

Perks

Gorgeous Kabak Beach and a swim in the sea, meeting interesting people, buying fresh honey, finding a camp site with a gorgeous view.

Problems

Path not well marked from Faralya to Kabak Beach and we ended up taking the road for part of it, the climb up from Kabak Beach with packs was tough for our second day of walking and we struggled, and of course waking up to a storm in the middle of the night and decamping was stressful.