We hobbled through breakfast, packed up and headed out down the road to the nearest shops which we were told were about 3km away.

We woke on Saturday 13th to very stiff legs.  We hobbled through breakfast, packed up and headed out down the road to the nearest shops which we were told were about 3km away.  En route we met gangs of children still collecting bayram sweets, and saw some lovely old stone houses abandoned and forlorn.  At one point we got a lift for about half a kilometre on a raft trailer being pulled by a tractor.  Heaving stiff bodies onto the trailer was no joke.  We finally reached the shop, stocked up and decided to try and find an alternative way back to the main trail via a village further down the valley.  We would walk to the point where the roads which go up both sides of the canyon meet, and from there hitch a lift to our destination village.

We stopped en route to the junction to cook lunch on the riverside terrace of what seemed to be a deserted restaurant.  We just had the tea water coming to the boil when the owner appeared with a group of friends.  But it was a big terrace and he didn’t mind us using one end.  After lunch we continued to the junction and prepared to try and hitch a lift.  Bear in mind we are four people each with a sizeable rucksack.  For half an hour or so {mosimage}no-one stopped, in fact almost all the vehicles that passed were full.  Then a smart car with Izmir plates driven by a man speaking excellent English and accompanied by his young son drew up and, whilst one couple was getting into that car another car with only the driver in pulled up behind to take the other two.  Talk about luck.  The first couple had the map and we agreed to keep in touch by mobile phone.  Of course the map was wrong and the village we had agreed to get out at didn’t seem to exist, and we found ourselves altogether again on the edge of the motorway leading to Antalya.  The driver of the car from Izmir had turned out to be the Finance Director for Kipa and, as the two Fethiye Times people in his car are both accountants in another life, they sorted out the world economy before he dropped them off.

We retired to a nearby petrol station to drink tea and plan a strategy.  We were now well away from our planned walk, stuck on the edge of a motorway, stiff and dirty and, to cut a long story short, decided to cut our losses and come home early.  By 4.30pm we were in Antalya bus station and booked on the 5pm bus to Fethiye.  On arrival at 9pm we walked out of the bus station, crossed the road to the Gar Lokanta, ordered large cold beers and ate the best meal we’d had since leaving Fethiye the previous Wednesday.

Despite the failure of the trip in terms of completing the planned trek, we have learned that we all enjoy walking and camping (just not walking that is that difficult) and intend to set out again with camping gear on our backs in the not too distant future.

So watch this space for further tales of Fethiye Times under canvas (actually rip-stop nylon).

More details about the St Paul Trail and Lycian Way can be found at www.lycianway.com.

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