Friday, April 11, 2008

The Lycian Way: Day 7

Our bodies were weary and the air hung heavy with the smell of putrefaction.

Even after I opened the tent flap, nothing seem to improve the quality of air. Whatever today had in store for us, it was sure gonna need to involve cleansing. Although it seemed to me humorous that I had worn the same underpants for an entire week, at this point there might have been health risks to consider. More crucial was the following day's return flight to Istanbul. I couldn't quite imagine what I might smell like within the closed compressed environment of a plane. Strangely arousing.

Today was to be a round trip. From Üçağız we planned to it easily across low ground to Aperlai, a small Lycian settlement perched on mountainside and running into a shallow bay. The classic Mediterranean ending to our trip. and since we would return to our departure point later that day, Onur at the local restaurant kindly less us store several kilograms of unneeded items so we could trek with a lighter weight on our backs.

It was all straightforward. We walked briskly for about three hours, spotting sheep, donkeys, horses, goats, cow and camels along the way.

By the time we arrived at Aperlai the wind had increased and clouds now blocked the sun. The waters of the bay, still inviting, looked cold and refreshing. Lycian graves sat in shallow waters, as they do in several parts of this area. I assume sea levels rose but have never bothered to search for the reason. In fact, after a week of moving through the area it seemed the very first time in eons that, while travelling, I hadn't really done any research whatsoever on the places I would come across. I had been fairly ill-informed about the region's history the entire stretch of the journey and yet it was definitely one of the moments of holiday memories.

Blah. Blah. Blah.

So... Freezing water. Two filthy boys. One Reality Show. Not really, just no choice here. It was time for the big wash. At the risk of hypothermia and unlimited sea urchin needles entering sensitive areas. It took 3.78 minutes for me to enter the water up to my thighs. for a male, entering freezing water using the step by step approach becomes ineffective at this point. You need to simply dive in. More easily said than done. Damon counted, I dived and had the fastest, most efficient and soapless wash in my life. I've seen pictures of Russian cutting holes in the ice at the height of winter and plunging into the dark murky depths. I always put this down to a lack of pleasures available under the Soviet Regime but now have the personal empirical evidence to show that below zero temperatures certainly make you aware of your living status. However, it does shrink your weener.

Another exploration of Lycian building was in evidence everywhere from the edge of the bay, sprawling up the hill and possibly onto is ridge. A little more of the same as Apollonia but here the proximity of the sea made it extra special. I felt disappointed the sun didn't shine down on the whole scene but nature is capricious and global warming is my way of saying make winters shorter, you with me?

And that, unfortunately, was more or less the end of our journey. At 5pm we knew the sun would get home before us so we donned our packs once more and returned a toute vitesse to Üçağız. I think we celebrated with a beer. Damon definitely did as I have photographic evidence. I simply can't remember anything but wanting to climb into bed.

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