Hello, and welcome to the next step in my post-military globe-trotting. Many of you followed my first blog (tonyrides.com) as I traveled the United States on my Motorcycle, riding over 18,000 miles and reaching 49 states and three countries.

In this next installment, my friend Jerod and I will be going abroad for an open-ended jaunt. We will start in the Middle-East at the end of February and see where the roads and the winds take us.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dogs and Hospitality (Act II Scene I)

We rejoin our intrepid trekkers in Finike, Turkey......

Wow.  We just finished two of the hardest days of the Lycian Way (Lykia Yolu in Turkish, and pronounced lick-e-ya).  The guide book called for 3-4 days worth of food, but Jerod and I decided we could do it in two.  It was two long days, with about 22 hours of hiking and 1,600 meters of climbing.  We probably could have done it a little quicker but Turkish hospitality cannot be denied when it is offered.  About half an hour into day one of the the two-day section we were dragged into a house for breakfast.  We politely declined but were harangued until we acquiesced.  In comparison with other mid-East households where men rule domestic life, Turkish women seem to wear the pants at home.  We were sat down and fed huge mounds of Gozleme (a Turkish quesadilla), fresh vegatables, goat cheese, and honey.  This is followed with tea and group photos.  The next day we had lunch with some shephards, one of which was actually featured in the originally version of our guidebook.  She proudly showed us her copy of the book, as well as photos that other trekkers had sent to her after previous visits.

We have also had some fun dog interactions.  We decided to one section of the trail as a day hike and get a ride back to our campground in the afternoon.  It was cheaper than lodging in the next town and let us hike a day with no packs.  As we set out in the morning four stray dogs joined us for the walk across the long beach.  They ran circles around us and tackled each other on the sand as we went along.  As the trail left the beach, however, we lost two of our entourage, leaving only Nilla and Brownie to tag along.  At the base of a steep climb we took a break and discussed the possibilities of the dogs making it up the climb.  Turns out that they seemed to have an easier time than us.  As we cruised through a little village a female stray named Spot appeared and began an on-again/off-again relationship with Nilla.  Now there was five of us and we set out again.  We found it tough to carry enough water for five mammals on a hot day when there are no buckets to dip in the wells, but we shared what we had and kept on.  We narrowly averted disaster when Nilla was almost taken out by one of the aforementioned Kangal sheep dogs.  After Jerod and I got a few direct hits with some rocks it went after an easier target in mild-mannered Nilla.  Running at them with 15-pound rocks held above your head seems to scare them off, though, and Nilla survived with only one little puncture wound.  Spot, however, seemed enamoured by the physical prowess of the larger, more aggressive sheep dogs and hesitated a moment before rejoining the group.  We all made it safely to Demre and called for our ride back to camp.  Our host at the campsite knew Brownie from town and offered her a ride home too.  Spot and Nilla wouldn't get in the car and made a de facto move from Andriake to Demre.  We saw spot on the road the next day, but she seemed to have ditched Nilla.

So the hiking has been good enough, and my ankle is holding up.  I'm not enamoured with hiking, but it is a great way to really immerse yourself in a region and get a first-hand look at local life.  We are two-thirds through the hike and just passed our two and a half month milestone of traveling.  Spirits are high and blisters are healing.  The next blog and last installment of the blof will come from Antaliya at the end of the trail.  Until then..........

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tony, Following with great interest your journey. Sounds like you are providing some entertainment for your hosts and canine friends. Blessings on your journey! Love, Monica