Our Day on the Trail
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Day 28 of our Lycian Trail adventure took us on a loop from Olympos to the Chimera Firestone at Çıralı and back again.
We left our pansyon before breakfast and made our way through the site of ancient Olympos. (We have visited the historic site previously, so didn't linger for photos.)
Upon reaching the beach, we noticed dozens of people fishing along the shoreline. A local fish farm was recently destroyed in a storm, releasing millions of fish into the sea. Everyone was testing their luck - and catching fish by the dozen!
To get to Çıralı, we had to cross a small river. It took us some time to find the perfect spot - not too deep, not too fast, and not too slippery. Once we assessed our options and picked the spot, we removed shoes and socks, rolled up our pants, and waded into the freezing cold water. Fortunately, both of us made it across without incident, and quickly resumed our hike.
We made a short stop for breakfast (cheese and potato pancakes) before entering the national park. When visiting many tourist sites in Turkey, you go through screening to check for guns, knives, and explosives. It's a bit different when you visit the Firestone - you are checked for sausage and raw meats as cooking on the chimera flames is strictly prohibited.
The track to the Firestone is not particularly long, but the steps are tall - some 30 to 40cm - and the path is rough. We passed many visitors who were struggling with the unusual path.
We didn't know what to expect, but the Firestone field was pretty awesome. It's a large field of lumpy lava rock on the side of a mountain, with small flames flickering from cracks in the stone. Most of the flames are quite small, but we saw a couple that were about 2 feet tall.
We had no idea of what to expect at the Chimera Firestone at Çıralı, and debated whether to include it on this trip. Too often, you visit a site that's been hyped up, and come away disappointed. We really enjoyed it!
After ogling at the chimera flames, we turned around and made the return trek to Olympos. Total distance for the day was 15.2KM, but most was on asphalt or beach, so we made it in good time.
Sadly, this is our last day on the Lycian Trail for the foreseeable future. The remaining stages of the Trail pass through snow-covered areas, and we have neither the right equipment, nor the right temperaments, for winter hiking. We are thrilled with what we've seen and proud of our accomplishments on the Trail. Tonight, we are treating ourselves to a nice hotel in Antalya and will return home tomorrow - with memories to last a lifetime and a bunch of new stories to tell.
Photos of Today's Hike
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