Kalkan Turkish Local News takes a look at the fantastic walks right on your doorstep and how to prepare for a walk in the mountains close to Kalkan.
When the main tourist season draws to a close, and the temperatures start to cool a little, the serious walkers of Kalkan are busy buffing up their walking boots, eagerly awaiting a return to their hikes along the Lycian Way, and other local walkways.
For without question, Kalkan is a fantastic launch pad for a number of excellent walks. Quite apart from the beautiful scenery, walking keeps you fit, and you can get to meet some interesting people.
But the mountains can be a dangerous place, so it is sensible to plan your walk in advance rather than just heading off on a whim.
There is a Sunday walking group in Kalkan. You can read about this group, and how to contact them, by clicking on the following link: Kalkan Walking Group
There is also the Kalkan Strolling Group, which heads off on Tuesday mornings, normally at a slightly more leisurely pace. You can reach them by clicking on this link: Kalkan Strolling Group
Here is another link that takes you to a KTLN article on Kate Clow's book on the Lycian Way: The Lycian Way
Most of the rest of this article is split into two parts: preparing for the walk, and considerations on the day.
1. Preparation - things for you to consider before you set off
The KTLN website features its very own weather forecast. It is important to check the forecast just before you set off, so that you can be fully prepared for the conditions.
In the summer months the main weather challenge is the heat, so if you are planning on walking at this time of year, you should consider setting off very early in the morning, to avoid the highest temperatures. In the cooler months, and winter in particular, you can experience snow, torrential rain, strong winds, and occasionally low cloud (fog).
Plan your route and include time for breaks
Use a good map, such as the one included in Kate Clow's guide to the Lycian Way (available at Desti Gift Shop in Kalkan town). Select a route that has a distance and degree of difficulty in line with your own experience and capabilities. In estimating your walking time, allow for periodic breaks.
Never walk alone
Very sadly, from time to time, there are fatalities on the Lycian Way. It is not advisable to walk on your own. If anything goes wrong you have nobody to help you or seek assistance on your behalf.
Even experienced walkers, who are familiar with the terrain do not venture out on to the mountains on their own. Pictured right is a lady we carried down a mountain earlier in 2009, who had broken her leg!
Tell people where you are going and when you plan to be back
You should always let people know where you intend to walk, and when you expect to return. If you don't return as planned, they can raise the alarm, or if you are contactable by mobile phone, someone can call to check you are OK.
Are you fit and well?
The mountains are no place to be if you are not feeling fit and well. If you have an injury or are feeling unwell, and are perhaps wondering whether to risk a walk, our advice is stay at home. Mountain walking, whilst enjoyable, can be demanding at times. It's best to be at full strength when you attempt a serious walk.
2. Considerations on the day
- Wear sensible clothing and footwear for the terrain and weather conditions. On sunny days you should consider covering up (including a hat), to avoid sunburn. Flip-flops and flimsy sandals are not a good idea.
- Walking poles/sticks can be useful on more challenging routes.
- A map and compass should be taken, or even better a GPS device, unless it is a route you are extremely familiar with. The Lycian Way is marked, but it is still possible to get lost. That is when your map and compass, or GPS will come in handy.
- Take adequate supplies of food and drink. Always have more than you need - emergency supplies in case you are delayed, diverted, or otherwise out for longer than anticipated.
- Sun screen is important, and not just in the summer months. It may be cool in the mountains, but unprotected skin can still burn.
- You may want to take some kind of insect repellent with you, and possibly one of those sting relief pens.
- Take a mobile phone with you in case of emergency. However, please remember that on some sections of the Lycian Way you can be out of reach of a signal.
- Take a first aid kit with you in case of emergency, or ensure that someone in your walking group has one.
- You may wish to consider carrying an additional emergency kit - rations, survival bag, whistle, torch, spare clothing. The international distress signal is six blasts on a whistle at one minute intervals.
- Toilets - very simply there aren't any. Be prepared to 'go native', behind a bush if you have to.
Wild animals and insects
Normally, if you don't bother them, they won't bother you. In fact most animals will head in the opposite direction if they see you coming.
What can you come across? Wild boar (most unlikely), porcupines (again, unlikely), snakes (small possibility), tortoises (likely but hardly lethal), sheep, goats and cattle (probably - low risk), scorpions (small possibility), lizards (likely but will disappear pretty quickly when you come close).
A word about dogs. You may encounter them on your route. There can be no hard and fast rule as each dog has a temperament of its own. Be wary, but not frightened of them. If in doubt, just give them a wide berth.
In terms of flying insects, you may come across assorted flies, wasps, and mosquitos. The mountains are also home to many bees, and you will sometimes walk right past bee hives. As mentioned above, you may want to consider carrying an insect repellent or sting relief pen.
After all that planning, just enjoy your walk and all that fantastic scenery.
Oh yes - don't forget your camera!