30th November, 2019
- Day 21: Göynük to Hısarçandır
- Distance: 26.3km
- Ascent / Descent: 1500m / 640m
- Weather: 21 degrees C
- Accommodation: wildcamp in Hısarçandır
- Total cost for one (Turkish Lira ₺): entrance to Göynük Canyon to continue the trail 9 = ₺9 (~£1 / €1.40 / US$1.50)
1.5km after leaving the pension, we’re faced with the first obstacle of the day. The road has been washed away. A quick glance at Google maps shows this is (was) the only road in the vicinity to cross the river other than the D400 2km east where the river meets the sea. Did this happen overnight? We climb down the rocks to get a closer look at the situation. It’s quite wide, running fast and possibly up to our knees in some spots. We walk up and down trying to find the ‘safest’ spot to cross and once we both agree on a location, there’s nothing left to do but take off our shoes and socks (I put my bedrock sandals on), unclip our backpacks (in case we fall in) and cross. The water is… invigorating, and at one point I’m in up to my knees. Safe on the other side, we recompose and continue on.
Unbeknownst to us, there’s a gate and ticket office for the canyon. Thankfully the gate is open! We pay the ₺9 entrance fee but I’m not sure what there is to see as the trail soon leaves the river and begins the long climb around Mount Sarıçınar (Sarıçınar dağı) to Hısarçandır.
We have a number of stream crossings, with stepping stones and a few long leaps here and there but luckily our feet stay dry. The ascent is generally well waymarked (other than one section where there are old and new blazes contradicting each other) and it’s a delightful climb with stunning mountain and forest views. Maybe I’m getting emotional as we near the end of the hike but it feels like one of the best days.
At the top of the climb I’m ecstatic to have made it and surprised to see a small settlement. We meet a local who offers us tea and a bench to rest, but with the sweat on our backs from the exertion of the climb quickly turning to ice, we politely decline and continue, trying to keep warm. To our amazement, the Lycian Way follows a road the remaining 8km downhill to Hisarçandır.
The road-walking is a breeze and we make good time to arrive in Hisarçandır before dark. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but what we find is a spread out village with no accommodation or services of any kind and nowhere ideal to wild camp. We head to the mosque hoping to find someone there but it’s empty. We sit on a bench and eat a dinner of bread, peanut butter, Nutella and chips, hoping that someone will arrive. (We’d like to ask permission/recommendation for somewhere to camp.) The call to prayer sings out, but still no-one comes. It’s dark now and there’s a shelter nearby so we set up our tents hoping we’re not offending anyone (if there is anyone around) and set our alarms to get up at first light.
We’re using Komoot* for navigation and to record our own tracks. Prior to departing the UK we uploaded the GPX tracks to Komoot so we can now use them for navigation (with voice commands). We’re also using Komoot to record our own daily tracks which gives us the above maps, elevation profiles, distance, speed etc. You can find our collection of tracks on the Komoot App by searching ToughGirl for Sarah and followingthearrows for me. Or click the link in the caption on the above map to go straight to the track.
*Komoot premium was gifted and we also received sponsorship for this hike.
If you have any questions, leave me a comment and I’ll add a FAQ post at the end of the trip.