Microadventuring is an idea we heard about through a chap called Alistair Humphreys. It can take many forms but it encapsulates any 24- 48 hour trip that you start and finish at your front door and involves spending the night outdoors. With all these mountains in touching distance from Antalya we packed our rucksacks and set off.
Göynük, a small town 15 kms west, was our destination. The bus costs 5tl, leaves form Migros shopping mall and takes 30 minutes. We asked the driver to drop us on the east side of the river, the base of Göynük canyon, and the beginning of our hike.
There’s a twenty minute walk up a tarmac road through a cluster of Göynük houses that have crossed the river before reaching the entrance to the National Park where you must pay 5tl to go any further. We told the attendant that we would be walking out the other side of the park that day because we suspected he would not let us camp or make us pay for a guide (signs suggested this). In future we will cross the riverbed earlier to avoid this toll.
A further kilometre up the canyon path brings you to your first sight of the Lycian Way- identified by painted red and white lateral stripes. Follow these steeply to your left and you’re on the path to Göynük saddle; the high point for our microadventure. A three hour gentle to medium hike in the tree line and we were at our camp spot, a place called Alayapi’s grave, which has enough space for two small tents and is next to an old stone fortification built into the side of a rocky pinnacle.
It was a chilly night, we later learned it had been -8C; the coldest in 8 years. We gathered lots of wood before dusk and had a (safe) roaring fire. Dinner was a slight let down; we packed a tub of yoghurt instead of the veg curry we had in the other yoghurt tub! A somewhat shivery nights sleep has us on the lookout for some warmer sleeping bags in preparation for our 4000 m passes later in the year.
The next day after coffee and porridge we marched up to the promised saddle to behold the views of the Tunç. The Tunç is a snowy peaked mountain in north of the saddle which stands at 2700m. To south lay the Mediterranean. We took some photos and smugly remarked that we had the hills to ourselves.
30 minutes later whilst retracing our steps we stumbled into Adrian, a cheery bloke from Paris. Last year he walked from Istanbul to Norther Iraq via Iran. He’d just spent 8 months working in Antakya and was now walking his way back to France, some buses too he added! And we thought cycling was slow. We shared some biscuits and stories before parting. You never know who’s around the next deserted corner.
2 hours later and we were back in Goynuk town. Before heading back the city we couldn’t resist stopping at roadside lokanta for a rewarding feed. You can see the saddle over Rose’s head, if you can take your eyes off our feast that is.