Mar 14, 2015

A Song of Ascents

"I lifted up mine eyes unto the hills." (And for those of you who recognised the reference, you must be paying attention during the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy! {You have no idea how much I miss the Lenten services, and how much I look forward to my time in Lebanon!!!} Or you just really love the Psalms.)

The past two days, from Anamur to Gözce, the road has been relatively flat and parallel to the coast line. That changes tomorrow, as the Taurus mountain range once again descends directly to the shore. My GPS app doesn't show contour lines for altitude, but just looking at the constant tight curves is enough to tell me I'll be going up and down all day tomorrow.

When I set out from Bozyazı this morning, I had thought I might attempt the 40 kms to the next town of any size. When I fell asleep sitting on a bench in the sun during a break, I realised that plan was overly optimistic, especially given what my map was telling me about the last half of that distance.

The first few raindrops started falling around 2:00 PM, but it was another hour before it started to *really* rain. By then I knew I wouldn't be continuing on to Aydıncık, so the next time I stopped at a petrol station for a break, I asked about lodgings in that town. They told me what I very much did not want to hear. Nothing until Aydıncık, 25 kms away. And, as noted above, a very hilly 25 kms.

Following the "rule of three" outlined in Brandon Wilson's book (when unsure of directions, ask three different people), I asked again when I stopped at a shop to buy an energy drink. (Nasty things, but given the shocking lack of coffee in Turkey, I need to get my caffeine fixes somehow, and I can't spend all day drinking tea.) They repeated the bad news, so steeling myself for a long wet walk in the dark, I set off. On my way through that town, I spotted the municipal office, so on a whim I turned in. If there truly was nothing for 25 kms, perhaps there would be a dry room where I could bunk down for the night.  The municipal workers confirmed the lack of accommodation in town, but said the next town over, 4 kms away, had hotels that were not hideously overpriced. After giving me several cups of hot sweet lemon tea "for energy," they wished me a good journey.

By 5:00, the sun broke through a gap in the clouds on the horizon, so the last half hour of my walk in the rain was full of light, with a double rainbow making a complete arc. It was a good way to end the day. I'll be setting out early tomorrow, and with the good forecast I may wind up camping out again. While it's not as comfortable as a hotel room, it means I don't have to keep pressing on for hours after dark if I'm nowhere near a town.

And now it's time to say my prayers and retire for the night.

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