Tag Archives: Dogs

Olympos to Antalya

1/1 – Happy New Year to all! The pansyion really filled up last night, with people out to celebrate. Met a nice couple from Ireland. We were invited to a party on the Olympos beach for NY Eve, but the rain was pouring down and the wind was blowing, not to mention we would have to wade across the inlet in the dark to get there, so we opted to stay relatively dry in our little cabin, with the electricity going on and off. We were fast asleep at midnight, when the loud firecrackers and cherry bombs woke us, then were eclipsed by even louder thunder, magnificent lightning and hailstones.

When we got up in the morning, many oranges had blown out of the trees, and a car formerly parked on dry land was under water. The inlet we had crossed at knee depth was now waist depth or more. Time to move on!

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We thanked Meral for her hospitality and set out to catch the dolmus back to the highway.

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After walking past all the other tree houses with no sign of the dolmus, we stopped in at the last pansiyon to ask for help. The proprietor said the dolmus had left without us, and there wouldn’t be another for two hours. He said we could take a taxi, for three times the rate of the bus. After a brief deliberation, we asked him to call the taxi. He went inside and came back with his car keys. He was the taxi!

After an exciting ride inching over flooded streets, we were back on the main road, waiting for the next bus, which arrived in ten minutes. On to Antalya!

In two hours we arrived at our new home, the Hotel Twenty. Antalya is a big, modern city, and we plan to get some things done while we are here, starting with getting some new boots.

Our hotel is a block from the water, and we have a view of the Mediterranean. The mountains are stunning. We are right next to the mosque, so we will not miss one note of the calls to prayer throughout each day.

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We weren’t sure what would be open on New Year’s Day, an official holiday here, but we took a walk around our end of town to get our bearings. It’s a beautiful sunny day, in the 60s. We see several New Year displays that have co-opted what we would consider Christmasy things – presents, tinsel and wreaths.

Google Maps showed a hikers supply store, Tibet Outdoor, a mile down the main street, so we headed toward it. The windows were dark, but when we tried the door, it opened! The proprietor had just stopped in to check on something, and was happy to talk to us. Of course he doesn’t carry boots in Jim’s size 13, but he will order them for us. He carries Keen, my favorite brand. Things are looking good! We will come back tomorrow, when the store is open.

Antalya has its share of sleeping dogs, and hungry cats.

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It also has an Umbrella Street, full of restaurants, reminiscent of the one we encountered in Portugal. We will eat supper here tonight.image

1/2 – Our hotel cooked us a lovely breakfast, and, fortified, we walked back to the Tibet Outdoor hiker shop. I am now the owner of new boots, black instead of green, and Jim has a pair on order that we hope will fit him. We also looked at cold weather jackets, as we head north next week, and a new raincoat for Jim. Next we visited a tailor, who replaced the broken zipper on Jim’s fleece, and a pharmacy to stock up on meds (which don’t require prescriptions here). Stopped at a camera store to replace my camera batteries that no longer hold a charge. Hmmmmm, what else can we take care of while we’re in town?

Enough errands for one day. How about a sunset?image

Agueda to Albergaria-a-Velha

9/19 – only 10 miles to walk today, so we slept in and partook of the hearty breakfast offered by the Residencial Celeste. The walk was easy today, and the sun came out in between the rain clouds, so here are some pictures, lots of flowers of course, and fall harvest:

The day was mostly on asphalt, with an hour walking through a eucalyptus forest. You can see how hard it is to keep the trail marking on trees when the outer bark peels off!

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Dogs here are chained outside, and they wear themselves out barking at every passerby. Here are some watch dogs and a watch cat, with a pig and some sheep thrown in for good measure:

We got in to Albergaria around noon, and spied a large, modern supermarket, so we stopped in for provisions. Once again, as soon as we were safely inside, the skies opened and the rain poured down. We sat in the cafe inside the market, and watched the other pilgrims come in, drenched and dripping. An old woman came up to me and asked if I was a pilgrim, then hugged me and cried and patted my face, asking me in Portuguese to take her prayers with me. I’ve been collecting a lot of prayers to deliver to St. James. If you would like to add a prayer, I’ll be happy to take yours too…

There is no tourist info in this town, so I used the opportunity of being seated and dry to get out my phone to see where we could stay for the night. Once again, the alburgue was out of business, and so was the residencial and the pension. What now? We asked three young Canadians where they were going to stay, and they told us they were fed up with rain, and were taking a bus to Porto. The French don’t speak any English and we don’t speak any French, so we don’t know what they were doing. The Austrians, ever efficient, had pre-booked a room two miles northwest of town via Bookings.com. That looked like the only game in town, so we headed there too.

The Hotel Ribeirotel, painted pink, is in the middle of the industrial zone, on a busy highway. When we asked the price of a room, we were shown the rate sheet: single, double, or “couples by the hour”! Oh dear, another place of ill repute, but there was nothing for it, so here we are in Room 29. It’s clean, there are no mirrors on the ceiling, and the shower is good. And yes, we did watch a lady of the evening plying her trade on the highway across from the entrance.

There was no restaurant, so we crossed the busy highway to get to a mini mercado to buy the makings of sandwiches and beer for an elegant supper in bed, while watching an old Robert Redford movie on TV with Portuguese subtitles. Now, this is living!