I don't usually do group walks as I prefer to wander around at my own pace, but when H3A announced that they were walking to the ancient Lelegian town of Termera, accompanied by two archaeologists who had been involved in a recent rescue excavation on the site, I was keen to join in. It's always a joy to visit a site with an up-to-date source of information, rather than second-hand knowledge trawled from the internet. It would also be a novelty to walk cross-country to a Lelegian or Carian site without getting lost en-route.
The walk, initially planned for the end of January, was postponed twice because of heavy rain so it was the end of February by the time we all convened in the village of Akçaalan above Turgutreis to start the ascent. The head count was an impressive 50, which is an amazing number for a Sunday in February, unfortunately this figure did not include the two archaeologists, who couldn't attend so we were without our experts.
After a brief pep-talk by team leader Ali Bey, with a reminder to not disturb any relics, we were off at a brisk pace. I'd arrived with a friend I've known for 30 plus years, and we happily strode forth, chatting all the way. With several other old friends and a sprinkling of new ones in the group, I realised that walking en masse is actually a very enjoyable activity. Especially in beautiful spring sunshine, surrounded by blossom and wild flowers. I was without my walking boots as I'd left them in the village so was attempting the walk in wellies, but had good reason to appreciate my forgetfulness when the path turned into a stream.
After about 40 minutes, our merry group came to a halt as our path petered out. We'd obviously missed a turning. I'm so glad that it's not only me that gets lost on the way to these sites. An adventurous group of four, plus Jake the dog, set off cross-country uphill, while the rest of us turned around, retraced our steps, stopped for a group photo, picked some wild thyme, took pictures of the anemones, discussed the current political state of Turkey, found the correct path and eventually met the intrepid foursome plus dog on their way down.
The dog lead was handed over and Jake made his second climb of the day. If any animal deserves an honorary doctorate in archaeological studies, this dog does.
|View from Temera.|
Next time I'll post a few details of the site, (after a bit of internet trawling) .