We left Köyceğiz, heading for Patara or to be more accurate the village of Gelemiş. Patara is the name of the ruins down the road, which will largely be the subject of a future post. We planned to use Gelemiş as a base to explore the local area, Xanthos and Letoon were definitely on our agenda, the rest was fairly flexible. Maybe Saklikent, but it has been a showery May and there was still a lot of snow high in the mountains, the water would be running high in the gorge and ice cold. Saklikent is in our view best done in September or October, before the autumn rains, when the water is at its lowest and warmest. Other possibilities included going to Kaş, exploring some other ancient sites, or doing the nature thing with canoes, quad bikes, horses, or even the beach.
We got to Gelemiş without a problem, a couple of hours or so along good roads in warm sunshine. The towns and villages area around Gelemiş are largely given over to the production of tomatoes, the valley filled with glasshouses. Gelemiş itself is a sleepy and very pleasant village, set between hills with a road leading onwards past a lake to the ruins of Patara and the beach. In the village are a handful of pensions and small hotels, a few bars and restaurants, shops, and various other facilities dedicated to tourism, upon which Gelemiş pretty much exists.
We checked in at the Flower Pension, initially because it looked open, was occupied and we stopped by it to orient ourselves. We were shown a perfectly adequate room, it was clean, had all we needed, en-suite, small balcony, screens over the windows, air con, and a comfortable bed. The price was not negotiable, but included breakfast, free wifi, and was very reasonable. We noted that there was an option of dinner in the evening, a semi fixed menu which looked tempting. So we settled on the price and agreed to stay for probably 2 or 3 nights.
After unloading the bike and getting out of bike gear we strolled into the village in search of a snack. We ended up having gözleme, which was pretty much our intention. The two gözleme places, next door to each other offered a vast choice of fillings, we settled for cheese and herbs. They were absolutely delicious, and washed down with fresh lemon juice and soda.
Before relaxing for the evening over a few beers, we wandered down to the ruins of Patara and to the beach. The ruins were interesting, but as said, for a future post when we have dug out our older pictures for comparison with the recent excavations and restorations. Then to the beach, wonderful as ever- more than 15 miles of soft golden sand, for humans during the day, nature and turtles at night.
The Flower turned out to be a really nice place to stay, the staff were incredibly pleasant, helpful and knowledgeable, the food was both tasty and excellent value, and it was a pleasant place to relax in the evening. Somewhere we plan to return in the future.