Difference between revisions of "Kabak"
Revision as of 20:54, 27 June 2011
As it doesn't have sufficient population to be designated as a "village", Kabak is officially a neighbourhood of Uzunyurt, and as such, is usually omitted from maps, even quite detailed ones.
Kabak consists of two physically seperate sections: the settlement proper, a small agglomeration of two-story buildings along the road, clinging on a mountainside way above the coastline (though with a view of beautiful Mediterranean), and the cluster of guesthouses below, between the coast and the canyon known as Kabak Koyu, which, with its pine groves, waterfalls, and coastline, is quite similar to much more famous Butterfly Valley of Faralya; however physical access to Kabak Koyu is a little easier than Butterfly Valley, although the relative remoteness of Kabak offsets that.
The state of development in Kabak is in major flux. There are still backpacker oriented places that are truly interested in keeping Kabak beautiful and are invested for the long-term (Full Moon, Reflections, Sultan, Valley [not Sea Valley] and a few more), but they are being pushed out of the way by developers who just want to make a buck quickly (Sea Valley, Art House, Gemile, Cabile, Shanty, Latcho, Shambala [Lonely Planet authors got free accomodation/food here in exchange for being highlighted]). Someone who remembered it from 2005 would find it different now. For example, to build Sea Valley, they cut down the forest next to the beach. They also want to pave the road to the beach so package tourists can come. If you want to stay at a place that is helping Kabak stay beautiful, choose wisely.
A heavily winding road connects Kabak with Ölüdeniz, passing through Faralya on the way. However, the paved—but heavily potholed, anyway—part ends at the southern exit of Faralya, and the last 6-7 km to Kabak is a dirt road, although wide enough for two cars passing side by side. Total distance from Ölüdeniz is around 25 km, but don't let this what seems like a short distance fool you—it may take around an hour to drive (which is great for the passengers to enjoy the gorgeous views, though).
There are minibuses (dolmuş) from Ölüdeniz taking the same route. They are relatively frequent, (every 1-2 hours until 19:00 or so). They return to Ölüdeniz at the same frequency.
Lycian Way, a waymarked hiking trail passes through the village, providing a tiresome but peaceful connection with Ovacık, a suburb of Ölüdeniz. It takes a de-tour through the mountains, with many impressive vistas and through hamlets no one—except hikers—has ever been, and gradually loses height for Faralya, once more to go up to mountains and descending this time to Kabak. Most hikers break this 22-km section into two days, with an overnight stay in one of Faralya's guesthouses.
There is a dirt road (branching from the main road from Faralya about 2 km away from the village) leading into the canyon and the coast, however if you have any smallest bit of love for your car, avoid driving through that road (think of a rocky downslope where the soft topsoil has all but bulldozed). Instead, you may park your car in the upper village and take a dolmuş down there—they don't have fixed hours (i.e., ready to go as soon as you pay; but you may have to wait for one returning from the coast first) and, regardless of the number of passengers, do have the fixed price of 35 TL, which, if lucky, you may share with fellow travellers waiting for one when you get there. Ask at the grocery store at the upper village for these dolmuşes.
However, if you have been walking all the way from Ovacık, you possibly won't mind walking for an extra half an hour. A branch of Lycian Way, easily recognizable and trackable by its red and white waymarks on rocks along the trail, makes it all the way down to the beach (the other branch passes through the upper village with no descent to the beach).
See and Do
Apart from seeing the canyon itself and a number waterfalls—some of which are at the end of remote and narrow footpaths—along the canyon's sides, swimming, and perhaps taking a cheesy yoga course offered by many of the guesthouses on the coast, and if you are fit and are keen on some tough physical exercise, maybe hiking to the next settlement on either direction along Lycian Way, you will not have much else (actually, anything else) to see or do in Kabak. But doing nothing is exactly what Kabak has to offer—and weren't you for that in Kabak in the first place?
To hike to some great waterfalls, first follow the red and white stone all the way to the beach. From the left side of the beach (looking toward the sea), continue following the red and white stones 20-25 minutes. You will see a big sign (put up by the Full Moon owner, Mustafa) that shows the Lycian Way to the right and waterfalls to the left. You will be able to follow the pipeline and old river until the waterfall. There are six or seven pools successively higher. From the waterfall, you can either return the way you came, or you can follow the red painted stones until that path rejoins the Lycian Way with red and white stones. When it rejoins, going left will return you to Kabak around the back side of the valley, and going right will return you to where the Lycian Way hits Kabak beach.
There is a small grocery store in the upper village. As you might rightly be expecting, they don't accept credit cards.
Eat and Drink
You'll have your meals in your guesthouse. Just don't have expectations too big—for the guesthouse owners, a hearty and filling dinner means some local handmade noodles with basic tomato sauce and various green salads, which is welcome if you are a vegetarian. You might even get some fried aubergines and/or squash if you are in your lucky day! In general, you can stop at just about any guesthouse/campground/bungalow area, have a look at their food menu, and decide if you want to eat there. Since many only provide breakfast and dinner, all of them offer food to buy for lunch. If you are not staying overnight, you can easily negotiate a price for dinner.
Both the upper village and the coastal part have a number of guesthouses, some of which consist of wooden bungalows. Most also offer campgrounds in their yards, although you can wild camp for free on the beach or in the isolated parts of the canyon. Overall, Full Moon is the closest to the dolmus stop, but far from the beach. The rest are closer to the beach, but it's a walk back up to the dolmus stand. Something to consider if you have a heavy pack and you either want to chill in your camping/bungalow area or hang out more on the beach. Follow the red and white painted rocks for the trail all the way to the beach, through which you will pass several locations with bungalows and camping spaces. There are plenty more to find, so contribute if you stay at any of them!
The more local, backpacker oriented places are Full Moon, Reflections, Sultan, and Valley Camp (not Sea Valley). The rest of the places are rented by developers and are having a deleterious effect on the natural environment of the place.
The area code for landline phones in the village is (+90) 252.
Kabak is within the coverage area of Turkey's mobile phone operators.
You're out of luck if you are looking for internet cafes. The only internet available will be at the place you are staying or maybe a cafe you get a drink or food at.
As far as anything running on wheels is concerned, Kabak is literally the dead end street, as the road coming from Ölüdeniz ends here, giving way to complete wilderness of Yediburunlar (literally "seven headlands") area, the remotest section of Lycian coast.
However, for hikers, the fun has just started yet—the remote mountain hamlets of this rugged (and seemingly inaccessible) area is connected to each other by Lycian Way, which turns and twists on the sides of the mountains, following the coastline from a distance. Within about three days' time, after some (usually quite sharp) descents and ascents, and enjoying vistas which were practically the same thousands of years ago, you will be back to "civilization" on the Patara beach, just south of the modern town of Kınık, or Xanthos, as it was known to ancient Lycians, on the other side of Yediburunlar.