Here is the thing about Patara. I actually liked this small quaint village that is part of the Lycian way trekking route but a series of events forced me to wonder if Patara did not want me on its doorstep.
I am a great believer in the sixth sense, paying heed to our intuition and after a disastrous three days in the small village, I really did wonder if a supernatural force was trying to tell me that I was not welcome.
A series of events forced me to make the promise that I won’t ever return.
Soaked on Patara Beach
It all started two hours after I had arrived and dumped my bags at the hotel. I found my way to the famous Patara beach which is 18km of sand, listed as one of the best beaches in Turkey and is a protected area for the Caretta Caretta turtle.
While I was enthralled in the moment and taking pictures from all angles, the heavens opened and gale force winds caused loose grain of sands to fly into my hair, into my camera lens and also hamper my vision as to where to seek cover.
Eventually I made it to a small hut restaurant, but I was soaked right through. My top and trousers were clinging to me. My hair was dripping wet and sticking fast to my face. Head down with embarrassment, I walked into the restaurant and past people who were staring while leaving a trail of water and sand behind me.
My visit to Patara beach had not gone as planned.
The Ancient Ruins were not Kind to Me Either
The next thing to do on my bucket list was to see the ancient ruins of Patara. They are listed as one of the recommended historical sites on the Lycian way trek. The problem was that I could not find them.
I was looking for one massive historical site that could be seen for miles but it transpired that the ruins are scattered all over the countryside. That is why you are giving a map when you pay your entrance fee! (I had just shoved the map in my bag without even looking at it)
Anyway, I was quite thrilled to be slowly making my way around the Angora, theatre and market street. Unfortunately previous rain fall had turned the path slippery and muddy so getting around was proving to be an ordeal.
I should have realized that at some point, I was bound to end up slipping, landing on my rear end with dented pride and a great fear that I had bruised my coxic bone.
Walking away in pain, I figured that bad luck always comes in a batch of three so that was two down, one to go.
Food poisoning was next
I assumed that the disaster at Patara Beach and the ruins were the reasons why I was feeling very lethargic when night time came. I went to bed early however it turned out to be something more than lethargy.
Around 1am in the morning, I woke up drenched in sweat and with an urgent need to throw up. For the next 24 hours, I was confined to my hotel room with violent sickness from both ends and a strong belief that I was on deaths doorstep!
Without the hotel manager bringing me tea and offering to buy any medicines I needed, I could have quite easily given up at that point. I ended up on the phone, crying to my friend about my sickness which I strongly suspected to be food poisoning.
Let’s not forget about mosquitoes!
Living in Turkey, I am no stranger to mosquitoes but the size and persistence of the mosquitoes in Patara made me believe they were genetically modified!
Despite covering myself in cream and spraying the room to the point of choking, I still woke up in the morning with a face that resembled Frankenstein due to the mosquitoes.
The heavy rainfall in previous days and the large lake in Patara had forced the mosquitoes out in droves to suck blood from any innocent soul.
Did Anything Good Happen?
Well, yes. Despite setbacks, I found Patara beach to be beautiful and the ruins to be magnificent. Out of all the historical ruins listed on the Lycian way trek, Patara is a must-see as it was one of the ancient cities of the Lycian league and I am proud to say that I have been there
Let’s not forget about the hotel manager who insisted that I had just came at the wrong time of year and told me that August is the best time to visit. He was also very helpful in my time of sickness and with giving me local information.
There was also the crazy Italian who was part owner of the hotel and called Luca. His expressions and the way he spoke English with an Italian accent just brightened up my disastrous days and made me laugh.
My Departure from Patara
As I was leaving Patara to continue the route of the Lycian way trek, I had an overwhelming feeling of relief. Despite its appealing rustic and laid back vibes, the combination of bad events have left me with memories that I have no wish to recall in a hurry.
Would I Recommend Patara for a Holiday?
Yes, if you do not want luxury.
Independent back packers use it as a stopover point on their way to Olympos and elderly couples use it as a base to explore the area by car. There are of course, the trekkers who are following the route of the Lycian way.
Locals told me that at one point; it was a very popular holiday destination however the massive holiday companies withdrawing it from their books soon meant that fewer people visit it every year.
However, I won’t be returning to Patara in this lifetime as I just got the feeling that a supernatural force was telling me I was not welcome.
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