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Jumaat, 6 Disember 2019

Turkey’s Lycian Way Draws A Wonderful Experience

Nothing could have prepared me for the journey we were about to embark on. Or in other words for the amount of stamina and mental strength required to walk through 30km the rocky trails in a span of 3 days.

A group of seven Malaysian journalists took on the challenge to hike through one of the world's most famous hiking route in Turkey, the Lycian trail, led by our friendly local tour guide Ozgur.

We hopped off our Turkish Airlines flight to Dalaman, Turkey and headed straight for our first day of adventure. Suited up in our modest hiking gear, we began our journey walking the abandoned town of Kayakoy also known as the Turkish ghost town.

Photos at Kayakoy, Ghost Village, completely abandoned in 1923 after the Greco-Turkish war. Photo taken by Ian Johan Ariff with Canon EOS R.

The deserted ruins was once residential to the Turks and Greeks until 1923. Our journey was 7km long and took 2 hours 30 minutes for us to reach our destination, the called it the Blue Lagoon near Oludeniz.

When I reminisce about the Lycian trail I think of the various types of fruit trees we came across and how happy it made everyone. We were in the hands of the Turkish mountains and with that, we witnessed blooming pomegranates, peaches, grapes and olive trees along the way.

It really was surprising as to how warm the fall Turkish weather was. As mornings would dawned it was rather chilly but we stayed warm by filling our stomachs with Turkish kahvalti (breakfast). But when the sun slowly crept in, the weather was glorious, breezy and warm. It made hiking through the mountains a real calorie burner, considering all the sweating we were in for.

Breathtaking view from our second day hiking the Lycian Way and we're not evebn half way of our journey yet. Photo taken by Ian Johan Ariff with Canon EOS R. 

On our second day, we started bright and early, walking from our hotel up a hill to begin our hike. As an inexperienced hiker I was huffing and puffing, climbing up 600 meters of ascending rocky path. During the steep mountainous conquest, the journey felt endless taking us a solid two hours to reach the top with minimal breaks. We then walked for an hour as we headed to our lunch destination.

For each break we took in between hikes to gather our breaths, the scenery witnessed from each mountain top was absolutely breathtaking. The crisp Lycian trail air felt good and gave us that boost of energy needed to keep walking.

Our lunch spot was hosted by a local farmer who taught us how to make Gozleme, a traditional savory Turkish flatbread. We ended our 13km journey by late afternoon Oludeniz beach, where people were swimming, paragliding and enjoying the laid back atmosphere. For me, a big scoop of ice cream and my feet on the pebbled beach was my reward. 

As the third day rolled in, so did the pain in my body. Hiking up Turkey’s Lycian Way required a lot of upper and lower body strength that an amatuer hiker was not prepared for. The last hike consisted of 11km of walking which began in Faralya, passing through butterfly valley, descending all the way down to Kabak beach. This hike in particular was indeed the trickiest. We had to scramble through rocky paths, using our body strength to push ourselves up.

View of Altas Beach from our third day of hiking. Good place to take a jump! Photo taken by Ian Johan Ariff with Canon EOS R. 

And for our lunch our tour guide had planned a picnic for us midway. We had packed with us simple refreshments that were enough to give us fuel for the remaining journey. Sandwiches filled with Turkish sausage and cheese, along with granola bars and fruits for snacks.

We hiked through villages and encountered some friendly locals that were gracious enough to give us a bundle of grapes as we passed through. The villagers made a living selling farm fresh products from breeding cows, goats, chickens and more.

After a long gruelling 5 hour journey, we ended our journey on a downward walk to Kabak beach. A wave of relief and achievement was felt as we’ve completed a total of 30km of the famous Lycian trail. It was without a doubt one of the biggest physical challenges but also a very big accomplishment as well.

Note: Photos taken by Canon EOS R. Mariam is wearing Asics Fujitrabuco Pro hiking shoes to help her with hiking adventure. 

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