Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 08:37:02 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Got to make the feeling last: On a hike in Turkey, what it means to explore a trail without the Internet

Every day is a foray into the unknown when you set off on a hike in Turkey, on foot and without the Internet

Every day is a foray into the unknown when you set off on a hike in Turkey, on foot and without the Internet
photo by

Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Neelima Vallangi :
Two winters ago, under the light of a flashlight in our little green tent, my friend and I were peering into a guidebook. We were camped by the side of a country road in the hinterlands, outside a village called Cukurbag in southwestern Turkey. We were hiking the Lycian Way, a 500km trail along the Anatolian coast between the cities of Fethiye and Antalya.
For the first time in months, I had also opted out of my over-reliance on technology; I’m used to travelling fast and effectively, which kills all spontaneity and margin for error. On this journey, however, by going in blind and giving it enough time, I was opening myself up to the possibility of being taken by surprise.
I had agreed to join my friend when she proposed we hike the Lycian Way in Turkey independently, without any guidance. The thought of Turkey serves up images of a grand Ottoman past but the much-earlier Roman and Hellenistic roots never captured my imagination. That was set to change. Lycian Way is an ancient path connecting many of the now-ruined but centuries-old, pre-Ottoman Lycian settlements along the Turquoise coast in southwest Turkey. What remained of those ancient cities includes massive sarcophagi in the middle of wilderness, tombs carved into sheer cliff faces and gigantic amphitheatres. The trail, essentially connecting the ruins of ancient cities like Xanthos, Patara, Myra, Simena and more, is well marked and criss-crosses secret coastal towns, small mountain villages and a whole lot of stunning wilderness.
In this adventure, thrills came in unexpected ways. Neither my friend nor I had realised that the internet couldn't school us on what our time on Lycian Way would be like because there was so little written about it online. All we had was a bare-bones German guidebook that dealt with the logistics of the trail, more than the description of it. So, every day was a new adventure into unknown lands. We’d arrive at seaside towns we had never heard of, stay in places we couldn’t obsessively check the reviews of, marvel at 2,000-year old ruins we hadn't been told of and see sights that weren't dulled by the ubiquity of social media posts.
Slowing down our travel to the least possible speed as we moved on foot, we had adopted a human pace of exploration. That led to encounters which wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. When a little girl rescued us from a raging thunderstorm on the afternoon of the first hiking day, we got to spend the night with a lovely family in the remote mountain village of Bezirgan. We could hardly exchange words but their kindness transcended the language barrier. A shepherd camping next to the ruins of an ancient church high up in the mountains, beyond the pastures of Alaklisé, came to inspect our camping set-up and invited us to have warm ekmeks (large rotis) straight off the fire, with delicious honey.
But the kindness of strangers was not the only happy outcome of this slow journey on foot. It was also the blessing that came in the form of limited network connectivity. As we hiked along craggy cliffs overlooking coastal delights, across pasture lands guarded by fierce shepherd dogs, and cutting through wild jungles, the lack of internet meant we had to devise ways to stay immersed in our surroundings for days together.
Hiking was meditation by another name. By concentrating on how not to miss the trail, or fall off the cliff or while soaking in the beauty of the azure Mediterranean waters spread in front of me, I inadvertently left my worries behind. Mindfulness, something that was sorely missing in my attention-deficit city living, had made an excellent, if perhaps temporary, comeback.
Slowing down and spending weeks in a particular region also meant immersing ourselves in the local culture. It was a window into another way of living. Staying in small, family-run pansyions (bed and breakfasts), we got to sleep and eat like a local. We learnt their breakfast comprised a healthy spread of cheese, olives, fresh fruits and bread. That their homemade Mediterranean food was hearteningly close to Indian cuisine. We also figured this particular coast was extremely popular with German tourists, which is why every second Turkish person we met could speak fluent German. These weren't groundbreaking discoveries but small details that made us feel like we were making a new acquaintance.
I had spent a month in Turkey and didn’t venture beyond the 300km between Dalaman and Antalya. On any other trip, I probably would have jet-setted across the country, checking off must-visit sights from a list. But by limiting myself to a small stretch on the Lycian coast, I felt like I had been on a journey of discovery and not just a vacation. n
Neelima Vallangi is a Bangalore-based travel writer and photographer.

Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Justice delayed justice denied

FIVE years have elapsed after the Rana Plaza collapse in Savar which is known as deadliest garment-factory accident in history, as well as the deadliest structural failure in the modern human history. At least 1136 garment workers were killed on the spot and 1169 received severe injuries when the multi-storied ...

Cricket »

Shakib, Tamim to play for ICC World XI against West Indies

Bangladeshi all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and top order batsman Tamim Iqbal have been included in the ICC World XI to play West Indies team in a one-off T20I match at Lord's on May 31.The match is being organised to raise fund for the reconstruction of stadiums that were damaged in ...

Sports »

(Left to right)) Uttam Mundy, CEO, PGTI; Arshi Haider, Chairman of bti; Siddikur Rahman, Professional Golfer; Asif Ibrahim, President, BPGA; Johnson Poh, Professional Golfer, Honey Baisoya, Professional Golfer unveiling the bti Open 2018 Trophy on Monday.

Entertainment »

Shilpa Shetty Kundra is Inspirational Celebrity of the Year

A successful wellness guru Shilpa Shetty Kundra is one of cinema’s most loved names. Her rise has nothing short of meteoric. This actress turned entrepreneur has to her credit successful yoga DVDs, a health and fitness channel is also a top-selling selling author of two books based on her mantra ...

Entertainment »

Richa Chadha’s new song look inspired by Parveen Babi’s Jawani Janeman

Actress Richa Chadha is considered to be the front-runner in Bollywood for experimenting with her looks and character in the films she does. Right from playing an old woman Nagma Khatoon in her first commercial success hit, Gangs of Wasseypur series to her soon to release film Daasdev, Richa has ...

City »

President Abdul Hamid receiving an annual audit report from a delegation led by Auditor and Comptroller General Masud Ahmed at Bangabhaban on Monday.

International »

Child rape case heightens India`s Hindu-Muslim divide

AFP, Jammu :The internet is being cut for hours on end in Jammu as authorities try to halt protests that have grown in the Kashmir winter capital since the rape-murder of an eight year old girl opened a new front in India's Hindu-Muslim divide.With near daily protests held across the ...

Editorial »

Govt must answer what happened to the force disappearances

MEMBERS of around 80 families joined a programme under the banner of "Mayer Daak", a platform of disappearance victims' family members, from across the country on April 21st, as per report of a local daily. Speaking at the event, supported by rights activists, family members slammed the state for denying ...

Entertainment »

Alia Bhatt spies on movie goers

Raazi trailer was launched recently. Last week, in partnership with FB & PVR, Alia spied on theatre audiences watching the trailer on the theatre screen and appeared on a two-way facebook LIVE in front of them and interacted with the audience as they could both see each other. This was ...

Football »

Neymar to be at peak of powers at World Cup: Ronaldinho

Xinhua, Rio De Janeiro :Brazil legend Ronaldinho has backed compatriot Neymar to make a full recovery from foot surgery in time for the World Cup in Russia.Neymar has been sidelined since suffering a cracked fifth metatarsal in his right foot while playing for Paris Saint-Germain in late February.He underwent surgery ...

International »

Iran threatens to `vigorously` resume enrichment if US quits deal

AFP, New York : Iran warned Saturday it is ready to "vigorously" resume nuclear enrichment if the United States ditches the 2015 nuclear deal, and said further "drastic measures" are being considered in response to a US exit.Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters in New York that Iran ...

Football »

Chanathip Songkrasin (left) of Consadole Sapporo and Kazuki Nagasawa (right) of Urawa Reds fight for the ball during their J1 League match at Saitama Stadium in Saitama, north of Tokyo on Saturday.

Sports »

Kvitova, Pliskova give Czechs 2-0 lead over Germany

AFP, Stuttgart :Victories by Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova gave the Czech Republic a commanding 2-0 lead over hosts Germany in their Fed Cup semi-final on Saturday. Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova needed just over an hour for an emphatic 6-3, 6-2 win over Julia Goerges at the Porsche Arena in ...

Entertainment »

Salman, Katrina all set to leave for tour to USA in June

Salman Khan is one of Bollywood's biggest superstars and over the years he has made a brand out of himself. Everything from his dance moves, clothes, accessories to his attitude and body language is a rage among his fans. Salman was recently proven guilty in the 1998 Blackbuck poaching case. ...

Entertainment »

Shahid to shoot for Batti Gul Meter Chalu

Shree Narayan Singh's Batti Gul Meter Chalu is a social drama that depicts the contradiction between long hours of power cuts and the ironically high electricity bills that dig a hole in the common man's pocket. It narrates the story of a man's fight against power distribution companies. Shahid Kapoor ...

Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Write a comment to this news