A 22-year-old recent college grad recounts her hike through Turkey with her 62-year-old father.



Yet more pics... http://www.flickr.com/photos/8151765@N03/?saved=1

Hey dudes!!!

We've made it to Lake Elğidir, 3 days ahead of schedule. I'm sitting in the nice warm Lale Pension while outside the wind is blowing like crazy. We've been a bit spoiled--beds to sleep in and showers for two nights in a row! Life is good.

Five days ago we climbed up a fairly intact Roman road to the ancient site of Adada. We had the place all to ourselves and so scrambled about these 2000+ year old ruins totally unimpeded.

...later we ran out of water for a few hours and got a bit snippy...okay we nearly impaled one another with our trekking poles, but managed to restrain ourselves long enough to decide to bypass the marked route and head for the road to do a suicide run into the next town...only to find a spring a few meters off the road. Our moods were instantly improved and no one was seriously injured by said trekking equipment.

Three days ago we hiked up and down mountains, through rain, past an enormous well and ended up zigzagging down a cliff to an orchard grove. At the bottom lay a park with a beautiful marble spring I was more than happy to make use of (dad and I seem to have problems with this whole water thing). As I crossed to the spring I noticed six Turkish girls to my left having a wonderful time. They ran over to say hello and before long we were laughing and attempting to converse in our stilted English-Turkish mix (though mostly English, to be perfectly honest). By the end of an hour they'd brought us a full meal, we'd danced to club music emanating from their cell phones and even reviewed our current relationship stats. We wrapped up the leftovers and were off into the orchards as our six new friends tramped off to their little town. I'm not sure there were more than 25 actual words spoken between us, but the language of girl is fairly universal.

As we wandered on it was getting dark and stormy, but the guide book said that the next town held a campsite just at the outskirts. We pushed on in the blackness, hoping to get good night's sleep before our big trek the next day (12 and half hours straight by the book's estimates and mostly straight uphill). Upon entering the unfriendly looking town we peeked our heads into the supposed campsite and were met with wafts of trash and manure. Lovely. As luck would have it a sign that read 'camping' pointed off left. So with no idea how far said 'camping' would be nor if it would give off any better scents than our first option, we trekked off to a strange gated park that had a covered portion that was evidently a tea shop. So we slept there...and it proceeded to dump down rain. We are blessed.

Two days ago we hiked up a mountain. This may seem somewhat repetitive of our other days, but this thing was what some would call formidible. And vertical. But we are the illustrious Turkey Trekkers and we are not afraid...plus I'd had a pain killer and two sugar-filled chais so I was feeling great!

Our accomplishment was somewhat diminished by the fact that several goat herders were bounding up the rocks like Mario bouncing through a level of Super Mario Bros, but it was quite fun to see their huts scattered about the meadows. As we broached the final pass an incredible wind swept around us that nearly bowled me over. It was all quite dramatic. The approaching storm clouds only heightened the mood. So with the swirling air and threatenting clouds we plodded on to an oasis that the was mentioned in our guide book: the ski lodge. Yes, Turkey has a ski resort and we were heading right for it. Unsure if it would be open, but certain that the weather wasn't looking friendly and that our bodies were wearing down fast we moved on...

Long story short: it was open, we were the only guests, there was red wine at dinner, and it was the sharpest contrast possibe to our last week of trekking. Nothing says comfort like a cow-hide covered head board and marble floors. Yowza.

So this morning we woke up in our cushy warm beds and had yet another meal all to ourselves--only this time we actually saw the cook and some other staff slinking in dark corners, perhaps to catch a glimpse of what a guest looked like. It's always a bad sign when a 164 room hotel has to turn on the hot water for you.

We then wandered up and down some hills, past a military base and some goatherds and then to a very windy descent into Eğirdir! We've been looking forward to this place ever since we first began reading about the trek and it definitely is nice to stay in a hostel and chat with other travellers. Dad's a great hiking partner, but it's always good to mix things up a bit.

So that's it from this side of the world. Gule gule!! (that means go with a smile...and is the only form of goodbye I can manage to remember...so whether you like it or not go with a smile, dangit)