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The magic of hiking the Lycian Trail

Author: Alyona Kraschina, 33, Dnieper, Ukraine
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Somewhere out there, high in the mountains, lurks the magic that opens hearts, freeing them from all the pressing questions of civilization, from worries and anxieties. Somewhere out there, far away from civilization, people are changing the course of things and thoughts, changing priorities, and experiencing feelings long forgotten, feelings of childhood. Feelings of love, friendship, unrestrained fun and joy.

The joy of just being there, the joy of taking a sip of water, or the joy of being yourself, of being able to be alone with the world, against all the rules and templates. A world with so many stars and seas and so much soul. A place where fire magically burns out of precipitous rocks, a place where people are above the clouds both physically and emotionally, a place where people are not afraid to open their hearts to let in all that is truly important.

One day in early fall 2020, I made a spontaneous decision to go camping. “Drowning my cell phone in the toilet bowl” and flying off to an amazing country with which an entire chapter of my life has been connected in the past. I took off early in the morning from cloudy October Kharkiv, heading for sunny Antalya, so I could get on the Likya Yolu the next morning. 11 days. It seems like so much and so little.

About preparation and equipment

I started preparing about a month in advance. As far as my meager knowledge on preparation for the mountain hike was enough, and of course, thanks to the recommendations of the team Kuluar I gathered pretty well. Back in early 2020 I started slowly buying equipment (backpack, sleeping bag, etc.) and most importantly, buying it all, I could not even answer the question: “Why? At the end of the hike came a complete understanding of what things should be in the backpack, and which do not. In the category of the most unnecessary things at the end of the trip won…. Running Sneakers, which I dreamed of RUNNING around Istanbul at the end of the hike and my trip. Learned to use trekking poles, the next hike only with them, as well as special quick-drying and ultralight clothing is not a luxury, but a necessity. And also, the most important lesson, that in the mountain shoes (or boots) still need to run 100 kilometers up and down the mountain before you decide to take them into the mountain hike, otherwise blisters will follow you all the way))

About the hiking trip.

No day was like another. Even on those rare days when we stayed in one place. No day was ever like the previous day, the only thing that was constant was the incredible high I experienced on a daily basis. It was a struggle with myself, when a million times I wanted to stop, rest, drink one more sip of water, when it was scary to walk along a dark trail, or along a cliff on a “rush,” but I walked, and made a super effort on myself, noting my “fears” that still needed to be worked on. At first you climb up the mountain for a long, long time, thinking that nothing could be harder, and then the descent begins, and you realize that the physical strain of climbing up is many times easier than going down. And some day you in 10 minutes reassemble your 55-liter backpack, put it on your sore shoulders, you feel every inch of rubbed feet, but miraculously you do not care, because it’s not important in the campaign, it all REALLY important. Here I want to say a huge special thanks to a friend and our guide Andrew Pilipyuk for his patience, when he knew without a word we needed to make a halt.

About friends

Nothing brings people together like shared experiences. Feelings of love and friendship, laughter, a common goal, no matter how silly it may seem at first glance. It is strange, because going to the campaign, I wanted to be alone with myself. And found there loved and dear friends. People who, after some 3-4 days were very close to me, understandable and their own. In moments when we were at the peak of fatigue, we just started a new game, of words, professions, crocodiles, frisbees. We sang songs and the boys read poetry. We enjoyed endless mountains and fluffy clouds that we literally touched with our hands. We watched the shooting stars, looked at the constellations, and really couldn’t find the Big Dipper because there are hundreds of times more stars in the mountains than in the cities. When we woke up in the morning, we washed in the sea and sometimes we did Hatha, breathing in the mountain air at the foot of Tahtalı Dağları, the highest mountain (2365 m) in Olympos Beydagları Park. We fell asleep under the orange trees on the coast in the town of Cirali, and on the coldest night of the hike and under the open sky, around the campfire on Chukur Yayla at an altitude of 1600 m, we met the dawn in the ruins of ancient Olympos in Andrasan. We revealed to each other intimate secrets that will forever remain on the Lycian Trail.

I want to say thank you

Thank you Kuluar for this experience. To the guide Andrei for being more than just our guide and mentor, for being a friend on my very first day in Antalya. Thanks to the managers Oksana and Ludmila for their help and support in organizing. I want to say thank you to my friends for being, are and will be in my life and in our unsurpassed memories.

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