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Thunder and Lightning. A Family Hike in Lycia

Author: Palamarchuk Vitaly, Ukraine, Stavische
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The decision to hike the Lycian Trail was spontaneous. Like all miraculous moments that happen in life often have most of the momentum in them. It was a gift of fate when I met my future guide in Lycia, a good friend - Aunt Olya, on a hike through the Carpathians. It was she, a true hiker, an expert, committed to her work so strongly that the whole team will compose poems about her and say sincere words of gratitude.

For beginners who are going on long hikes of more than one week, I recommend getting plenty of rest before the hike and not planning any additional excursions or trips the day before the hike. Even though I visited a few towns in the four days before the hike in Lycia, it didn't stop me from getting and experiencing all the beauty and emotion of the hike. Still, if you have a desire to visit other cities in amazing Turkey, it is better to do it after the hike.

The first day and the last, the most memorable. Riding in the bus on the transfer to the place of the first night, I sat tired, asked the guide about the nuances of the hike and looked out the window, seeing the incredible landscapes of sea and mountains.
Seeing one of the participants with a guitar, I thought in my head, "Wow, now in the evenings for sure we will not be bored, I really love to sing along with a guitar.

First stop and overnight stay near the canyon "Geynyuk". Turquoise-blue water, rocky mountains all around, tall pine trees, I felt calm and happy. "Let's go canyoning!" - I said, looking at the time. It was nearing evening. Heading toward the canyon, I stood on my feet in the back of the SUV and took videos of the beauty I saw around me. While screaming at the top of my lungs, I was discouraged by the beauty and we weren't there yet. Wearing a life jacket and flippers, my hiking buddies and I went swimming through the beautiful and cold water into the huge rocks of the canyon. The water was about 16 degrees, blue lips, phone in hand, I couldn't help but film this beauty. Overcoming obstacles of large rocks, ramps, ladders, we reached the very end to the waterfall. My eyes wanted to admire, but my body was shivering with cold. Slowly we made our way back. The explosion of emotion, the refreshing water took away the fatigue like a hand.

When we returned to camp, we went to the fire, where Aunt Olya was already cooking us her specialty, borscht. Uncle Albert, holding his guitar and running his fingers rhythmically along the strings, made me happy as a baby. That moment when you wish time would stop. The evening came. It was an evening of acquaintances, where I realized that we will not get sick and will not die, and if necessary - and cure the brain) Assembled a team of doctors in different directions, the forensic medical examiner will be allocated separately). The first night under the stars was approaching, we chatted, sang songs and were in anticipation of what was next?

Trekkings. The set of heights. Descents. Conquest of the Tahtali peak. Sighs. Sweat. A well of drunk water. Sweet nibbles for a snack. The cleansing air of the big pine trees. Songs. Poems. Fairy tales. Joint photos. Collective naming of the team. Mutual support. Help. Eating fruit, figs, grapes, GRANTS on the way. Meeting strange, interesting people. Conversations on intellectual topics about life and the mountains, incomprehensible to people not on the road. Awareness of themselves, their nature, the essence. Setting priorities in life.
Getting rid of unnecessary things and people. Rethinking values.
Everyone sees the route of the hike differently. Carrying a heavy backpack on his back and looking at the beauty around, all sorts of thoughts come to mind, positive, of course.
If you didn't love yourself and life, you start to love it. If you loved it, you appreciate every moment even more. The mountain part of the hike is over. There are sad moments in the hike. They arise more because you realize the value of life. You realize that time flies at an incredible speed. And life! Life is happening where you haven't been yet...

The second part of the trip is maritime.
Mediterranean Sea. The beach. Tanning. Volleyball game with local guys. Music. Victory. Joy. The smiles of the girls looking at you. Visiting a local establishment where they already know you as a volleyball machine. Getting to know the girls. Shame about not knowing English. A barrier to communication. A new language - facial expressions and gestures. The interpreter. Dancing. Cocktail. Drive. Camping. Sound sleep. Meeting the dawn to my beloved camping exercises. Dinner and the familiar voice of song by my family under the pomegranate tree. Overnight on the beach, hotel 1000000000 stars. Olympos ruins of an ancient city. Rampant cliff jumping. YACHT. Songs with a guitar on a yacht. Jumping into the water without stopping. Chic lunch with fresh fish from the Captain. Coves. Blue sea water. Glare. Different air. Breathing to the full. A pirate's cove. The best sunset ever, swimming in the sea.

The last day had come. I couldn't believe it. Some friends were already saying goodbye. The last day was as memorable as the first. A healthy, beautiful lighthouse. The feeling of being at the ends of the earth. Curiosity is what makes you see, experience, feel more than you could. It made me want to go even higher from where we were staying. I went. I'll never forget standing on the cliff face and looking out into the distance, enjoying the moment.

For me, this hike remains in my memory as a life lived separately. Once you've had that experience, you'll never be the same. Go to the mountains, friends!
After all, life is there, where you have not yet been.

Special thanks to aunt Olya, our super guide!!!

A poem about the hike, and about guide Aunt Ola, written by Uncle Aydar from the phrases of each of the participants, and a pinch of his own creativity:

The Ballad of the Turkish Campaign

In the year of the covid in October,
On the Turkish side
Kuluar gathered people.
Of tourists of all stripes.

The meeting place in Otogar,
All in pairs, as if on purpose.
Only one Anton from Moscow,
Larisa and Katya from Vologda,
From the Far East, Arkady and Victor,
From Bashkiria from the Urals, Louise and Aydar,
Albert, Diana, Gulia from Neva,
Vitalik and my friend Misha from the Ukrainian land.

Our instructor and leader.
Auntie Olya, something like that.
She is wearing green pants,
A huge backpack behind.
She won't leave her friends in trouble,
♪ She'll feed 'em and give 'em a good drink ♪
♪ She'll teach us how to speak zero ♪
♪ We love her very much ♪

♪ Day one as a commercial ♪
We went down under the bridge.
There was the sea, the rocks, the cliffs,
♪ Sausage was a tasty sandwich ♪

# But quickly the commercial ran out 
♪ And there were trails and cliffs and paths ♪
Climbs, descents, hail sweat...
Let this episode pass.
But the parking lot under the sycamore tree,
Plateau in front of Tahtali Dag,
Guitar's sweet lullaby,
And a warming fire!

We saw the Chimera lights,
We climbed Tahtali Dag,
We secretly visited Olympus,
We found out where the lighthouse stands!
Instructor Olya didn't let us down:
In a week there was the sea,
Sandy shore and Chiral!
We were enchanted by beauty!

Our sweetest passage,
Of course it was by sea.
There was the steamer and the captain,
Swimming by the grotto!
The moral of the ballad is this:
Tired of lying by the sea?
Don't appreciate beer and wine?
Find out about the site to the mountains!
(Kuluar Hike)

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