Gearing Up: Modern Gear meets Ancient Trail
Our journey started with a 10-hour bus ride to Antalya, home of the Lycians- an ancient people who inhabited the area during the Bronze Age. Lycian Way, as the lengthy footpath is called, is one of the 10 best-marked trails in the world and a must hike!! The trail spans the southern coast of ancient Lycia (modern-day Turkey) from Antalya on the East coast to Fethiye on the West coast.
Lycian Way has a lot to offer hikers and history buffs alike. The historical backdrop and the scenic views of the Mediterranean make it a very enjoyable hike. The ultra easy set-up of the SMr Nubé and Pares hammock is a must-have to get the most enjoyment out of the scenery. For us, this was more then just backpacking one of the most beautiful trails in the world, it was a journey of two brothers, who live worlds apart. It was also a chance to make up for all the lost days and a chance to get to know each other all over again. We had so much to talk about.
I could not wait for the first bonfire!
Day 1: Prepared Homelessness
We made our way from the bus stop in Kas Antalya to our starting point at a marina. Because backpacking is not a popular activity in Turkey, to the beach goers in the marina, Kas, we looked like a couple of very prepared homeless guys. The journey started with an amazing boat ride to a campsite surrounded with Lycian tombs. The first night in the comfort of the Nubé hammock shelter and Pares hammock was unforgettable- the versatility of the Nubé allowed us to utilize features of the terrain we couldn't with a tent.
Day 2: Rough Terrain- No Problem!
We woke up early and relaxed and because of the easy set-up of the Nubé system, we were able to pack up very quickly. We were on our way within minutes. After a nutritious and protein-packed Turkish style breakfast, we were ready to tackle the day. Of course, within the first few hours we started veering off the trail because we were super excited about our surroundings. Eventually, I noticed that we were 3 miles off of the trail! As we were making our way back, I slipped and injured my shin (med-kits are a must for these journeys!). My brother suggested we should give up and go home. I was not about to give up on something I had been looking forward to for so many years. I just hoped continuing was the right decision.
As the sun faded we set up a campfire and found the perfect spot for our Nubé system. Near the campsite we were able to enjoy a quick stroll over a bridge that spanned the river. Watching the sea turtles dive into the Mediterranean sea was quite a spiritual experience, bringing us closer to the spirit of the Lycian people that inhabited these lands many moons ago.
At our campsite, we met some other hikers who were using a tent and had not heard of the Nubé yet, that night most of the conversation focused on how amazing the Nubé system was and where other campers could order it. Anytime you camp near a river, dealing with bugs is a huge problem, but not if you're rocking a Nubé system with a huge bug net. While everyone was swatting bugs away I slept like baby. Although it’s nice to share space with like-minded people sometimes you just need to be alone with nature. The higher ground gave us amazing views of the river meeting the Mediterranean sea.
Day 3: The Hardest Climbs Bring the Best Views!
The hike started getting serious on day 3. The next few days were the most arduous and challenging part of this beautiful journey. We started a long and grueling climb/hike up to 6,000 feet. We were exhausted but had to soldier on. At this part of the trail, normal camping gear would have given us sleepless nights. There was absolutely no way to set up a tent in that rugged terrain! The Nubé hammock camping shelter was a lifesaver once again. Due to the ground clearance of the hammock, we were able to avoid confrontation with the wild hogs that would visit late at night.
After a difficult 3 days, we made our way back down to the coast of the Mediterranean. The journey down from the mountains was just as hard as going up! It was especially difficult because I had not recovered from my shin injury on Day 1. Once we made it down to the coast, we were able to relax and take time experiencing the sites, instead of focusing on survival. After 3 days of not seeing many campers, we arrived at Pirates Bay (yes an actual bay that was used by pirates long ago!) there were so many campers, we wouldn't have been able to find a spot by the water if we'd had a normal tent set up. But the Nubé hammock shelter is not normal camping gear! We set up on the top of jagged rocks and brush where no others could set up! After being the talk of the campground because of the Nubé system, I had to once again explain all the features and where to buy it. That night we enjoyed a relaxing night by the water of Pirates Bay.
The next day we made our way to Gelidonya lighthouse, a place Travel Magazine called one of the most beautiful scenic destinations in the world, and I would have to agree 100 percent!
After 150 miles and 10 days, 2 brothers and 2 Nubé systems completed an amazing journey! At times it was very difficult and pushed us to our limits but this journey brought me so much closer to my brother.
Until next time Lycian Way…