‘We got out of our sister role during an intense hike through Turkey’

“Lisa is sitting here by our tent, near the town of Chimaera. We had to climb a bit and had a beautiful view up there. The special thing is that some kind of gas comes out of the ground on that mountain and causes spontaneous fires everywhere.

In the evening, in the dark, we cooked our food on a fire next to the tent and roasted marshmallows. It was truly an unforgettable place.

Our hike went through the Lycian region, from Fethiye to Antalya. The Lycian Way follows old paths from the Romans that still remain from that time. Sometimes you can only get somewhere if you walk. Then you will see Roman tombs or an amphitheater in the middle of the mountains. Over time we felt like archaeologists because you start to recognize remains.

A few weeks on each other’s lips

In the sixteen days we covered a distance of 540 kilometers, hitchhiking a few times.

Lisa has much more hiking experience than I do, she often goes on trips on her own. Vacations like these never appealed to me, but when I hiked alone in Portugal for the first time last year, I liked it better than expected. Then the idea arose to go for a walk together.”

“Our bond is very good, but I thought it was exciting because you are on each other’s lips for a few weeks. We haven’t seen each other much in recent years. She left home to study three years earlier than I did and she lived in France for a while.

When we see each other at home, we naturally fall into the sisterly role we used to have. In that role I get annoyed by her faster than when I visit her: then we are more friends and we have different conversations. Whew, I thought, we’re getting along so well that I dare go on vacation together.

A huge downer

We had packed very lightly, our walking poles were the tent poles. We would camp wildly, twice we could sleep in a guest house to take a shower. We looked at the map where you could camp, but when you arrived there after a day’s walk, it didn’t always turn out to be suitable: too steep or too many rocks. Then we had to move on.

It was good that we had a lot of dried food with us, because in the last days, after a long walk, we often came to a village where there was no longer the restaurant or guest house indicated on the map. It was always a huge letdown.

Beforehand, we had fantasized about what we wanted to eat: mainly fresh, fresh things. Instead, we had to make do with a can of vegetables from a supermarket and dried mashed potatoes mixed with water. So we could laugh about that.

Sometimes one of us was through it, but then the other stayed positive. We didn’t take out irritations on each other, you have to make the best of it.

I can do much more

I noticed that Lisa is mentally stronger, I can do a lot more. I also had many blisters, and i in the middle of nothing released the sole of my mountain shoe. We tried it with two-second glue, had the shoe sewn by a cobbler, tied a rope around it, but it didn’t help, and I bought new shoes anyway.”

“You really go on such a trip together, you need each other. Sometimes it was hard, on dangerous slopes with loose gravel that you had to get over with hands and feet.

The route was poorly marked, now and then it was time to track. Very exciting was the gorge where we crossed deep water with a strong current. Then we had to climb a steep rock and slide down the other side. I always explored first and then we handed things off to each other.

It felt really good as we had safely completed that stage.

Daydreaming about new trips

The physical challenge of being in motion is relaxing. In nature, you don’t have to plan anything, there are no incentives, you barely look at your phone. We wanted to go for weeks.

Our lives are very different, but we discovered that at the core we are very similar: the way we behave on such a journey, what rhythm we like, give and take in it.

We could be ourselves, I thought that was very nice. We are now daydreaming about new journeys we would like to take together.”

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