Hello, and welcome to the next step in my post-military globe-trotting. Many of you followed my first blog (tonyrides.com) as I traveled the United States on my Motorcycle, riding over 18,000 miles and reaching 49 states and three countries.

In this next installment, my friend Jerod and I will be going abroad for an open-ended jaunt. We will start in the Middle-East at the end of February and see where the roads and the winds take us.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mission Accomplished (Act II Scene II)

After 29 days, approximately 300 miles, 3 walking sticks (for Me), and countless amounts of med tape (for Tony's feet), we've managed to finish the Lycian Way in total along Turkey's Mediterranean coast.  The one stat I'd like to give but honestly don't know is the amount of elevation change we covered throughout the month--But I will say that hiking East towards Antalya as the guidebook recommends is the best bet, since the last third of the trail is the most challenging in terms of elevation gains, length of hiking days, and relative scarcity of water.  On our final night, we actually used up the very last of the iodine tablets for water sterilization and boiled several extra liters of water on the campfire to stay on the safe side.  The scenery along the trail continued to astound, with the summit of Tahtalı Dağ (Mt. Olympos) arguably the highlight of the trip.  The Turkish Ministry of Tourism claims that Mt. Olympos is the 'highest mountain nearest to sea level'-an admittedly rather ambiguous claim-that said, it was a very challenging climb with absolutely stunning views in all directions, and with approximately 7,800 feet of elevation gain over the two day ascent we were quite satisfied to have made the summit.  All in all, this will undoubtedly be a part of our travels we look back on with a sense of accomplishment.

Along the trip, we had a chance to meet several other groups of through-hikers (intending to go the length of the trail as well).  The various nationalities included British, Australians, Dutch, Danish, Israeli, Austrian, and even one other American.  For their part, the Turks think anybody who wants to walk 300 miles for 'fun' is pretty much crazy--and there were certaiınly some times we had a tendency to agree with them.  That said, the Turkish hospitality all along the trail was absolutely amazing-especially in the more remote alpine sections.

We also understand that Mr. Frank's Social Studies Class at the Wattsburg Area Middle School has been following the blog and we would like to stay we appreciate the support and hope we have kept things entertaining and perhaps even educating.  Our time on the Lycian Way was certainly a stroll through history, as it was not uncommon to camp in an area that Alexander the Great had spent a winter, or walk past a statue of Marcus Aurelius still standing.

We're in a bit of shellshock here in Antalya--with a population just short of a million, it is quite the sight after 29 days seeing (many) more goats than people.  That said, we managed to find a hammam (Turkish Bath) this morning to ease those aches and pains and a day or two of gluttony is probably in order after the last month.  Thanks for following.

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