Somehow I hadn’t discovered the joy of hiking until my 40’s and thought I’d stumbled across a secret. Was it really possible to feel a million miles away from anyone, to take sheer joy in the deafening silence, feel the warmth of the sun and the breeze on my face; did I mention the joy of getting out of breath too! Virtually all of my hiking is under blue skies with magnificent coastal views of south west Turkey where I have lived for 15 years.
Having left my job in India to join my soon to be husband – Adil - we bought our gulet East Meets West, a handcrafted yacht made of oak, teak and acacia. I spent the first summer swimming, sunbathing and wondering how on earth were we going to create a business for ourselves.
On a hot summer’s day in August 2006 moored in a small cove where Romans would dock, I was intrigued watching a guy as he hopped from his sailing yacht into his tiny inflatable dinghy, rowed to the rocky shoreline, dragged the dinghy along the beach and started to walk. As I watched him make his way along a stony track with very little shade from the holly oaks I wondered where he was going. Of course, the next time we were in the bay I found the track, stumbled upon the ruins of a Roman city, and without being able to speak Turkish at that time somehow manged to ask a local nomad to show me the way. That was the start of what has become our unique and popular Hike & Gulet Cruise.
Happily that moment of discovery led me to Diana who had set up WalkingWomen, she placed her trust in us and we ran cruises for Walking Women for more than a decade. Our trips have been guided by me but also by many of the women you will meet in our collaboration Women’s Outdoor Holidays.
I know many of you would love to return and there are plenty of women who didn’t get the chance to see why everyone loved the holiday as much as they did. We are looking forward to 2021 with much enthusiasm and developing some new outdoor programmes for women, it’ll be good to have you onboard.
BTW you can see from this photo that we are made very welcome by Hatice who loves to show us around her garden - they proudly display 100’s of artefacts belonging to their nomad ancestors.
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