Turkey - 2002

Trekking in Turkey
May, 2002

Feet don’t fail me now!

Those immortal words of my tennis partner Nancy, uttered before each critical point in a doubles game, came back to me in spades in the weeks before my imminent trip to Turkey.

My feet would ache.
My legs would ache.

And above all, my knee would ache---and perhaps fail me. At least that’s what I feared most in the weeks before I left. (I had torn the cartilage in my knee playing tennis some months before the trek was to commence.)

Carefully contemplating my two most obvious options—cancel the trip vs. go and suffer—I decided, rather, to substitute a new more optimistic motto for the old foolish foot one! “No gain without pain,” I repeated over and over in the days before I left.

I had plenty of both over the next three weeks. But actually, the magic words worked. Ultimately, the gain far outweighed the pain!

The test would come after I arrived in Istanbul and started walking---not only on those cobblestone streets, but more specifically, up and down dusty mountain trails, along rocky paths among the ruins we were to visit, climbing over uneven stone steps to the tops of amphitheaters and down into rocky gorges to walk along river trails.

I knew this was labeled as an “easy” trek, but I wasn’t at all sure I’d be able to keep up the pace, or more important, whether my knee would actually give out on me.

Neither happened. I kept up the pace, though sometimes pulling up the rear of the group while silently mouthing my mantra, mentioned above. At times I hung back to catch my breath or stretch an aching muscle---but though I wanted to a few times, I never dropped out.

In the process I gained an enormous new appreciation for this ancient land and its many historical, cultural and geological “delights”—not to mention living through a few new experiences I hadn’t anticipated---but that’s just part of my story!

[On to Turkish Delight, What's That?]