Hiking in the footsteps of St Paul

Last in the summer series of my forthcoming stories.

This week: trekking in Turkey.

The village elder

St Paul Trail sign, Muezzinler

One week earlier and several hundred kilometers north, I had been sipping freshly brewed tea on a shady terrace with Mustafa the muhtar (village elder).

The afternoon call to prayer echoed off the mountains, the local gasman pulled up a dusty truck to join us for a sugar-rush tea and Mustafa’s spiky-haired teenage son was animatedly describing his hopes for an influx of good-looking travellers on the trail signposted from the bottom of his village.

I’ll treasure those simple country pleasures, so rich in terms of experience but absurdly cheap in crude monetary terms. I drained my tea and shook hands with the family.

The smiles were genuine, not forced.

“Gule gule,” I said.

“Gule gule.”

Road sign, Kasimlar

Read more in the November issue of Wanderlust magazine.

Travel with Middle Earth Travel; information from the Turkish Culture & Tourism Office.

More images from my flickr photostream.

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