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Loco for Lokum: on assignment inTurkey The lowdown on winning the 2011 World Nomads/Rough Guides Scholarship...

Horse riding, Hiking and Camping in the Taurus Mountains, Cappadocia.

TURKEY | Tuesday, 14 June 2011 | Views [2833]

Judging by the last few days itinerary, this is where the adventure portion of our BikeHike tour really kicks in. We started our day at the Kirkit horse riding ranch and, immediately drawn to a beautiful bay Arabian called Vanessa, I soon found myself up front with the guide, reining in a fiery horse who I quickly fell in love with. Sadly limited to a walk by the beginners of the group, the ride itself was still an incredible way to experience the mountain paths and rekindle my love affair with all things equine.

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With my horse, Vanessa

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Leading the way on the horse trek

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Back in the van, we trundled up into the Taurus Mountains, stopping along the way for our guide Turan to cast his vote in the general elections (June 12th was election day in Turkey) and pulled up at the foot of the Cimbar Gorge to begin our hike. A three-hour walk, climb and scramble up through the canyon provided a thorough workout for the legs, as well as some breathtakingly epic views. We hoisted ourselves up rocky precipices and stomped up the steep hillside, until finally we were spat out in rolling meadows for a slow descent to our campsite in Sokulupinar, at 2000m above sea level.

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The starting point for our hike

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Climbing up through the canyon

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Me & Carey at the top of the canyon

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The next morning, we set off again, this time up another 500m and winding back down the hillside towards the Emli Valley, where our campsite was waiting for us beneath towering mountains. Finally, an hour into our trek, our luck gave out and the rain began to fall, leading us on a shorter path to the campsite where we spent the rest of our day hiding out from the rain and drying our hiking boots around a small campfire.

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Turan, relaxing in the meadow 

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