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Friday, 13 August 2010

Peril on the Lycian Way (and how to avoid it)

The story about the two Irish hikers who nearly met their end on the Lycian Way is a reminder that a holiday can quickly turn bad.

Many people throw caution to the wind on holiday, and do things they would never normally do at home.

The Lycian Way is a beautiful ancient walkway extending from Antalya to Fethiye. It's been used for centuries by travellers, and is now popular with tourists.


Safety in numbers: it's best to travel in packs when you're hiking.

Here are a few tips so you don't come to a sticky end on this popular walking track:

1. Know where you're going

Check a map - better still, take one with you. Ask a local what the conditions are like and what you should expect.

2. Tell someone where you're going

Leave a note at the front desk of your hotel, or with a reliable friend. Write down exactly where you're going and when you'll be back.

3. Be prepared for (almost) anything

It may be sunny outside, but you never know what the weather may do. Take a warm jacket and sturdy shoes. Take some food, even a couple of chocolate bars. Take a basic first aid kit with band aids, aspirin and antiseptic. Take matches or a lighter. Take your mobile phone - that's what saved Stephen and his father. And most importantly, take lots of water, as much as you can carry.

4. Safety in numbers

Don't wander off alone - especially if you don't know the area. If there are two of you, one can go for help if the worst should happen. You can also huddle together for warmth, should hypothermia strike.

5. Don't wander off the trail

Sounds obvious, right? But the fact is, most people will try to forge ahead, making their own way, rather than go back and look for the track markers. This is a dangerous move. Always retrace your steps to safety rather than guessing where the track may go.

6. Stay hydrated

I said it earlier but it's worth repeating. Turkey is a hot country and if you forget water and get lost, you're done for. If you're going to be wandering off in remote areas, take some water purifying tablets (available from your local camping store), drinking straight from rivers or streams isn't a great idea and can result in bacterial infections.

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