Dave believes that seniors are better hikers for a variety of reasons. They come conditioned first of all, most of them come from the UK and while at home they walk anywhere from 8 upwards to 20 miles at least once a week. Because of their regular walking experience, senior hikers also come with proper equipment. They also know how to shop for trail provisions such as how much water they need to carry, types of energy foods and so on.
Most of the senior citizens who walk with Dave are usually between 58 and up to 78 years of age. He says he has had trekkers in their 80’s as well! Most daily treks are for six or seven hours and can be between 15 to 30 kilometers. Dave says that because of their regular conditioning in the UK, these seniors frequently have more stamina than younger hikers. Most of these treks are two weeks long with hiking almost every day. During those two weeks, these trekkers cover 190 or more kilometers! The Mediterranean terrain is more rugged than the UK so it takes a short while for the trekkers to become accustomed to the rocks and hills but Dave says all of them seem to be always up to the challenge.
Dave tells a story of a 76 year old man with a “tin” leg who was on a hike. He said he was used to hiking and needed no special attention. However, he was not used to the rocky terrain and he stepped in between two rocks with his “tin” leg and got his foot caught. However he was not aware that it was caught and when he took another step he dropped face up with his legs splayed all about. The hiker’s wife and himself had a good laugh about it and fortunately was not injured. The good spirits and stamina of these seniors was quite evident in this incident.
Dave tells us that senior trekkers usually listen to their tour guides better. Most of them are visiting Turkey for the first time and they are very interested in the current culture as well as the ancient history of Anatolia (Asia Minor). Many of them are in disbelief, surprised and shocked to learn that the real, original St. Nicholas (Santa Claus today) is from Demre, just a few kilometers from Kaş and on the Lycian trail. They are quite curious about the Byzantine influences in the area as well as the fact that most early Christians lived here. Most trekkers have usually never heard of the Lycians and are quite interested in this ancient civilization lost to time.
Senior trekkers are often bird watchers and wild flower enthusiasts. The wild flowers in Turkey arrive on average, two months earlier than in the UK. This is a nice surprise and a real delight to these hikers. The accomplished bird watchers frequently add a well received educational component to the hike.
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