16 regular and reserve PJHQ personnel from across all three services deployed to Antalya for Ex COCKNEY LYCIAN, a level-3 Summer Mountaineering expedition which took place from 08 to 16 March 2018. The aim of the expedition was to walk a 75km section of the famous Lycian Way between Mavikent and Kemer. The ancient route, which passes through Roman and Greek ruins, runs along the coast south-west of the southern city of Antalya.
The group assembled at Northwood HQ and deployed to the start point without incident via flights to Istanbul and Antalya and a coach to the small village of Karaoz near Mavikent. which was to be the start point of the walk. After a relatively short shake-out walk, the first night was spent in a spectacular setting, next to the Lighthouse on the tip of the Gelidonya peninsular. Over the next two days, the group worked their way north to Adrasan and Cirali through some spectacular scenery. The 1:70 000 scale local mapping proved adequate at best, and progress was generally slower than expected. There were a few close encounters with the local wildlife, including scorpions and tortoises as well as the ever-present mosquito.
At Cirali, the group were able to visit the Roman city of Olympos and the natural flames at Chimaera before continuing north towards Kemer. Another highlight of the trip was the Roman city of Phaselis which contained a spectacular theatre and a large aqueduct. The weather proved to be ideal for walking, with almost no rain and temperatures averaging 19 degrees throughout. The group were picked up by coach in Kemer and returned to Antalya for a period of R+R. Antalya proved to be an ideal location for this, and the Turkish baths proved to be particularly popular amongst the group.
The expedition was a great opportunity for personal development, with 12 pax gaining the Summer Mountaineering Foundation qualification whilst in Turkey, allowing them to progress onto further instructional qualifications in the future.