We don’t hike. We like to walk, we like to explore, we love to camp. But hiking? Nope. Basically never. We both grew up in families where the outdoor lifestyle is highly valued, and while some of those values stuck (like camping and visiting National Parks), neither of us appear to have inherited the hiking gene. One or two miles is fine, but I could probably count on one hand the amount of times in my adult life where I walked farther than that with the sole purpose of going on a hike (versus for sightseeing purposes).
Many of our favorite destinations would have been made even more amazing if we had any desire what-so-ever to pull on some hiking boots (which neither of us have owned since we were kids) and hit the trails. Nine weeks in Central America and how many volcanoes did we climb? That’s right, zero. Long weekend in Yellowstone? One hike in four days. The number one thing to do in our college town is to hike “the Flatirons”. I lived less than an hour from the trailhead for 22 years, but have I been to the top? Nope. Never even thought about it.
So, based on our history we were unsure about how to tackle the amazing landscape of Cappadocia. Do we rent a car? A motorcycle? A guide? Or do we suck it up, save tons of money, and really experience our surroundings by taking, yep, you guessed it, a hike?
Guess what? We hiked!
The owner of our hotel offered to drive us to the nearby town of Cavusin to start on a loop that would take us through the Rose Valley and Red Valley and then back down to Goreme. We were told that this loop was about ten miles, so after our hot air balloon adventure we took a nap, loaded up our bags with water, and prepared for the longest hike we had taken a couple years.
Cavusin itself looked like a really fun town to explore, but we were burning daylight so we headed out of town and down into the Rose Valley.
Our hike was INTENSE. We had a hand drawn map from our hotel that was basically useless so we spent the whole day guessing which way we were supposed to go. I’m pretty sure we ended up taking the most difficult path through the valleys, but it made the experience even more adventurous.
So are we converted? Are long mountain treks in our future? Um…. No. Probably not. But we did have a really great day hiking the Rose and Red Valley’s and maybe we will not be so quick to dismiss hiking opportunities in the future.