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Sufi Trail

2020 Camino Guides

O Peracha

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago (2014)
Annapurna Base, Nepal (2014)
GR 5 - Holland to Pompey, France (2015)
Lisbon to Finesterre (2016)
Has anyone here walked the Sufi Trail (Istanbul to Konya, Turkey) - all or any portion? I've already reviewed the sufitrail website. Looking for first hand experience. Thanks.
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
I'm also very interested to know as I heard about it only last week. It would bring me from Istanbul towards Cyprus which is what I need!! I thought the website looked quite encouraging.
 

O Peracha

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago (2014)
Annapurna Base, Nepal (2014)
GR 5 - Holland to Pompey, France (2015)
Lisbon to Finesterre (2016)
I'm a fan of Rumi's and would really like to do this walk. I've checked out the website also. There is a Canadian person who did it solo, finishing in Oct or Nov. She has written about her experience but it is more of a stream of consciousness exercise. I was looking for more practical information. For example, I don't want to camp but don't mind walking long distances - 40-50 km a day. Is this feasible or is the distance between accommodations greater than 50 km? Also, how current are their guidebooks regarding accommodations?

Anyway, I have reached out to one of the contacts (Iris) listed on the website. I'll come back and post here once I hear back from her.
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
I'm a fan of Rumi's and would really like to do this walk. I've checked out the website also. There is a Canadian person who did it solo, finishing in Oct or Nov. She has written about her experience but it is more of a stream of consciousness exercise. I was looking for more practical information. For example, I don't want to camp but don't mind walking long distances - 40-50 km a day. Is this feasible or is the distance between accommodations greater than 50 km? Also, how current are their guidebooks regarding accommodations?

Anyway, I have reached out to one of the contacts (Iris) listed on the website. I'll come back and post here once I hear back from her.
Thanks
I am also trying to avoid camping so equally interested on that front
I got from Canterbury to Brindisi without a tent and hope tocontinue in same fashion!
 
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O Peracha

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago (2014)
Annapurna Base, Nepal (2014)
GR 5 - Holland to Pompey, France (2015)
Lisbon to Finesterre (2016)
Iris (the contact from the Sufi Trail website said that she was confident that we would not need to camp. I would have have been more comfortable with data. But I think the way it works is that in villages without hotels/pensions, etc. you contact what is the equivalent of the mayor, tell him/her what you're doing and something can always be arranged, perhaps in a private home. You can also contact Iris while you're walking and she will try to help, also. So, leap of faith :). Besides, what's the worst that happens. You stop and play tourist in Turkey?

Reference:
https://sufitrail.com
https://www.facebook.com/groups/sufitrail/
 
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Sedat

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007 & 2008
Hi Omar, The Sufi Trail guidebooks are accurate and the GPX/KML files are up to date. There is a place to sleep in any case in distances less than 50 kilometers but almost every village in Turkey has village guestrooms for travelling guests. I am co-author of the Sufi Trail guidebooks. We are just back from a winterhike on the Sufi Trail to test the trail on cold conditions.
With Suif Trail passport and guidebooks you will find your way smoothly. Iris Bezuijen is the other author of the guidebooks and together we provide whatsapp support on distance.
We hope to see you pilgrims on the Sufi Trail.
Bon camino,

Sedat
 

Attachments

O Peracha

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago (2014)
Annapurna Base, Nepal (2014)
GR 5 - Holland to Pompey, France (2015)
Lisbon to Finesterre (2016)
Appreciate the response, Sedat. The reasons for my concern with lack of lodging was because of information on this site - http://cultureroutesinturkey.com/sufi-trail/accommodation-sufi-trail/. It lists accommodations by day and there are missing days which I assumed meant that there was nothing available. I am very intrigued and this trail is definitely a contender for this year's walk.

Thanks, again.
 

Sedat

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007 & 2008
I understand Omar. Culture Routes Website gives only a brief information about each of the member routes in Turkey. Sufi Trail guidebooks gives full information. We have also PDF updates of the contacts and accommodation. We normally reply within a day to questions from pilgrims. (we mean mostly Iris)
 

karlyk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019 Mid August- Mid September
@O Peracha and @timr Did either of you end up walking the Sufi Trail this year? If so, how did it go? I, too, am looking for some more first-hand info.

I've reviewed the website ( https://sufitrail.com/ ) but am holding off on purchasing any of the guidebooks/apps until I have a better sense of whether or not I can actually do this walk. Just trying not to waste money.
 

karlyk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019 Mid August- Mid September
Hi Omar, The Sufi Trail guidebooks are accurate and the GPX/KML files are up to date. There is a place to sleep in any case in distances less than 50 kilometers but almost every village in Turkey has village guestrooms for travelling guests. I am co-author of the Sufi Trail guidebooks. We are just back from a winterhike on the Sufi Trail to test the trail on cold conditions.
With Suif Trail passport and guidebooks you will find your way smoothly. Iris Bezuijen is the other author of the guidebooks and together we provide whatsapp support on distance.
We hope to see you pilgrims on the Sufi Trail.
Bon camino,

Sedat

Hi Sedat,

Sorry if I'm missing something obvious, but what are the GPX/KML files? Is that something purchased and used on a smartphone? Is it an app?

And, to clarify, what sort of support do you supply via whatsapp?

Lastly, if you wouldn't mind sharing your opinion, is it safe to complete this walk as a young solo female? Not sure if it's realistic for me to do this alone.

I'd appreciate your help :) I'm considering completing the Sultans trail and linking up to the Sufi Trail.

Thanks,

Karly
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
Hello @karlyk No.... I walked from Bari to Thssaloniki this year (obviously including a ferry!) I definitely intend to continue Istanbul and then will pick up the Sufi trail but it will be the latter end of next Summer (2020) before I can get a run at it!:) I plan to buyt the books anyway as a Christmas present to self. Oh and I am an old solo male, so have some of the same concerns about travel, but I do not in anyway mean to underestimate the intrinsic additional potential difficulties for a female. It is a very valid question. Interestingly, walking across Albania, North Macedonia and Greece this year, I felt extremely safe - main problem dogs, lots of them - and would feel (as a man) that it would be safe for a solo female. Really rural walking and very decent people.
I used GPX files provided by the suppliers of the book for the Egnatia Route. They are files you can use on your phone to give you exact directions - exactly the same idea as a satnav on your car, but you don't need to have it talking to you. It would not have been possible to navigate across Albania and NM without them. You need an app, like for instance wikiloc, which works in airplane mode. Worth practising for a couple of hours before you first use them in earnest. :)
 

O Peracha

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago (2014)
Annapurna Base, Nepal (2014)
GR 5 - Holland to Pompey, France (2015)
Lisbon to Finesterre (2016)
@O Peracha and @timr Did either of you end up walking the Sufi Trail this year?
No, I did not go. After doing some additional research, I decided to skip the Sufi Trail in 2019 and, instead, finish a camino (actually a string of caminos) started and left unfinished in 2018. However, as a fan of Rumi, the Sufi Trail is very much on my ever expanding list of trails to-do in the future.
 

Galloglaigh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lycra tribe.
CF (2017/8), VF (2018/9), VFnS + Thessaloniki (2020)
There is a KML file on the SufiTrails website which if you convert looks like this


There are issue with this conversion as :

a) it has a walking section from Istanbul to Yelova. Sufi Trails recommend the Istanbul - Yelova ferry instead. If you check the PilgrimstoJerusalem website you will see that walking out of Istanbul is very difficult as it is criss-crossed by main roads. The ferry to Yelova would avoid this.

b) Lots of the gps data is missing which means you only get parts of elevation profile. If I can find better data, I will update it

The website has a warning about solo travellers (male or female) on certain sections such as the Karacalar – Kemerkaya section.


I don't know how recent the information is but there are reports of government action in this area from 2001 which suggest it may not be totally within government control. Page 36


Personally can't see a reason not to do this route but it may be better in numbers or with a tour group.
 

karlyk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019 Mid August- Mid September
Hello @karlyk No.... I walked from Bari to Thssaloniki this year (obviously including a ferry!) I definitely intend to continue Istanbul and then will pick up the Sufi trail but it will be the latter end of next Summer (2020) before I can get a run at it!:) I plan to buyt the books anyway as a Christmas present to self. Oh and I am an old solo male, so have some of the same concerns about travel, but I do not in anyway mean to underestimate the intrinsic additional potential difficulties for a female. It is a very valid question. Interestingly, walking across Albania, North Macedonia and Greece this year, I felt extremely safe - main problem dogs, lots of them - and would feel (as a man) that it would be safe for a solo female. Really rural walking and very decent people.
I used GPX files provided by the suppliers of the book for the Egnatia Route. They are files you can use on your phone to give you exact directions - exactly the same idea as a satnav on your car, but you don't need to have it talking to you. It would not have been possible to navigate across Albania and NM without them. You need an app, like for instance wikiloc, which works in airplane mode. Worth practising for a couple of hours before you first use them in earnest. :)
Thanks for the reply, Tim. I am considering starting the Sultan's Trail in from Vienna in April, which would take me about 3 months, I figure. By then, I'll be in Istanbul to start the Sufi Trail in July or August. Not sure if it would be too hot to do the Sufi walk at that time of year. Looks like the highs in Turkey at that time are in the 90sF/30sC. Maybe I will see you there :)

I appreciate your info about tech used. I'm not very tech savvy (not sure what satnav or wikiloc are!). I'll have to look into that. Did you bring your phone from your phone country, preloaded with apps and files? Or did you purchase a phone in Europe and download everything there? I"m from the US and would need an unlocked US phone and European simcard for the journey. Just curious how you went about this.
 

karlyk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019 Mid August- Mid September
There is a KML file on the SufiTrails website which if you convert looks like this


There are issue with this conversion as :

a) it has a walking section from Istanbul to Yelova. Sufi Trails recommend the Istanbul - Yelova ferry instead. If you check the PilgrimstoJerusalem website you will see that walking out of Istanbul is very difficult as it is criss-crossed by main roads. The ferry to Yelova would avoid this.

b) Lots of the gps data is missing which means you only get parts of elevation profile. If I can find better data, I will update it

The website has a warning about solo travellers (male or female) on certain sections such as the Karacalar – Kemerkaya section.


I don't know how recent the information is but there are reports of government action in this area from 2001 which suggest it may not be totally within government control. Page 36


Personally can't see a reason not to do this route but it may be better in numbers or with a tour group.

Thanks @Galloglaigh .

What exactly do you mean by "conversion"? I'm new to map file and apps, so I'm not sure if you're describing some sort of technical step I need to be wary of when trying to use the information purchased from the Sufi Trail website.

And yeah, looking at that map provided, particularly in Istanbul, is very confusing. What's with the big loop?🤔
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
Satnav is what you might have in your car! Wikiloc yes is a phone app.......there are many. I live in UK
so both my Irish and English phones work in Europe with no additional charge.
Yes! The simplest thing would be to have an 'unlocked' phone which can take a SIM card and put a European PAYG card in when you arrive in EU. It's very cheap. Outside of EU I buy a local SIM.....in Albania and North Macedonia and in Kenya for instance. And I will in Turkey. It's very doable that way. But you would need to be sure your phone was unlocked and could take a SIM. I THINK possibly not all phones in US use SIM. Use wifi when it's available and use eg Whatsapp for phone calls to family and friends.
 
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Galloglaigh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lycra tribe.
CF (2017/8), VF (2018/9), VFnS + Thessaloniki (2020)
And yeah, looking at that map provided, particularly in Istanbul, is very confusing. What's with the big loop?
Taken the loop off to make it clearer. Once you get to Istanbul you can cut out the city section by taking the ferry from Istanbul (Yenikapı port)


You seem more of a map person than a GPS one. If paper/printed maps work for you then best stick with them as at least they don't run out of power ...
 

O Peracha

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago (2014)
Annapurna Base, Nepal (2014)
GR 5 - Holland to Pompey, France (2015)
Lisbon to Finesterre (2016)
If and when any of you do make this walk, I hope you come back and report how it went. In the mean time, Bon Chemin or Iyi Yol.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I lived in Turkey for three years of my childhood, and I love the country and its people. But as long as the current regime is in power, I will not go there... too many journalists in jail! When Turkey is again a free country, I will gladly go and walk and spent money and enjoy its beautiful culture, food, and countryside.
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
Hi @Rebekah Scott I see you are busy with snow matters! ❄☃ elsewhere.
Your comment really made me think - thanks for that:). And of course I wholly accept your point of view and I don't argue with it.
At the moment my feeling is that if I travel through any country, as a pilgrim, I am not endorsing the politics or policies of that country - nor do I go to argue with them. On the other hand I wouldn't go to an inimical country for a sunshine holiday just because it happened to be cheap. (The likelihood of my going on a sunshine holiday is in fact vanishingly small!)
Pilgrims had to cross hostile territories in the past to reach their destinations. And the destinations themselves could be 'difficult' places - I am after all trying to get to Jerusalem. Oh dear! :eek:
I've lived and worked in very corrupt and violent countries - alongside people who have suffered in many ways because of the corruption. Five members of my staff were shot in a major capital city over a three year period. I see a value in being there. I belong to a group who do not leave a country when civil war or other hostility breaks out, but stays with the people.
My hope in Turkey is to continue to meet 'ordinary people' - rural workers and shepherds in the countryside, young people in the towns - those people who sustained and enlivened me most in Albania and N Macedonia. It is part of the reason I am taking advantage of an enforced pause to learn Turkish.
OTOH My recent Invierno was a nice break from such complexities - except that it rained non stop...
 

Galloglaigh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lycra tribe.
CF (2017/8), VF (2018/9), VFnS + Thessaloniki (2020)
An excellent source of information (and explanation) of the Sufi trail. I didn't realise it was so popular and in many ways similar to CdS and VF.


If you are in need of anything longer in terms of pilgrimages, then there is always the Rumi trail. I'm going to pass on that one though

 

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