I know exactly how Hell’s Gorge earned its name. It is nothing to do with the deep canyon or the narrow and stifling walking path between two massive mountains.
No, I believe Hell’s gorge refers to how I felt after I had climbed it. I had been to hell and back again!
I struggled over large boulders with sweat trickling down my forehead. I felt a tremendous strain in my upper leg muscles as I battled up tall stone steps one after the other.
Any view of the bright blue sky had disappeared, yet the energy needed to climb started to make me perspire like a tap flowing.
Not used to extreme exercise, my whole body was screaming at me to stop and the lungs of this hard-core smoker were starting to pant heavily and loudly, unable to cope with the demand and need for more air.
Cehennem Deresi – Hells Gorge
In Turkish, the name is Cehennem Deresi, referring to the fast flowing river that flows through the canyon. Not content with just seeing the river, the final destination for us was to be an open green plain.
I never thought I would reach it and was on the verge of giving up. For the last 100 metres, I had to be pulled up the steep path, until the narrow slits in the rock opened up to reveal the hidden landscape.
I collapsed on my back sucking in the fresh air and listening to the echoes as our shouts vibrated off the walls of the canyon.
If you are not a lover of nature, you will not appreciate Hell’s Gorge. The beauty lays in the pure silence, lack of tourism, green plants and flowers as well as eagles circling around nests they have laid in the mountain rock face.
Located in the Ardanuç province of the north east, Hell’s Gorge will test every muscle of your body and put you through an endurance test that I had known about beforehand, would not have completed.
The walk down was considerably easier on my body. Physical strain was no longer needed and it was a gentle stroll.
Can I now say that I have come back from the depths of hell?