10-31-2012, 06:52 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: East Anglia
Day 13 Goreme to Side, Turkey
Last night was the worst night's sleep I think I have ever had. Firstly people were up laughing and joking until midnight (how dare they)), then the twatting dog started barking until 2 am, the ravers got back to their tents at 3, someone rattled my tent at 4 asking "do you have a light man?". By this time the dog was at it again and at 5:30 we were attacked by a squadron of hot air balloons who decided to light their afterburners about 10 feet above the top of my tent. Now I remember why I donít like campsites.
Early morning Baloonists
Today was a sad day, we stop heading East and turn South heading towards the coast. As the name in the title suggests, Cappadocia was to be our Eastern most point.
Our first stop was the Ilhara gorge. Not the most spectacular of gorges I have ever seen but fairly pleasant all the same. As we pulled into the car park (which was free for motorbikes) we spotted a space under the shade of some trees and pulled up. The guy who had waved us in to the car park came over and said in a proper cockney accent "alright geezer, where you from then". His name was Kev; he was from Wimbledon and was over helping his cousin set up a car parking business. Small world eh.
My knee was still grating so Al walked down into the gorge firstly to take a photo or 2 and secondly because the cheapskate did not want to pay the equivalent of 20p to use a toilet.
Pushing on from Ilhara towards Konya on the 300 we could clearly see Mount Hassan with snow still covering the top, it is the second highest mountain in Central Anatolia standing over 3 times higher than Snowdon at 3253m. That is one big hill!!
We got through Konya and headed towards Manavgat on the 695 and everything changed. This road is the best road I have ever ridden. It was continuous 4/5/6 gear bends for about 50 miles. The road surface was perfect, not once did I see any of the shiny black surfaces which litter the roads in this country. The scenery was also something pretty special, not only was I in new favourite country but I now had a new favourite road.
Upon reaching the coast we were again going to try and find a nice secluded beach to camp on for the night, this time there was no chance. This place is tourist central and there were people everywhere. We ended up in a town called Side. There was no way I was getting a hotel but it was going to have to be another campsite and we found one pretty close to the beach called Pensyon Istanbul. It could only be loosely called a campsite because there was only enough room for 2 small tents. A quick walk into and around the town and we saw many familiar sights to those of us that have been on Mediterranean beach holidays, neon signs, lots of boards proclaiming to have the best English breakfast in town, cheap yellow, blue, and purple shots and millions of shops selling tat.
I have spent months in places like this in a previous existence and I donít particularly enjoy them anymore. But we found a nice looking place down by the harbour, had a few beers and the obligatory kebab and called it an early night.
I just hope we get some sleep tonight.