On the evening flight we were transported to another country, namely Turkey. At night we load into a minibus and make a transfer from Ankara to Goreme. After a four-hour trip on the Turkish autobahns, we arrived comfortably at the hostel. We settled in our caves: girls in one, guys in the second. We began to feel the history of Cappadocia.
After getting enough sleep, we immediately went to collect bicycles and prepare them for the first trip across Turkish soil. With a break for breakfast, we successfully completed our preparations and were ready to leave. It's almost lunchtime, so without wasting a minute we went to the Goreme National Park - an open-air museum.
If we talk briefly about Cappadocia, then this area is characterized by an extremely interesting landscape of volcanic origin, underground cities created in the 1st millennium BC. e. and extensive cave monasteries dating back to the early Christians. Goreme National Park and Cappadocia cave settlements are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
First we went to Uchisar, where the fortress of the same name is located. Immediately upon leaving the city, it became clear in what unusual place we are. Fantastic landscapes are everywhere, they surround you. I want to photograph everything, capture everything, remember everything. Until we reached the Uchisar fortress, we stopped a dozen times already ... The eye clings to all the incredible beauty.
The fortress can be seen from afar, as it is located at one of the highest points in the vicinity. The last meters to it go among the shopping arcade. Here you can buy all sorts of souvenirs traditional for Cappadocia and, of course, Turkish dried fruits. They are really delicious. The penultimate meters went through numerous cafes. At the entrance to them you can often see broken clay pots. This means that in these cafes they cook the national dish of Cappadocia, testi-kebab - meat and vegetables cooked in a clay pot in a tandoor. Meat is offered to choose from: beef, chicken, lamb.
After visiting the fortress, we return to Goreme in a large circle to visit all the valleys in the vicinity. The first on our way was the Valley of Love, the official name, but we called it Pisyunkova Valley. On the way, naturally, we stopped in more than one place, which attracted us with fantastic landscapes. I can’t believe that all this beauty was created by nature. We had fun in the Valley of Love and went to Chavushin. On the way we examined the Pashabag valley. Lunch found us in Chavushin. Stopping at a cafe, we began to get acquainted with Turkish cuisine. Ordered a choice of pide and ayran. Not without Turkish tea.
Well fed, we continue our acquaintance with Cappadocia. The rocky monastery of Chavushin is also located here. Twilight found us in Red Valley, so it's time to hurry home. In addition, the columns of ATVs, which raised columns of dust, were very strong. I had to leave the soil and go to the asphalt. We managed to return to the hostel before dark. In order to finally work up an appetite, we went for an evening walk around Goreme.
The nightlife in the tourist village is in full swing, there are many shops, cafes and restaurants. The tourist will not be bored here. After returning we have supper and go to bed. Our big trip to Turkey begins tomorrow.
Day 2 (May 15, 2017)
Distance - 26.88 km, Travel time - 2.20 h, Average speed - 12.33 km / h, Climb - 533 m
A traditional light but hearty Turkish breakfast is doomed. Getting started picking things for Camping & Bikepacking Accessories and departure. Saying goodbye to the friendly and helpful hostel staff and thanking its owner for the warm welcome, we set off on a bike tour around Turkey. Before leaving Goreme, we stop a couple of times at the places that caught our attention. At one of the museums we have a dog who suffers from the heat. In Turkey they are all very large but friendly. As a sign of gratitude or in the hope that she will be fed, the dog accompanies us to Ortahisar.
A steep ascent along the cobblestones at the exit from Goreme is not easy for a dog, like us. The first difficulties are over, and as a token of gratitude - a gorgeous view of the entire national park.
We quickly reached the fortress of Ortahisar, but lost the dog. I decided that we played a lot and couldn't wait for food from us. We climbed the fortress, from which a gorgeous 360-degree view opens up. As usual, there are numerous shops near the crowded places. A store that sells onyx products stands out from the crowd. So that we do not doubt the originality of the products, we are shown a workshop where this mineral is processed. In the same small village we had lunch.
At the exit from Ortahisar we overcame a slight rise and entered the track. It was comfortable to rush down it all the way to Urgup. On the way, we made only one stop at the observation deck. There are still some unusual Cappadocian landscapes. The view from the cliff will leave few people indifferent. The town seemed very nice. Without stopping in it, we go further to Mustafa Pasha.
Business goes to evening, so we collect water and go to the place of the night. Climbing slowly upward, we approach the reservoir. Having reached the fork, we turn onto the ground and go down to the very reservoir. We set up camp on its shore. For this we need Camping & Bikepacking Accessories.
Distance - 82.76 km, Travel time - 4.33 h, Average speed - 18.15 km / h, Elevation gain - 692 m
The weather in the morning was ambiguous. What to expect in the future was a mystery, but no one canceled the morning worries. The sun rises higher and higher, and we leave the parking lot at the reservoir. The weather began to tilt towards good.
With every kilometer we move away from civilization and life in the villages becomes more contrasting and authentic. At the entrance to the village, a lone rider on a donkey meets us. Well, a very unusual picture for our brother. In turn, we look just as unlucky in the eyes of local residents. A welcoming and friendly atmosphere is in the air.
Landscapes also contribute to the overall perception of the picture. Around the calmness and regularity of life. The views around are very similar to the Crimean plateaus, but here, in Turkey, everything is much larger. In addition to horse-drawn transport, tractors are found in large quantities. And this is not surprising - May, it is time to come to grips with agricultural work. Such a lively picture accompanied us during the entire cycle tour in Turkey.
At the entrance to the village of Shahinefendi, they began to gradually and imperceptibly gain height. In the village itself, the road went up sharply. In some places, it became completely unbearable to go, but some successfully coped with the difficulties. Each kilometer lifted us higher, and the landscapes became more beautiful from this. The village looked as if it were on the palm of your hand, and the high-mountain plateaus and the snow-capped peak of Erdzhiyas volcano were bare in front of us.
Climbing the plateau, we were given views of hundreds of kilometers around and at the same time an invigorating wind blew. There is nowhere to hide from him, only a thrown windbreaker saves. Some rose to the plateau in the excitement of fighting the gradient, and who did not rise empty-handed. The girls decided to diversify the menu with potatoes, which were collected along the way.
We passed the plateau fast enough with a favorable wind. Then came the descent from the plateau - this is the jackpot! The road went down rapidly. In the center of the village we pause for lunch.
I didn’t leave the lunch place right away, I found thorns in the tire. Having quickly eliminated the puncture, we go further. The road is going down more and more, so the pedals turn easily and naturally. Only the landscapes do not leave you indifferent and constantly stop you for photographing.
We quickly got to Yesilhisar. In the center of the village we make a stop at a vegetable shop. From exotic we try medlar - not impressed. The fruit is very delicate and does not tolerate transportation, therefore it is picked unripe. We made a note to try this fruit from the bush. After all, now is the season for medlar. Having overcome a short section of the route, we turn in the direction we need and again find ourselves in the hands of a favorable wind. 25 kilometers of straight road flew quickly. Sometimes the gas pedal fell into the floor.
The weather has accompanied our success today, so we managed to drive up to the foot of tomorrow's pass. The camp was set up before entering Yahyaly. For dinner there was a camping delicacy - potatoes.
Day 4 (May 17, 2017)
Yakhyaly-pass-canyon of the Zamanty-Camlidzha river
Distance - 40.39 km, Travel time - 2.53 h, Average speed - 13.92 km / h, Climb - 1133 m
In the morning we drove into the rather lively city of Yahyaly. After driving through the whole city along the main street, we leave it. As soon as the houses disappeared, the ascent to the pass began. At first the road rises sharply, but soon the ascent becomes gentle and the ride becomes quite comfortable. Everyone rides at their own pace. Hot weather makes you drink a lot of water, which has to be replenished along the way.
The fifteen-kilometer climb is behind and we are at the top of the pass. The landscapes changed immediately. We stop for lunch at the first source we come across. The heat and the presence of water allow you to do bathing and at the same time even out your bike tan. While we were having lunch, the Turks working nearby at the construction site noticed us, and especially the female half. And they began to wind circles on the moped along the road with a clearly pleased look. Then an older Turk came up to us. Non-stop speaking Turkish and actively gesturing about excessive sun activity and that we get dressed. Sign language is great! For we do not understand any belmes in Turkish, and they, in turn, do not know a word in English. By the way, it was in this place that we observed a halo - an interesting optical phenomenon. Several multi-colored circles around the sun.
The descent on the asphalt seemed very short and we passed it very quickly. The main road went further, but we need to turn onto the road that runs along the canyon of the Zamanty River. At this point, our movement has completely slowed down. It was not enough to admire the beauty of the canyon, I wanted to shoot everything. Frequent stops at first were due to photographing, but soon the ascent began. From time to time it was replaced by slopes, but mostly the road was gaining height. You need to drive very carefully, bypassing stones of different caliber scattered all over the road: from gravel to cobblestones. Each turn opened up more and more new views. In pursuit of beautiful landscapes, we overcame a long rise.
The descent, as usual, ended quickly. Before reaching the village of Camlidzha, which is located in a small valley, surrounded on all sides by mountains, we set up a camp. From a cozy glade, a view of the village and the upcoming tomorrow's ascent opened up.
Day 5 (May 18, 2017)
Distance - 38.35 km, Travel time - 3.45 h, Average speed - 10.20 km / h, Climb - 894 m
Having passed the last meters of descent to the foot of the mountain on which the village is located, they began to slowly and sadly gain height. There is a very steep ascent through the village, in some places you have to push hard to roll the bike. In the store we bribe carbohydrates to take the pass and continue the ascent.
An industrial zone begins behind the village, and huge loaded trucks often drive. It is amazing how these hulking giants overcome steep climbs and mountain serpentines. The slope of the road becomes gentle, but you still often have to walk rather than drive.
Soon a serpentine road went along the slope, along which you can go. With the climb, the weather began to deteriorate. If most of the way before that we climbed in the heat, now the sky is overcast and the question of rain is a matter of time. Soon it dripped from the sky. It did not develop into anything serious, to our happiness. But it got very cold. Ice breath was felt from the mountains, and the wind was piercing.
Hiding a little from the wind and putting on more clothes, we dine at a water source. Hot soup changes the environment! We do not stay long and begin to descend along the picturesque Aksu canyon. On the descent, the road is several times worse than it was on the rise. You have to drive very slowly and carefully, and often stop to capture the beauty around.
On the descent, a puncture occurs. While it was liquidated, the Turks arrived on a moped, riding towards. As is often the case, we stopped and inquired about our problems. Seeing an old school pump strapped on their trunk, please use it. With pleasure and pride, the Turks pump up the wheel for us. The regularity of life in Turkey is surprising. People are in no hurry and happily spend time in conversations with strangers with enviable curiosity.
At the entrance to Ulupinar, the road became gentle, but still went with an imperceptible descent. Therefore, it was easy and comfortable to ride after getting up before lunch. The village is very remote, so this evening we entertained the locals. Everyone, young and old, paid attention to us and did not take their eyes off.
Having made the final dash up the hill, we faced a rapid descent. Having flown down a steep serpentine, the asphalt finally started, we stopped for the night at a picnic area. Minimal comfort, but life is already much more fun.
Read the continuation in the second part of the report