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26th – 27th Dec – leaving Capadocia and preparing for some monster mountains

January 27, 2011
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As is with any day when we plan to get on the bikes again after a break, it takes a while. Then theres the added task of updating this here blog and it takes a longer while. Factor into that bad internet connection and a Christmas hangover and we don’t leave the hostel until 4pm – and the blog doesn’t get uploaded. We say goodbye to our new friends Mike Jo and Bao – its been great hanging out with them and sharing Christmas in Turkey with them! We also said goodbye to Mathias, but we’ve made promises to share the road again in Iran, so he returns home now to sort his Visas and get loaded up on drugs before he comes back to Turkey to meet us. We’ve made a great friend in The French Missile and entering Iran with him will be truly great

We have to climb the same monumental hill that we encountered at the beginning of our excursion the day before, but fully loaded it nearly kills me. We find a great camp in the cover of a cave house, overlooking the rocky landscape with a view back over Goreme. Breathtaking once again.

The night is not too chilly (signs for the road ahead? Don’t count on it!) and we get up in good time ready to hit the road only for Julian to realise he’s left his makeshift soon to be mudguard back in the hostel! We wait while he cycles back down the hill to collect it, utilising the opportunity to hide all his stuff and ours and lay in wait in the cave house for him to return, making him think we left without him…

After he gets over the tears that we’ve gone then the adulation that it was all a joke, we take the big descent south towards the warmer climes of Southern Turkey. Our road from here will take us to the Mediterranean, where we can enjoy the warm weather as we cycle into the Middle East – the fruits of the (train)! However a lack of planning and foresight means we overlook the slight obstacle of the epic mountains that lie between us and the coast.

Before we hit the mountains we pass through several valleys that slowly rub the remnants of the soft sculpted rock formations form our visual palette. We pass through a valley which literally smells like a festering toilet and my front right pannier comes clean off as I go over a bump, causing the milk inside to explode and almost take out Julian as he comes up behind me – now my bag stinks of what I think was already slightly off milk, and all the food is has a nice sheen of milky white to it.

We reach the small town of Yahilhisar and stop for some supplies, before heading out in the fading light to find a spot to camp. The landscape is barren and there is only one major road… we initially decide to use darkness as our cover and head off to the right to go and camp in the middle of the barren ness of it. There is a farmer in the distance with a herd of cattle, he approaches us and we think he says its ok to camp here. We unload and get ready for the night before his son approaches and says its not ok to camp here. He walks us off what i assume was his land (he warned us of many dogs, presumably his, who would bark all night if they saw us in the distance) so we headed back to the main road and camped rather larily behind a large warehouse next to a service station. We were ridiculously exposed, but no one seemed to mind, not even the guy who was seemingly test driving a tractor round and round right next to us at 2 in the morning.

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