View over Goreme
I never made it out to a Turkish night nor did I go on the organized bus tour I had arranged to take. Plans change when you travel and being flexible has its rewards. As it was fortune smiled upon me and I met a Polish fella with a bit of a Scottish accent who is traveling on his motorcycle overland from Edinburgh to Nepal for charity (check out www.sofarsonepal.za.pl
). He pulled up at the hotel to camp and my adopt-a-boyfriend (Nathan) and I ended up having beers with him. Later we decided to start a bonfire near his tent but I am so used to the States and how they regulate fires so I was nervous about just starting one on the hotel property. I decided it might be best to ask reception but when I approached the guy on night duty about a fire he just looked at me like why are you bothering me and said we could start one wherever.
Martin and I near Goreme
So the three of us hung around the fire until about 4 a.m. drinking wine and Raki and whatever else we could find.
The next day Martin invited me to join him for a tour on his bike and there was no way I was passing that up so I had to ditch my adopt-a-boyfriend for the day. First we had to rent a helmet for me and when I went to the shop where they rent motorbikes the guys there did not want to rent me one. They could not get past the idea of just renting a helmet without a bike. But when I asked why they would not rent one when there were tons on the shelf they realized they had no good response and off I went with a helmet for the day.
Seeing Turkey from the back of a motorcyle is definitely the way to go! I had such a blast.
It turned out to be a great way to cap off my time here. Martin was a bit bored with the stretches of road but this was new to me so I was so excited to get to see the landscape from a bike rather than a bus. We got so much attention from the locals on the bike as well and the kids just loved to wave and say hello. We first headed to the largest underground city in the area called Derinkuyu. They built these in anticipation of attacks and this particular one was eight stories down. There were homes - a kitchen - a school - anything they would need in times when they needed to flee enemies. We walked through the twists and turns and eventually found this little boy who took it upon himself to show me around so he kept calling me madam and showing me places.
From there we headed to Ihlara Valley which has a nice canyon and stream you can walk down into. We didn't hike too far as the approaching clouds made us worry about the ride back to Goreme
. As it turned out we only had a few drops to deal with. In any case it was lovely down there in the valley and I thought it would be a great place to camp. We headed back to town and stopped off for some grillable food to cook up at camp. All and all we did about 145 miles roundtrip.
Back at the hotel we set to cooking up some chicken and making salad and soon enough the entire group of guests at the hotel were at the campsite waiting for another bonfire to get started.
Not sure why but my little tour guide picked this spot to take a picture of me down in the underground city.
I think we may have started a trend here. The two of us cooked while everyone else just chilled in front of the fire drinking wine and coffee. There was a couple from Israel- Nathan - and another gal from Canada who had with her a Turkish boyfriend she picked up along her trip. Nathan was finally heading home back to Canada so we walked him to the bus stop at midnight to say our goodbyes. The two of us actually ended up traveling together for a little over a week! Time to find another adopt-a-boyfriend :( Actually I am off to Egypt so the main thing will be surviving more unwanted attention from men - even more so than here.
I felt a bit anxious this morning packing my bag knowing I am headed to the airport tomorrow and then off to Egypt. I am entering a new phase in my trip wherein the travel will be much harder but the experiences priceless. I can't even begin to imagine what lay ahead for me! But for now I am going to enjoy my last full day in Turkey before I get on my overnight bus for Istanbul.