Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Katranci to Fethiye

Fully appreciated the campsite in an idyllic bay, especially due to its blissfully peaceful setting. We both slept soundly the whole night through, which has been a rarity in Turkey. Not only are we woken by the call to prayer around dawn, but as it is Ramadan, someone runs around banging a drum at around 3am to wake folks up so they can eat before the sun rises. Usually there is a flock of chickens nearby too, dogs that bark at each other through the night and often the odd donkey braying for good measure. A challenge for even the heaviest sleepers. Rode on a short way to Fethiye to do some shopping. İn the evenıng we wandered to the fish market where you can buy your own fish and then take it to a restaurant where theyll cook it for a small fee and throw in pıtta and salad to make it into a tasty meal.
Total Distance Cycled : 5575m
Daily Distance Cycled : 24km
Ascent : 124m
Time Cycling : 1h 50
Journey Time : 1h 50
Average Speed : 13.3 km/h
Hotel: N 36°37'16.9" E 29°06'06.6"

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Köycegiz to Katranci

Shortly after setting off this morning Callie screeched to a halt a few meters short of running over a snake. About 3 foot long it appeared to be sunbathing at the edge of the road, luckily it quickly slithered off into the undergrowth. The road took us towards the coast up and down a series of hills and a low pass. At the pass all the other traffic got to use a newly built tunnel through the hill whereas we, who could've really done with the shortcut, had to slog the last few hundred meters up and over the summit. It's chilli harvest time and everywhere they are spread out on sheets to dry in colourful carpets or strung up on lines they festoon buildings. We had a pickled variety in our lunch today which was very tasty. At sunset we wound our way down to a small cove ringed by cliffs and just enough room for a campsite behind the beach. Planning a day off to appreciate the idyllic setting.
Total Distance Cycled : 5551m
Daily Distance Cycled : 65km
Ascent : 624m
Time Cycling : 5h 10
Journey Time : 8h
Average Speed : 12.7 km/h
Campsite : N 36°42'36.7" E 29°01'56.3"

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Muğla to Köyceğiz

Climbed another pass this morning past lizards scrambling in the rocks by the side of the road. These were not the usual tiddlers we've seen before in hot countries, but were fat as a babies arm and looked like the sort of thing you'd see in a reptile house. The top of the pass gained us spectacular views down to the sea, a plain beside it and more hills beyond. Ended the day at a sleepy town by a lake, separated from the sea by a small strip of land and a swampy creek. It's a very pleasant spot, the still water of the lake ringed by mountains hazy in the distance.
Total Distance Cycled : 5486m
Daily Distance Cycled : 67km
Ascent : 386m
Time Cycling : 4h 15
Journey Time : 6h 30
Average Speed : 15.6 km/h
Campsite : N 36°57'34.5" E 28°40'33.2"

Friday, September 28, 2007

Yatağan to Muğla

A less arduous day, as we continued south east sticking a bit inland so as to avoid the package holiday destinations of Bodrum and Mamaris. Our route through rolling countryside took us to Mugla a sizeable authentically Turkish town. Unlike the last couple of places we've stayed at Mugla has an interesting old quarter with narrow streets and crumbling stone buildings. We treated ourselves to a visit to the local hamam and had our first Turkish bath and massage. With some trepidation we had chosen a mixed bathing place so we could experience it together. Luckily we had the place to ourselves. We were ushered into the sauna area after changing into cloth towels and borrowed clogs. We sat and sweated for as long as we could manage and then hovered in the bathing room admiring the domed ceiling and marble washing basins of the mediaeval building. The attendant returned and the washing began. Laid out on a marble slab we were scrubbed vigorously with a rough flannel until we had been exfoliated and our top layer of skin made dirty black strings. Then came the soaping, a pillowcase was filled with suds and air and then rubbed over our bodies. This felt velvety soft after the flannel, and left a blanket of foam to envelop us. More soap was applied by hand accompanied by a bit of massaging, fortunately not as vigorous as we'd feared. After being sluiced off we were wrapped up in layers of towel from head to toe including a fetching turban. We were then guided upstairs to lounge on pillows and drink tea. A very pleasant way to remove the grime of a days cycling. After dinner we almost made it back to the hotel, but were dragged into the bar opposite by the owner who used to live in England. We were fed raki and Turkish coffee while he made us learn some Turkish phrases, to amusement of the regulars.
Total Distance Cycled : 5419m
Daily Distance Cycled : 29km
Ascent : 373m
Time Cycling : 2h 15
Journey Time : 3h 30
Average Speed : 12.6 km/h
Hotel : N 37°13'03.1" E 28°21'56.1"

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Milas to Yatağan

Continued south and eastwards a little inland from the Mediterranean Coast. The day consisted of a lot of uphill as we battled through the mountains. Ended the day in a normal Turkish town in a rather shabby hotel. Later in the evening when we stepped out to look for food we were accosted by one of the many blokes that hang around in the hotel lobby. He insisted that we follow him rather than eat next door. He proceeded to lead us down many dark alleys to a brightly lit self service canteen. He got us trays and hovered about as we selected our dishes. Having thought he was going to take us for a ride it turned out to be quite the opposite and he paid for our dinner and refused to be reimbursed. Back at the hotel we had a mime and stunted English conversation with all the hotel guys about our trip and Turkey in general.
Total Distance Cycled : 5390m
Daily Distance Cycled : 43km
Ascent : 724m
Time Cycling : 3h 50
Journey Time : 6h
Average Speed : 11.1 km/h
Hotel : N 37°20'26.5" E 28°08'21.6"

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Çamici Gölü to Milas

Continued on the undulating road to the end of the lake with misty mountains rising up from the opposite shore, the crags looking indistinct and smuged in the morning light. As we left the lake behind our way wound through a maze of conical hills, and rows of olive trees. We passed the occasional strip town, no more than a few cafes existing to serve the dolmus buses which plie the highways. Made an early stop before lunch as there are scant places to stay now we've headed inland. Milas is a busy market town which few other tourists visit, a slice of real Turkish life. We wandered around in the afternoon buying essential snack supplies, having become addicted to honey and sesame coated roasted peanuts and mixed bags of roasted chickpeas, sweetcorn and pumpkin seeds.
Total Distance Cycled : 5347m
Daily Distance Cycled : 41km
Ascent : 303m
Time Cycling : 3h
Journey Time : 3h 30
Average Speed : 13.5 km/h
Campsite : N 37°18'49.5" E 27°46'45.5"

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Güllübahçe to Çamici Gölü

After yesterdays mountainbiking epic we were glad to be in one of the only flat areas in Turkey. The first 10km were marred by a headwind,but as we turned onto the highway the wind was on our backs so we were able to speed along foe a while. Our route then took into the hills and we climbed up to skirt around a lake. Half way along the enormous lake we happened across a campsite in an idyllic setting. As the price was about 80p each we felt unable to turn the opportunity down and after yesterdays excertions we felt we deserved some lounging time.
Total Distance Cycled : 5306m
Daily Distance Cycled : 47km
Ascent : 197m
Time Cycling : 2h 54
Journey Time : 4h 30
Average Speed : 16.1 km/h
Campsite : N 37°28'30.6" E 27°26'52.2"