Goreme > Erdemli 327km > Karaburun 325km
First course of breakfast at our hotel, then came the omelettes, then fruit platter and pancakes – set us up for the day. Charlie and I are starting to put some weight back on since we have been in Turkey, which is a good thing, we were getting a bit too skinny!!
Before taking off we wanted to see the Open Air Museum which is an area in Goreme with many old small Churches some dating back to the 9thC. There are caretakers at each church to ensure correct behaviour and no photos – but for us they said “shhh take photos”, in fact one guy took my camera and snapped off heaps of photos of the frescos, too funny.
The best preserved is the Dark Church so named because there are no windows. It was naturally dark when we crawled through the tunnel to get in, the caretaker following us. He lead me inside the chapel and said it was best to look at it in the dark and was asking if I could see a face – but I couldn’t see a thing it was pitch black. He disappeared and next thing the lights came on and WOW!!! Talk about impact!! An explosion of colour all around us, and original. Because there is no light, the frescoes are still intact. Incredible. He didn’t say we could take photos and in all conscience we couldn’t break “the rules”, sorry.
We then left Goreme heading for the Mediterranean Coast. We keep thinking we are leaving the mountains behind and down to the wide valleys, but then find ourselves crossing over yet another mountain range. Turkey is full of them, much to our delight.
Seen quite a number of these in different countries – plastic cutouts of police cars
We rode on a new 3-lane highway most of the day – it had 8 tunnels
In Tarsus we visited Paul’s Well, and what is believed to be his house – Paul of Tarsus. The caretaker dropped the bucket into the well and brought up some water for us to drink – people come here on pilgrimage especially to drink this holy water. Charlie was quite anxious about me drinking some, but I only put it up to my mouth – I didn’t want to offend the guy – buy you never know what has leached into the water table!
When we got back to our bikes some men from the shops opposite had brought their chairs over and were sitting next to them. On our return one leaped into action and brought some cold water and two glasses for us to have a drink. So kind, it was another hot day.
Our first sighting of the Mediterranean Coast. This is the first time we have seen the ocean since leaving Vladivostok – the others have all been lakes including the Caspian
Fancy traffic lights, the lights go all the way up the post.
I was sitting waiting for Charlie when one of these men came and offered me two plums – again, the kindness of strangers – and yes I did share
An evening beside the sea – the view from our room
Erdemli > Karaburun 325km
It was so lovely to wake up to the sound of the waves. Straight after breakfast we had to have a paddle, the water is very tepid
We are back into hot weather – although the temps are only in the low to mid 30’s, because of the humidity with being so close to the water, we melt.
Started out with a lot of high rise buildings but eventually we got to this – a winding narrow road around the mountains. There was also new highway with more tunnels.
Saw quite a number of fortresses
Lots and lots of glasshouses and plastic greenhouses, the latter growing bananas.
There are so many very fancy looking resorts along this stretch of road – Turkey has been facing a downturn in tourism since the coup last year so I wonder how booked they are. We thought we were booking into a boutique hotel not realising that it stretched below the road down to the sea. Everything is included in these places, buffet breakfast lunch and dinner, as well as snacks in the morning and coffee and cake in the afternoon – we missed most of that, but what we did have was abundant!! Lots of pools, and things for the kids, even pet cats wandering around – everything you need for a good holiday. Most people come from places like Russia and Europe.
Down on the beach and in the water it was full of people!!! And deckchairs all in lines, provided by the resorts – made us both appreciate NZ beaches all the more. We had a “sit and watch” in the sun.
The chairs all re-set for a new day.