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November 6th, 2010 | Asia

Capadocchia… In and Out…!!

Any standing water that was on the streets close to my hotel, had turned to ice overnight…!! There was a thick layer of frost on the Big Fella’s cover, but by the time I had packed and was ready to leave, the sun had come out and it all melted away…

Sugar Beet is transported from the fileds to roadside depots, from where larger trucks are loaded for the sugar mill near Aksaray...

Freezing cold nights but warm and sunny days was what I had to look forward too, which meant later than usual starts and earlier than usual hunts for accommodation…

Up on this plateau, almost every available piece of land was planted with Sugar Beet, and truckloads of these tubers were being transported to a massive factory that I passed on the way to Aksaray.

Clearly this crop fares well in cold conditions, because up here, snow would be falling in a few weeks time… Tractors still ploughed up the huge tracts of land in preparation for next seasons planting…

The D300 is a new double laned highway that cuts directly across Aksaray and Nevsehir, 240 km from Konya. This is where the region known as Capadocchia begins… The centre of the area is the little town of Goreme, its houses and buildings lie scattered amongst the weird rock formations and “fairy chimneys” that this area s famous for…

Nevsehir town centre...

Big Fella passes Old Fella on the road to Goreme...

View over the village of Goreme...

There are other villages throughout the region that are also known for the fantastic shapes that the sandstone has been eroded into, and I decided to ride the triangle formed by the towns of Urgup, Avanos and Goreme… The area is well known for its churches and monasteries, tunneled out of the solid sandstone rock centuries ago…

Interesting roof decoration...

Urgup has almost 18 000 Nufus...!! Many of the towns and villages have their population stats on their signage...

Seems my idea had been adopted by every tour bus in the region…!!

Wherever I rode, buses lined the route, stopping at every “Panorama Viewpoint” that had been set up here by the local tourist industry…

At these viewpoints, stalls have been erected, offering every conceivable Turkish curio, including those from seaside resorts and Istanbul…!!

If this was the amount of human traffic in the “off-season”, I’d hate to be here in June and July…!! Crowds of people waited to enter the rock dwellings which were open to the public, restaurants in the main square were packed to capacity, and queues to enter the various museums were commonplace…

There are footpaths leading to areas that are off the main roads in the region, as well as paved pathways along which you can ride little buggy’s and quad bikes.

Horseback rides are also a means to explore the rock formations off the main paths… In some places, they even offer camel rides, which I thought was a bit out of place…!!

This was once a home, and has now been converted into a little grocery shop...

Camel Rock, Capodocchia... Is this why they have camel rides...??

Tour buses drop people off to walk among the rock formations...

This is a police staion on the road to Avalos...!!

If walking is not your thing, then you can hire one of these to go exploring...

Despite the crowds, there is no escaping the beauty of the area… I stopped to take a few photos up above the village of Goreme, and then rode up a very steeply cobbled road leading to Urgup…

On this narrow road, it was impossible for two buses to pass each other at speed, and waiting for them to stop and jockey around, became an annoyance which I could do without… The twisting roads made it difficult to overtake these “obstructions”, and I spent long periods stuck behind them…

I had considered spending the night in Goreme, but with this many people around, I knew the prices would be beyond what I was prepared to pay… I rode up over a ridge to get to Avanos, and then worked my way up a long valley and back into Goreme…

Up here in the northern hemisphere, the winter sun passes in a lower arc than in the summer, and the sun is never directly above you at noon… As a result, if you are not facing north, any photos you take are generally over exposed… Not the best time of the year to get good pics…!!

Or, you can take the far more uncomfortable option, by hiring a camel...!!

I could have got off the bike and walked around, but in all my heavy biking gear, this was not an option… Signs warning people not to leave their valuables in their cars also had me wondering about the safety of hanging my jacket and helmet on the bike while I walked around…!!

So for the most part, Capadocchia remains a place stuck in my memory, rather than in picture form… I t certainly been worth the long ride to get here…!!

Getting to the top floor must be a mission...!!

Without bothering to stop for lunch, I headed south, hoping to reach Karaman, over 300 km away, before nightfall…

The emblem of Eregli... A rotating pair of hands holding an apple...!!

I stopped to refuel in Eregli, and with the light fading too fast for comfort, decided to look for a hotel to spend the night in… The owner of the fuel station came over to suggest a hotel which he claimed was the best in town… He suggested I follow him in his car, and after a few kilometres, stopped outside what looked like a brand new establishment…

In fact, it had only opened four months previously, and the owner of the fuel station also happened to own this hotel…!! He was an architect by profession, and had designed the hotel himself… He took me on a tour of the entire hotel, including the kitchens, where I met the chef, and ordered dinner while I was about it… I could see that attention to the little details had been important factors in making this hotel stand out from the rest of those I had stayed in while in Turkey…

Hotel Ozkoclar, Eregli... A good place to overnight...!!

Eregli is not on the tourist route, but is a major business centre in the Anatolia Region. The hotel has been geared towards providing an up-market place to overnight for businessmen travelling through the area…

It was a huge stroke of luck meeting Mahmut Ozkoc, and I am grateful for the effort he went to, to make me comfortable at the Oskoclar Hotel…

Security cameras dotted around the perimeter of the hotel grounds ensured that the Big Fella would not be tampered with, and attentive staff completed what was a very comfortable stay for me in Eregli…

I had covered over 1200 km in the past two days, and had to get down to the coast to take the ferry to Cyprus… I knew that it left Tasucu at midnight, but having only 275 km to ride to get there, I could afford to take it easy the next day…

Little did I know that I would be spending far more time in Tasucu than I had anticipated…!!

©GBWT 2010

7 comments to Capadocchia… In and Out…!!

  • Vince Ricci

    That blue sky in these past few pics is amazing… Good choice following the X!

  • Mark Behr

    Looks like a great place to be. Enjoy.

    You definitely made us curious – what’s up ?

  • Kim

    Tasucu, OK, what’s happened here… just because Christmas is around the corner, you think you must jump on the “bike”, I mean band-wagon – what suprises have you got for us – I’m hoping for another wedding…… you could really have some fun!!!!!
    I take it a paint shop is not a good business venture in the village of Goreme… looks amazing!!!!
    Can’t wait for the next exciting blogg – hurry up!!!
    Hope you had a good stay in Tasucu…
    BIG kisses
    K

  • Charmz

    Thanks for sharing “rock town” with us….what an amazing place. I can only imagine what it must be like to live in one of them. Be safe and chat soon.

  • Alex

    Amazing trip and a very nice blog! Keep up the good work.

    Greetings,

    Alex
    The Netherlands

  • Åke

    I have read this on the 14th of April 2013. It’s your birthday today,right ?
    49 years young (?)Happy Birthday !!!

  • Thank you Ake !! I just realised that I have spent my last six birthdays in six different countries !! Take care, and thanks for all your comments !! R.

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