The Rolling Roads of Turkey: Hills, Caves, and Modernization

“I suppose that was what attracted me to the bicycle right from the start. It is not so much a way of getting somewhere as it is a setting for randomness; it makes every journey an unorganized tour.”

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The last week has been a mess of small rolling hills which meant that we were constantly climbing yet going almost nowhere. Though we completed three passes, it felt like a whole lot more because even the downhills were full of small frustrating ups. That being said, at least we were on a smallish relatively quiet road, and at least we got over 500km out of the way!

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Though these were in no way our highest passes, 1000m of elevation gain in one go more than warrants a silly photo no matter what the height.

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Though we felt sort of like zombies – eat, cycle, eat, sleep, eat, cycle, eat, sleep… – we did have good food to keep us going. This here is our new favorite lunch; bread with chocolate (like Nutella) and yogurt, and our new favorite breakfast is pretty similar; bread with chocolate and cheese (sort of like a light cream cheese). And guess what dessert is, chocolate filled cookies dipped in yogurt! Notice a theme?

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This is what happens when you wear the same gloves for over a year… They turn into fingerless gloves!!

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We camped in a few apricot orchards as they were everywhere throughout our first few days until we reached a barren landscape with almost nothing around.

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The day before we reached cappadocia – one of the most famous tourist attractions in Turkey due to its cave-homes and hot air balloon rides – we found a cave of our own to call home for the night. Though the push up the hill to reach it was harder than the 100km we had cycled that day, it was definitely worth it once we had settled in! Our cave was obviously well used by shepherds and even had fencing (stones piled on each other) all around to keep the animals inside. There were other caves higher up on the same hill which we were able to explore since there were “steps” carved out of the rocks from repeated use.

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Though we sometimes pass small older villages such as these, for the most part, Kevin and I have been surprised at just how developed and modern everything is here. Maybe our surprise is due to the fact that we are coming from Asia, or maybe it’s because we have a sort of skewed vision of Turkey coming from the west, but Kevin and I have come to realize that the nicely paved highways here are filled with high powered nice cars, just like back home, that the shopping malls and universities look exactly as ours do, and that tall modern-looking (ugly) skyscrapers and smartphones are just part of daily life in the city.

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On the road!

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I have a new Facebook page! I will no longer be using my personal one, so for those of you who would like to follow with small updates of stories and photos, come like it. Plus, you should check out this link for an amazing and inspiring mountain journal created by a friend of mine! For just ten dollars you will receive the first issue (and 140 page journal with jaw dropping photos and incredible stories) while helping him continue to tell his stories through kickstarter. He contacted me the other day since he wants to work with me on a story, so I’m as excited to see his dream succeed as he is!

3 thoughts on “The Rolling Roads of Turkey: Hills, Caves, and Modernization

  1. J”ai repéré votre trajet sur google map et le moins qu’on puisse dire, c’est que vous avancez rapidement. Félicitations! De beaux grands moments de solitude! Ça dit être inspirant!

  2. Pingback: Turkey Through the Lens | The Wandering Nomads

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