Breakfast is waiting when I wake, a huge feast :) Agede is still sleeping but his mum insists I start. By the time everyone is awake it's 09:30 and Agede's father gives me a lift down to the taxi stop on his bike.
Just missing a shared taxi to Gozeme I have an hour to fill in to the next one. Stopping at a barbers for a shave they offer me the "string treatment" before they finish...
It's quite common for a barber to hold up a piece of string after finishing shaving and ask if I want it. I have never felt the need to take them up on their offer as I don't know what they want to do with it, but today I'm feeling adventurous :) One of the younger workers comes over and holds the skin on my cheeks tight while the string gets stuck in the barbers mouth for a good sucking. Looking back that's the point I should have bailed...
Removing the string the guy pulls it tight and proceeds to drag it back and forth across my skin, with the result of tangling in all the fine hairs on my cheeks and yanking them out by the roots. Sound painful? You'd be right! Any benefit my looks might have gained from my rosy red cheeks and super smooth skin is heavily outweighed by my puffy eyes filled with tears.
Well, lesson learnt. Don't have to ever do that again on my life. Now I'm sure all the girls out there are thinking that I'm just being a wuss and that it's only what they go through every day, but being a guy beauty treatments can only go so far. If it hurts, tastes bad or makes me look gay it isn't needed :) There are enough people on the planet who think I'm gay without encouraging them ;)
The journey up the mountain is much more enjoyable by car and it isn't long before I'm dropped at my starting point. Very pleased with myself that I got to the top of the mountain yesterday the walk ahead is pleasant with small rolling hills.
Antakya is such a fertile area with as many varieties of crops as you can name. The smell of drying tobacco fills the air with the locals sitting in their verandahs stringing it out to dry. I don't make it far before getting an invite for lunch and am happy to sit round and chat.
The walk is great and not so hot today. I was planning on heading to Antakya for a few hours to see the church avoid the heat but now I think I will walk the full 20kms to Yayladagi and give myself the night in Antakya.
The fields turn to pine and with the sound of the cicadas cheering me on I make my turnoff around five. I only have 4kms of Turkey to go! Trying to hitch into the center of Yayladagi I end up walking the one and a half kilometers but am happy when a minibus is there waiting for me.
Arriving in Antakya I find a great little hotel and head into town to check out the sights. The Gods must be smiling on me, I'm lucky enough to meet up with a gorgeous young woman by the name of Zaynep whom having just graduated from studying English literature in Istanbul is now back in her home town for a holiday. Her friends are all away and being extremely bored she offers to show me around town tomorrow :)
But first I convince her to come out for a drink :) Leading the way to a fabulous open air cafe we lay back on our bean bags, order some tea and kick back smoking nagile. A perfect way to spend the evening, thanks heaps :)