Friday, 11 July 2008

Pilgrimage from Gulsehir to Goreme 06/07/08

What time does the sun rise these days?

That was the question I had no idea about when setting the alarm last night. Guessing if I wake by 5am I should be fine that is when the alarm got set for...

Waking in my wonderful sandstone palace I'm pleased there is some light around, sunrise can't be too far away. Grabbing my cameras I head to my rooftop terrace to sit and wait. Already the colors are awesome and the stillness of the world in anticipation of those first warming rays is magical. This is definitely something I should make a habit of doing more often!

At 05:35 the first rays light my face and the colors bought out in the sandstone around me are incredible. Absorbing the morning energy puts me in great spirits before setting off towards Nevsehir.

Even though I'm sticking to the highway it's still peaceful this time of morning and I make good time. A turnoff appears before me running more in the direction I would prefer to travel. I have no need to walk through Nevsehir but according to all my maps it's my only choice to get to Uchisar. Looking into the distance I think I can make out Uchisar castle, with my goal in sight I'm happy to set off into the unknown.

Walking a road lined with apricots soon dispels any fears I might be going the wrong way ;) Every tree is loaded with them! Wonderful!

Hitting my first town I realize I must be right off the tourist track. Sulusaray is quite large but even this close to Nevsihir or Goreme still doesn't have a restaurant. A juice and a chocolate bar does me for breakfast and as I go to leave the shopkeeper gives me some more apricots as well :) Combined with the fresh juicy dut I find on the way out of town it does well to satisfy my hunger.

The walk is nice but I look on in dismay as my road swings back towards Nevsihir. Oh well... :( Hitting the outskirts of town I locate a pide restaurant to have a rest and an early lunch, and on going to leave get a pleasant surprise...

"Yes, Uchisar 7kms that way, but if you go 7km the other way you can go straight to Goreme"

Now this is good news! Knocks another few kilometers off my day :)

The road in takes me through White Valley and the awesome sandstone features of the area start immediately. Cappadocia, I am here!!! This is now my third time but to walk in is something else. A great feeling!

Locating Goreme it's still only 12:30...amazing what can be achieved when waking at 5am ;)

First stop is Kapadokya Balloons, having never had a balloon ride before I figure this is the place to try it. The owners, Kaili and Lars are a super friendly couple and after finding out about my adventure are generous enough to give me a complimentary flight! Wooohoooo! You guys are awesome...thanks :)

After a quick lunch, a friend of the waiter comes to pick me up to take me to the hotel which his family owns. And a great choice! For 25YTL a big clean room with my own bathroom and breakfast, I'm stoked!

Having made a commitment to myself not to drink until my blogs are all up to date, there is nothing left to do other than start writing. With only a couple left it isn't long before I have them wrapped up and breath a sigh of relief that I managed to bring it all back under control!

I consider heading straight down for a has been a week after all (possibly a pilgrim record ;) ) but after spotting a Turkish baths decide this is just as good a way to celebrate. The price is not cheap but smack bang in the middle of touristville I can't expect much else. After a sauna, body scrub, message and baths the only disappointment is the water is cold! What the F#*K are they thinking???

But still, a very relaxed and happy pilgrim makes his way back to the hotel...

Quickly jumping on the net before heading out I realize in horror that the Wimbledon final was today!!! Shit!

Luckily for me rain delayed play and it is still running...with Nadal two sets up! Racing down to Fatboys, the local sports bar (well, everything bar from what I've been told), I sit on the edge of my seat witnessing one of the best games of tennis ever...

Rain delays play again and since we can't speak Turkish everyone presumes the game is done for the day...

After a little pool and a few beers it's time for bed. I have a 04:30 wake up call for ballooning tomorrow...

No comments: