We had heavy rain during the night and up till midday. I rigged up my ground sheet as a cowling for the tent using the guy ropes. I contacted Carl Howard’s friend Sylvia by text message. It turned out she is in Gumbet, ten miles back down the road I came up last night. We arranged to meet around five for a coffee. I will be interested to ask her about the location of a good camping shop so I can get a water purification bottle. The good news is that there are no mosquitos here.
The call to prayers is quite loud and will take a bit of getting used to. Checked my luggage and water has got into the panniers for the first time. Not too bad but I will have to get some plastic bags to use as liners. More good news, I have found the cowling for my tent, it was in the bag all along. Wally!
A motorhome arrived on the next pitch with a Turkish couple. I spoke to the guy and found out he was here from Istanbul to meet some friends and go boat fishing.
I went into Gumbet to meet Sylvia and looked for a place to use the internet. I settled on a place called Cool Breeze and ordered a coffee after being told the Wi-Fi is free. Gumbet is a bit of a culture shock after Paros and there are the usual 'overly refreshed' tourists wandering around even this early in the season. One in particular was causing a right nuisance and the bar owner showed remarkable patience dealing with him. Plenty of practice I imagine!
Sylvia showed up with a friend called Sue, from Liverpool, and we started to chat about all sorts of stuff. We moved on to a restaurant called the Parrot for dinner and were joined again later by Sue. Sue had very kindly bought me some provisions for my larder which I gratefully accepted.
I was waved off by the staff of the Parrot who all seem very nice, and rode back to Guvercinlik about 11.30pm and turned in straight away.
Saturday 19 May, Day 16 - GuverncilikThe first call to prayers woke me up at 4.50am. I got up around 6.30, packed up camp. I was ready to leave at 7.30 but it was Saturday and the owner must have a lie in at the weekend. Went for a walk along the quay with the dog to kill some time. A Turkish lady from one of the caravans brought me Chai while I was waiting.
About 8.30 I knocked on the door and managed to get an answer. I paid the 30 Lira fee (about £12) for the two nights and said goodbye. The Turkish lady from the caravan brought me some fruit and nuts for my journey and waived me off.
I had decided to head for Cappadocia so aimed for the South coast road. The roads are pretty good but the progress through the towns is very slow. At a fork in the road I decided to head inland for a while and was soon to regret the decision. The road went up and up into the mountains and onto a high plateau that stretched for miles. It was very cold and the rain made it worse. My hands were frozen to the bars and I couldn’t wait for the descent. Finally it came and I managed to pull over at the bottom and warm up.
From now on I stuck to the coast road even though it was slower. I stopped at one point to buy bananas and honey. The seller was a little too friendly for my liking and I was glad to get moving!
After much searching I found a camp site East of Manavgat, right on the beach, and was charged the extortionate amount of 35 Lira for one night. A Czech guy, and his wife and their poodle were the only other occupants.
Sunday 20 May, Day 17 - Manavgat, Turkey
Got up early and stripped the panels off the bike to taker a good look at the electrics. The problem with my lights seems to be a bad connection on ignition key unit and I made a temporary by snipping a couple of the cable ties to allow better movement of the wiring loom. This seems to have done the trick. I couldn’t fix the indicators and think it must be the relay switch. The camp site staff were great and made plenty of Chai.
I put everything back together and got moving at about 10:00am and was determined to make it to Cappadocia. The going along the coast road was slow because of the huge seaside towns without bypasses.
Finally got to Tarsus where I need to head inland but I got stuck on a toll road and couldn’t get through the barrier because I didn’t have the necessary pass card. Pete on Paros had warned me about this buit I hadn’t seen anywhere selling them. I turned around and after looking at the map and decided to try and find the minor road route. At least I didn't get fined this time!Eventually I found road for Camliyayla and made some slow progress north along a very windy road. The scenery was great so I decided to free camp if possible. Spotted a farm track about 7.30 and pulled up it at dusk. I put the ground sheet down and my sleeping bag and made the Mexican rice Sue had given me using my small solid fuel stove. I slept under the stars to the sound of the crickets. Tip top!