Truly one of the most amazing landscapes I’ve ever seen. Miles of valleys filled with fantastical phallic rock formations, thousands of which have homes and churches carved into them by the early christians over 1500 years ago. Many of the dwellings are perched metres above the ground and are still occupied by farmers who tend small fields of squash, tomatoes and grapes amongst these “fairy chimneys.”
Rented a MTB yesterday and spent six hours exploring the smooth, undulating single trak that makes this area one of the best riding spots I’ve ever been to. Man, if I had my real bike with me and not this 30-pound, rigid wonder. Chatted and ate cookies with a local farmer in the middle of nowhere. Even flatted atop a particularly nice view and took my time changing it with the back of my nailclippers and an antique frame pump the rental agency provided me after much negotation.
Spent two nights in Goreme, centre of Cappadocia, in a cave hostel for $5/night. Spent two hours last night in a cave bar smoking from a Turkish waterpipe set with apple-flavoured tabbaco, amongst backpackers and young locals, one of who described himself as a modern cave men. Sipped the local wine, ate Turkish pide (like pizza, but rolled and sliced onto flatbread) while listening and partaking in Turkish folk music performed by a 20-year-old in an Eminem cut-off t-shirt.
The weather is rather chill in this mountainous, Okanagan-like region. I’m currently wearing every article of clothing I own, which amounts to about two shirts and one thin polypro top. If I get to Syria via the overnight bus tonight, hopefully things will warm up.