So we continued down the coast:
– Troy: important in Homer’s (and not the dude from the Simpsons!) great works (Iliad and Odyssey). Took photos for you Mike!
– Ephesus: like other once-great cities, it ended up being abondened becuase it’s great port silted up. Deomonstrating the ‘slow’ geological and geomorphological processes can have an impact if the inhabitants hang around for long enough! importantly for the tourists though, the signs to the brothels are still clearly visible…..
– The beach at Kusadasi: A free lift back from some kind Turks, once again demonstrating how nice they are. Although, we did get pretty ripped off on the taxi out there! Soon after we left, the site of bombings : (
– Carpets: bloody interesting once you get into it! Organic; hand dyed with pistachio and peaches!; made by girls with suitably small fingers tying thousands of knots per square inch over a period of months; and intersting enough to get Mike, Ruth and Gabrielle to buy one!
And, then on to Pumakkale, where the all the goat tracks trough the ruins proved too much of a temptation when a free bike was on offer.
So, the setting: there is this amazing man-influenced geological formation where springs leave pure white calcium deposits across a length of rock face. Everyone goes to paddle through the pools and marvel at the whiteness of it all.
We got up early one morning to get the good light, and due to poor signage and our adventurous spirit, ended up walking everywhere we weren’t meant to. ( yes – you heard it here first kids… andrew has walked willy nilly all over the no-walk zones on one of the seven wonders of the world!! Well, acutally we are all to ignorant to know if it actually is one or not but it definitely claims to be!!) Anyway, got some photos and then returned later on in the morning to visit the ruins of Heirapolous above the white cliffs (called the Traventines, and one of the 7 natural wonders of the world I believe). oh – see even andrew is claiming it to be one.
Heirapolous had the best view and layout of all the ruins, and we had great fun exploring on our own. Not many other tourists ventured up into the hills, probably becuase it really is a boiling hot barren desert – just happens to have amazing ruins dotted through it – would have been good if they were a bit closer together but. so it was great to be able to relax ???? a bit. That was, until I realised all the goat tracks would make great mountian biking! I made motor bike noises and jumped over rocks as we walked (I ran) down the hills back to the village, but it just wasn’t enough.
Upon return to our accomodation, and with a few hours to kill, I enquired about hire of the mountain bikes leaned against the wall. Turned out these cheap, thrashed, dual suspension not- mountain-bikes were actually free! WOO HOO! I chose a trusty steed and made a few repairs before heading out to ride the long way (7kms) back up to the ruins, around the base of the white cliffs (you aren’t allowed to even walk on them with shoes on)
I soon tired of riding with a low seat, and decided to go a short cut across a few fields, then carried the bike up 100m of near vertical cliff. A further 2kms to the top of the ruins and I was nearing the crescendo: I hadn’t had this much energy since starting this whole trip!
Taking in the view across the ruins, white cliffs, green valley, and high mountains far beyond.. I was very, very excited. I had spotted a great trail traversing/descending the hillside with enough twists and turns to keep me excited. I pedaled around a bit to see if there were any better routes, but none were found.
Ready to go: right foot on the pedal, seat lowered, hair in the wind…And I’m off! Ten metres down the trail, I ‘dismount’ gracefully after a slow bump into a small rock. I walk back to the bike: the front wheel now resembled a pretzel. There were no tantrums, just that slow embarassing dawning that I had wrecked a bike that was not designed for this…for nothing: No zooming, no yelling, no swooping, no jumping, just a long, embarassing walk through the tourists and down the white cliffs…carrying the bike.
A funny little end to the story: I was truly sorry about the bike, but when they tried to charge me the equivalent of $100 AUD for the wheel I was not having a bar of it. I had intelligently stopped in at the local mechanics on the way back to the hostel, and they had given me a rough estimate of how much it would cost: end result – it cost me only $12