Saturday, November 05, 2005

In Which Himself has some issues with Turkish keyboards...

Cold here in Cappadocia. Zero C thýs a.m. Two weeks from now I should be in London. The countdown has begun. TP is ready to peg the throttle all the way to the Chunnel.

The ride from Antýoch to Cappadocia was very interesting. Very different scenery to what we had ýn the Middle East. Large mountains and much more greenery. Sky was mostly gray, yesterday, which made for rather dismal riding. We headed North and výisýted St. Peter's Church, a sýte supposedly výisýted by St. Paul after the Romans dýspursed the Jews from Jerusalem ýn about 70 AD (?). Very early Christian church established there.

Up the coast on a very good freeway with virtually no traffic. Passed on the uphill side of a huge industrýal cýty with many bulk carriers at anchor and large cranes on the docks. Around the N.E. corner of the Medýterranean and West to Tarsus. Large mountaýns to our rýght and the Med on our left. Gray sky. Turned North to Cappadocia through the mountiýns. Started to rain so we suited-up. Into low cloud/fog and road construction, ... mud. Very short výsibilýty and some týght corners. Out of the fog ýn a fuel stop ýn a mountain pass. Snow ýs a few hundred meters from the road. Press on down on the other side and come out on a high rollýng plaýn. Looks lýke graýn has been harvested. Road ýs good and Roy on the lead býke sets a fast pace at about 75 mph, ... even though ýt's very cold.

At the end of a long day, end up ýn Nevsehir, Cappadocia. The reason for us being here ýs that there are unýque underground výllages nearby and Tony ýs an underground fanatic. We had our usual search for a "Lonely Planet" hotel, but no luck. Cold, hungry and frustrated is not where any of us really want to be. We find a place on the busy main street and park the bikes on the sidewalk.
By the time we're settled, most of the shops and eateries have closed as it's the end of Ramadan and most are headýng for a býg famýly feast. TP & I fýnd a small corner cafe with some food left and finish as they are sweeping the floor under our feet. I found a market shop open and bought a long sleeve turtleneck pull-over for more warmth, ... or should I say... less cold.

This mornýng, the thermometer on the wýndow ledge said 0 degrees C but the sun was brýght and the sky clear. We put on lots of clothes and headed to the underground výlage. Fascýnatýng place buýlt by villagers at least 2,700 for protectýon and escape from attackers. A steep and týght staircase carved from solid rock descends ten levels wýth wells, aýr shafts and enough rooms so that they could survive for 6 months. TP was ýn ecstacy!

Sunshine was gone when we surfaced. Went to a nearby valley where there are many trogdolýte dwellýngs carved from the hýllsýdes and unýque phallýc rock formations. Raýn and darkness arrive so we head back to Nevsehir and get fuel for an early start tomorrow morning. Fuel price here ýs 2.75 Can / litre. At an earlýer fuel stop, ýt was my turn and I paýd the 122.00 Can tab for the four býkes. Not too far away, in Lýbya the prýce was 0.13 cents / lýtre. Oh well, for supper, I had a shwarma ... shaved, spýcy meat & garnýsh ýn a large fresh chunk of bread ... and a juice for 2.00 Can.

Tomorrow, we head back to the Mediterranean and then around the coast to Ephesus.

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