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Chris Sayer’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 14 Apr 2009

Location: Kas, Turkey

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Day 14 April 14
We crossed another one off the list today … we swam in the Mediterranean. And covered 328 kms on the bike.
After a 6.30am dip in the hot mud pool for one last time, we headed off at 8.30, riding south. We ride towards the snow covered mountains that had been on our right yesterday, the intention is to cross them over the next 4 hours. Within an hour, we are well into the mountains, the air became crisp, and the scenery was superb. The terrain is barren, too rocky for undergrowth, but trees dot the landscape. The peaks soar all around as you ride through the valleys. Ahead you see the road snake its way around the mountains, behind is the road that you’ve just ridden on, stretching for miles in both directions. Every now and then you ride through a small village where people go about their daily life. Mostly elderly, husband and wife tending the garden or orchard; or men sitting outside the café drinking tea; a woman leading a donkey laden with bags or kids; farmers driving a tractor pulling a cart of hay or firewood, with the Mrs sitting on the back. You gotta watch out for the flock of sheep grazing on the fresh grass at the side of the road, under the watchful eye of an old shepherd.
Coming down from the mountains, we have lunch at Fethiye, at an old roadside café where we have the best pida (Turkish pizza) ever. We watch them being made, and as they cook, his son takes us around the back to see his chooks. The son wants me to take a photo of him on my bike, then I must take a photo of him and his mother. We shake hands with the whole family, and we’re off again. A typical lunch stop for us in rural Turkey.
Riding further south, we eventually hit the Mediterranean, or rather, it hits us. Hills 500 metres high fall into the beautiful blue sea, and we ride on a road that has been cut into the side of the hill. The views are so spectacular, it’s dangerous for motorbike riders. A motorbike tends to head in the direction that you’re looking, and when you’re looking at an incredibly blue sea stretching out to your right, it can be quite dangerous. Greek islands are clearly visible a few kilometers away, and the coastline weaves in and out forming bays and headlands as far as the eye can see. Dotted along the coast are built-up areas, many containing multi-storey hotels, and every window in every house has a view over this magnificent seascape.
We soon arrive at Kas, population 8,000, and our hotel has “that” view. Just across the road is the hotel’s own landing for accessing the sea. No beach, just a very rocky shoreline, so we jump in, and climb out by the hotel’s own ladder, while wondering if life could get any better?