Sumi Hollingworth

A mother, partner, sociologist and stresshead who likes her own space, I am currently trapped in a campervan with my partner and a two year old, thoroughly enjoying the togetherness of being on the road. ;)
Living in: London, United Kingdom
  • Day564

    Phasalis Ancient City

    July 7 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 36 °C

    We visited the stony cove beach and ruins amongst the pine forest with friends and spent a few hours here paddling, cutting our feet on the rocks and having hungry children moan as we attempted to walk the ruins. We gave up and went for a kebab.

  • Day559

    Çiralı

    July 2 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    We had planned to meet friends in Çiralı which is a village off Olimpos beach. We had booked a chalet bungalow with a shared pool in an orange grove (Arcadia Villas). Chickens and roosters roamed the grounds and the air conditioning beckoned us in. The place was beautiful: amazing beach, cute hippy sleepy village, lovely villas in lovely grounds. Expensive though compared to what it used to be like in these areas... We spent the days in the pool, at the beach and BBQing. The boys climbed the mountain to see the Chimera: the eternal flames burning out of the mountain. H had a great time with his friend and both much improved their swimming. We were sad to say goodbye and skipping Olimpos we spent the night as 222 camping in the valley and headed west. Olimpos used to be a remote beach where backpackers stayed in tree-house pansyions and slept on the beach amidst the ruins (K and I had been together 5 years before) but now we heard it had a tarmac road and we didn't expect it to be the same.Read more

  • Day556

    Sapadere Canyon

    June 29 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 34 °C

    After finding an upmarket campsite on the beach on the outskirts of Mersin - Alcakil Kamping, we rested for a bit and got sunburnt. We then headed the amazing windy mountainous coast road between Mersin and Alanya, with mile after mile of banana plantations, something we didn't expect in Turkey. We absolutely loved a coastal village on the way called Soğuksu (cold water) where a beautiful turquoise river flowed out into the deep blue sea. We were headed to Sapadere Canyon, a beautiful river canyon with waterfalls and and natural swimming pools. We ate lunch and walked the dubiously rickety wooden walkway through the canyon to the waterfall at the top. Most of the pools where signs indicated you could swim were so deep we dare not risk it with H but we all took a dip in the freezing cold blue green pools towards the bottom where the water was shallower and more still. There were actually quite a lot of tourists here so we moved on. We loved some of the farmland in the valley here.Read more

  • Day553

    Urfa

    June 26 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 40 °C

    Sanliurfa was a buzzing, clean, modern Arab-esque city. It was also incredibly hot with the thermometer in the campervan reading 50 degrees. We got airconditioned and fed and washed in a shopping mall and slept or tried to sleep in the car park of the archaeological museum, a modernist building with big plaza. We had spicy Turkish breakfast in the Pazaar and visited the famous gardens with 'sacred fish ponds' and Abraham's cave. We decided to have a quick look in the archaeology museum and are so glad we did because it provided a great narrative accompaniment to Gobekli Tepe and placed some of the historical sights we had seen in a timeline. H liked to see the animal and human reenactment scenes.Read more

  • Day552

    Gobekli Tepe

    June 25 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 38 °C

    Gobekli Tepe far exceeded our expectations. It was absolutely amazing. As we turned off the main road from Harran to Urfa and made our way up the winding country road to the 'potbelly' mountain, the tallest peak for miles around, it was golden hour and the pink setting sun shone on the yellow corn fields and it was magical. This is the archaeology site that changed history: a series of monumental circular buildings that date back to the Neolithic period, that predate the pyramids by far. It proves signs of advanced civilisation much earlier than we originally thought. This year was branded 'the year of gobekli tepe' by the Turkish government. Investment in the site had been huge here: excavation was still taking place, there was a huge visitors' centre, lots of written information and a shaded raised walkway which surrounded the main ruins.Read more

  • Day551

    Harran

    June 24 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 37 °C

    As we journeyed east the weather became hotter and hotter and the landscape more arid. Typical biblical landscapes arrived: dry, rocky, mountainous, scrubby bushes and lonely goatherds. We stopped for the night in a forest park outside Gaziantep and drove on. As the landscape became more hostile the roadside truck stops became more welcoming: huge wooden tented buildings, with cool shaded veranda occupied by truckers drinking cay and eating aci kebab, picnic alani under the eucalyptus trees, pitstop barbers, ugly garden ornaments for sale and ten lira tepid showers welcomed us. The smell of ev yemek beckoning us in. We went first to Harran, avoiding desperate tour guides attempting to show us around. Harran is
    famous for Abraham having stayed there on his pilgrimage to Mecca but little was made of this. It is also famous for having the First eighth century Islamic university.
    It was disappointingly all closed and fenced off with no sign of any archaeology or restoration. As we drove the campervan through the dusty streets inside the walled city, the most interesting sight you can engage with are the beehive houses, traditional houses consisting of a series of inter joining square but conical roofed houses.
    Read more

  • Day548

    Ürgüp, Göreme and the fairy chimneys

    June 21 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    We drove through the non tourist trail through the scruffy villages from Soganli valley on Friday lunchtime watching Friday prayer spill out of one village mosque, cows munching along the roadside, tractors drove by carrying whole families, caves and underground caverns made makeshift barns and gypsies camped in fields in blue tarpaulin tent constructions. We drove through Urgup the touristy but functional town, ate lots of dinner in Goreme centre (tourist and backpacker central) before parking on the Panaroma viewpoint of the red valley overlooking one of the most stunning landscapes I've ever seen. We stayed here for the night and k got up at sunrise to photograph the balloons flying over the valley. (My crappy balloon snap here does not do it justice). We drove on to visit the fairy chimneys which were amazing rock formations caused by flows of volcanic larva thousands of years ago. (And then people dug caves out of them and lived in them.) You could see that not long ago you used to be able to drive and park amongst the fairy chimneys but now it is fenced off and there is a visitors centre. Exit through the gift shop.Read more

  • Day547

    Derinkuyu underground city and Soganli

    June 20 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    At Derinkuyu in the Cappadocia region is a network of underground caves which have not been fully excavated but which stretch for miles and are at least 8 stories deep and housed up to 20,000 people. In fact under several villages in the region these underground bunkers are found. They are thought to have been inhabited by early Christians in the region escaping persecution, but they actually predate them.
    After exploring the caves we drove to the Soganli Valley. The craggy, pointy landscape was littered with cave dwellings and numerous cave churches. Contemporary inhabitants were living and farming from ugly concrete houses often now using the old cave dwellings as sheds or barns. The valley was silent and we parked for the night at an empty but beautiful restaurant on the river amongst this ancient cave city. We trekked around the ruins in the morning, almost falling through a hole into 'the hidden church'.
    This is a gorgeous day out where you can trek around the cave churches and relax in one of the family run restaurants, sitting in the orchard with hobbit houses lying at the bottom of the garden and massive, ancient olive trees lining the banks of the river which flows through the green valley.
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  • Day546

    Ihlara Valley

    June 19 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    A beautiful ancient gorge in the kapadokya region. We spent the night outside the megalithic ancient cave cathedral at Selime, and woke up to this magical fairy tale landscape: a crescent shaped gorge with troglodyte cave dwellings carved into sandstone rocks shaped to points like witches hats. We clambered its eroded corridors early doors before anyone arrived and visited the tomb of sultan Selime. We drove straight on to Ihlara and entered the gorge via the 300 steps and spent the afternoon exploring the cave churches along the river in the canyon in the summer rain. We had dinner at a town on the hill called Guzelyurt (beautiful land) before parking for the night at Yusek church on a hill top overlooking the town and the volcano, and went to sleep to a thunderstorm that lit and shook the whole sky for several hours.Read more

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