A 175-day adventure by Herbert & Meike
  • Day154

    Fortress beasts and night guards

    October 30, 2020 in Turkey ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

    Our day started with breakfast at the hotel and a swim in the sea. Not bad! We had decided to take it slowly today, so no rush. Our first stop was after 10km only. We visited Marmure Fortress after Recep, the gardener of the site had invited us to a glass of tea. The fortress is huge and you have a great panoramic view from the top of the tower. The moat is full of turtles guarding the fortress.
    Afterwards, we cycled along the beach of Anamur. There's a long sandy beach and some hotels, so not too appealing to us. The city itself - like pretty much all villages around here - is full of greenhouses for banana plants.
    Our next stop was an ancient city again. We had our lunch here with the ruins in the back and a view of the ocean - what a nice place!
    Before setting up camp, we wanted to cycle a bit further and climb one of the upcoming hills. On the ascend, a scooter stopped on the other side. The driver indicated us to stop and handed over some bananas. On the other side of the hill, we followed the old road and reached a bay again. The village and the beach looked deserted. Cars don't usually pass here anymore as the new road with its tunnels leads through the mountains. However, there was a police station, so we asked them if it's ok to camp at the beach. Of course, it was. The police men also gave us food and water and offered to watch us during the night. And indeed, once it got dark, they checked if everything was ok, if the fishermen bothered us and if we needed more food.
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  • Day153

    Tunnels and hills

    October 29, 2020 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Today's route took us along the Mediterranean coast. It was a really beautiful but also exhausting road, as it went constantly up and down. We also passed some tunnels and the Turkish Government is building even more. We think that in maybe 3 years, cars can basically go to Antalya in a straight line through the mountains.
    We ended up staying at a small hotel, had dinner in the center of the village and watched the sunset. And of course, we jumped into the sea to cool down after a day of riding!
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    CundA aus NY

    Da bekommt man gleich Lust auf Meer.

  • Day152

    Heaven and Hell

    October 28, 2020 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Finally, we got out of the very busy traffic and into a more quieter area. As most of the time here in Turkey, there were some sights on our way as well. We saw "Kız Kalesi" (Girls Castle) which is in the middle of the sea, about 500m from the shore. Next, we visited "Cennet - Cehennem", the Caves of Heaven and Hell. The caves are a natural phenomena and quite impressive. There's an underground river that had formed a cave system. And when the roof of the caves collapsed, those two big "holes" were left and you can now visit them. The "hell" is a 130m deep hole, 50m in diameter which you cannot access but admire from a platform at the rim. "Heaven" cave is bigger and accessible, so we walked down the stairs to explore. There's also a little church built inside which looked kind of cool. And of course, there's also a Greek myth around Zeus related to these caves which gave them their names.
    Afterwards, we visited Astım Cave ("Asthma Cave") with its colourful stalagmites and stalagtites which is believed to cure asthma, hence its name.
    We then continued cycling until it was time to find a campspot, go for a swim and cook dinner.
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  • Day151

    Finally at the Mediterranean Sea

    October 27, 2020 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Turkish times... Instead of our usual start around 7am, we adapted to the Turkish rhythm today. Around 10am, we left the apartment and drove to the wedding dress shop where our bikes were waiting for us and where we had breakfast. Before leaving, Süleyman had a surprise for us: Each of us got 4 (!) bike shirts designed and produced by him and his girlfriend. This more than doubled the number of shirts we carried with us for the last 14 months 😂
    Dressed in the new shirts, we left the shop. Süleyman then had another surprise for us. He took us to the townhall where we got to meet the major of Yenişehir, one of the 4 districts of Mersin. This was quite an experience as he came out of the townhall with his security personnel and a professional photographer and journalist. We shortly talked about our trip, he wished us all the best for the rest of our journey. They promised to send us the pictures, so hopefully we can add one later.
    Afterwards, Süleyman cycled with us on the 15km bike path leading out of the Mersin before waving goodbye. It was now past noon, when we hit the road - Turkish schedule 🤷‍♀️
    Finally back at the sea (now by daylight), we first had some icecream. Then we went on for a while but didn't feel like biking too much. So we stopped at a campsite after only 45km, set up camp and went for a swim.
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    Anne-Kathrin Ernst

    Wie kommt es zu den Kontakten, die ihr habt ? Kommen diese spontan zustande ? Oder über Medien bzw. Plattformen ? Die Aufmerksamkeit ist ja enorm ! Und auch was so alles für euch organisiert wird. 👍

    Meike Grothe

    Oft nutzen wir die warmshowers Webseite, das Netz hier in der Türkei ist super! Und viele dieser Kontakte haben dann wieder Freunde in anderen Städten, an die sie uns weiterleiten. Besonders gut funktionieren auch die Radsportvereine. Die sind immer total begeistert, wenn sie uns internationale Radfahrer aufnehmen können. Für sie ist es dann auch Publicity innerhalb der Stadt, um mehr Zustimmung für das Radfahren generell zu bekommen.

    Anne-Kathrin Ernst

    👍Danke !

  • Day150

    Cradle of civilization 2.0

    October 26, 2020 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Cycling was terrible today, as traffic between Adana and Mersin is a pain! And there's not really any secondary roads to avoid it.
    However, we experienced Turkish hospitality at its best again. In the morning, Asiye took us out for breakfast. Tekin, the leader of the cycling group came by to say goodbye. He asked us, if we want to have a look around in Tarsus and meet one of his cycling friends. And as Tarsus is about half way and we knew the way to Mersin was relatively quick, we agreed. Because, why not stopping for a tea for an hour and meeting a local?
    But here, we had ignored all our previous experience again. The hospitality was overwhelming again. Of course, the guys in Tarsus had prepared a full program for us. It started with a reception at a primary school, the workplace of Göghan, our contact. The director of the school invited us for coffee, biscuits and tea, another teacher and cyclist brought lunch and we also got a tour around the school. They tried eagerly to convince us to stay in Tarsus for a night and were very sad when we insisted on continueing those 30km to Mersin.
    After the school, Mehmet Ali, another cyclist came by to show us around the city. The first stop was at the American Koleji where we met the director who spoke fluent English and gave us some background information Tarsus. The settlement itself is already some 10.000 years old and has been populated ever since. And centre of Tarsus is really quite nice: some excavations, old stone houses, covered markets, a Roman church, and a waterfall. So instead of 1 hour, we spent about 4 hours here and met many nice people again.
    In Mersin, we were welcomed by Süleyman, another friend of Tekin's. We had coffee at his wedding dress shop in the centre where we also met his girlfriend and her son. Afterwards, all of us had fish and Köfte for dinner at a supermarket where they prepare your meet on the bbq straight away. Maybe not the nicest place to sit, but the food was awesome! We finished the evening with a picknick at the sea before going to their apartment.
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  • Day149

    Big city ride

    October 25, 2020 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    Before we left Osmaniye, Savaş brought us pide for breakfast. Thus, we had enough energy for the ride to Adana. The route was flat and not particularly interesting, but we could stay on small roads for most of the time. As it was Sunday, the villages we passed were quiet. We also passed lots of orange and lemon tree orchards and hope to catch at least the beginning of the season in November!
    We arrived in Adana early. The city is huge and cycling in the traffic is not too much fun. We did a little tour through the centre visiting, among others, the Central Mosque, Big Mosque and Old Mosque, the markets, a church and an old bridge. Afterwards, we headed to the North of the city where the guys of the local bicycle club welcomed us. Asiye took us out for Adana kebab and local desserts. She even organised a taxi, so that we could see the huge lake park North of the city. It was lit in colourful lights and it obviously THE place to be at night for the locals here.
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  • Day148

    Leaving the mountains and "Kurdistan"

    October 24, 2020 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    The wind usually comes from Southwestern directions in this regions - so exactly where we are heading to. Therefore, we left our campspot with the very first light when the wind is not that strong yet.
    We stopped for breakfast after 40km and again after about 70km, just before the only big climb for today. Some guys at a bakery had invited us for tea here which was perfect timing.
    Climbing up the hill was relatively fast and not too hard. 2 guys from Ankara stopped for a chat, a video and photos as they were impressed by our tour.
    Once at the top, the rest of our trip was mainly downhill - against the wind though. The scenery had changed a lot: The mountains on this side are fully covered in trees. What a difference compared to the dry mountains we had been seeing in the past days. The majority of the people here is also mainly Turkish, so we are out of "Kurdistan" again.
    We arrived in Osmaniye where Savaş, the president of the local cycling club, welcomed us. We can sleep in the club house. He also cooked a local dish for dinner and brought it to the club house for us. Some of his cycling friends also came by for tea and a chat, so we had a nice evening together.
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  • Day147

    Fully recovered towards the West

    October 23, 2020 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Fully recovered, we continued our ride West. The route wasn't particularly interesting, as we followed a highway. But at least, traffic wasn't bad. People were very hospitable as usual. We could have stopped for tea about every kilometre. Some even offered us food. We accepted two invites at gas stations where we had to stop anyways. Other than that, we politely declined. In this region, there were many food stalls with grapes or dried fruit along the road.
    In the afternoon, we found a picknick area at a lake where we cooked our dinner. We thought about camping here, but on a Friday night, there were way too many people. So unfortunately, we had to turn down another invite (the family at our neighbouring table offered us tea and desert) and get back on the bikes. It was just before sunset, so we had to hurry up to find a campspot before it was dark. About 10km later, we found a place in the bushes. You could still hear the noise from the road, but no one could see us from the there.
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  • Day146

    Day to relax

    October 22, 2020 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    After those exhausting days in the mountains, we decided to have a rest day in Adıyaman. There's not much to see in the city, so we spent the day eating, drinking coffee and tea and meeting people. Hasan and Apo were amazing hosts and took is to all those nice places.Read more

    CundA aus NY

    sieht lecker aus

    CundA aus NY

    Könnt ihr vielleicht eine Rolle Klopapier mitbringen. Hier sind die Regale schon wieder leer. 😊

  • Day145

    Exhausting climbs to ancient cities

    October 21, 2020 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Today, more sights were waiting for us to explore, so we left early - as most days. Our first stop was Arsamaia, in Mount Nemrut National Park. It's located on a hill and we had to cycle up a very steep road to get there. However, it was a super interesting place: an ancient city (over 2200 years old) where you can still see a cave used for food storage, a 156m-long tunnel and the ruins of the houses. It is most known for two reliefs, one of King Antiochos and Herakles shaking hands and one of the Sun God Mithras. We could also see Arsemia castle from here, a castle built on a narrow rock. Plus, the views of the surrounding mountains were stunning.
    Next on our route was Cendere Bridge, a Roman bridge dating back to the 3rd century. We stopped here for breakfast and enjoyed the scenery. Many dogs of all ages (including 4 young puppies 😍) joined us and hoped for some snacks.
    After some more exhausting kilometres on steep rolling roads, we found a Lahmacun bakery in one of the small villages. The owners were very friendly and told us about the tobacco industry in the area. Most people around Adıyaman work in this field as it's good money. At this time, dried tobacco plants are hanging everywhere - in shops, bakeries, sheds. People are waiting for rain to be able to pack it.
    In the North of Adıyaman, we stopped at the ancient city of Pirin. It was excavated just over 10 years ago. The area is huge and you can easily walk around the ruins. Most of the excavated area is the former Necropolis, so you see a lot of graves. It's impressive how well this 2000 year old city is preserved. It was carved into the rocks and during the excavation they basically just took out the dirt.
    We then continued to the centre of Adıyaman where many people talked to us. Again, we experienced Kurdish hospitality at its best. Hasan welcomed us in a friend's apartment and took us out for dinner and tea with a couple of friends. Afterwards, we had a short stroll through the shopping centre before going back to the apartment. His friend Hakan is a phd student in music and played some traditional music for us on the instrument called bağlama.
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