German Version and more photos on www.cyclingfornepal.com
Since my last entry, a lot of time has passed. You're probably wondering where I am right now! More on that later.
After my arrival in Turkey, I began to reflect the previous journey. I had been traveling for about 80 days. 65 days I was on the bike. As with any type of travel, traveling by bike has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages is surely the sporty aspect, the kilometers traveled driven by their own strength, the constant proximity to nature and the quick contact with locals, who stop you out of curiosity on the roadside.
In spite of the hardships that often accompany you, I still believe that traveling by bicycle is the ideal pace to get to know a country and its culture. Nevertheless, there is a big drawback, which always catches me: the lack of social contact to like-minded people. The journey has been so far as I had imagined. Cycling lonely mountain roads, set up the tent under the stars, and find proximity to the locals.
Nevertheless, I realized that I am not happy with the current situation and must change something. So it was on the time to slow down the pace and find like-minded people. Where do I best meet them? Either you meet somebody by chance at the supermarket, like Ruggero and Brian, with whom I cycled together through Greece or you do not leave it to chance and stay in a hostel.
After arriving in Fethyie I checked into the hostel "El Camino". It was low season and not busy. But I immediately got to know some people, including Marc. He had given up his job in July, packed his backpack, and took an plane to Greece. There he had spent almost three months before he went on to Turkey. Marc does not have a precise schedule, just an approximate goal: Japan. Marc also writes a blog, which is worth reading: www.schillis-roadbook.com. The next day, we decided to make a hike though a canyon, which became more adventurous than expected. This should not be our last joint venture.
In the evening I met a young couple in the hostel. I told them about the trip and the fundraising. As coincidence has brought us togehter, they were still looking for a way to make a donation for a good cause. They quickly picked up their laptop and immediately gave a donation to "Cycling for Nepal". Chapeu!
Actually, I wanted to take the pace out of the trip, but I was little under time pressure, as I would meet my father in Antalya three days later. So I had to start the next day again. But before I made a paragliding flight on recommendation from Marc on a nearby bay. Afterwards, I went back to the bike with a stiff stomach, but it was an unforgettable experience.
I would have liked to stay longer in Fethiye, but I was also looking forward to see my dad. After a three-day trip along the coast, I arrived in Antalya in the evening. A short time later also my dad reached the hotel and the joy of the reunion was very big. We had a lot to talk about, enjoyed the sunny weather and looked at the city. Of course, a bit of action could not be missed. So we did a rafting trip in the nearby national park, which also joined Marc, who had also arrived in Antalya. After a week, it was time to say good-bye. Thank you Franky for coming.
Marc and I had already made new travel plans: First we wanted to stay at the small village of Olympos and then continue to Geyikbayiri, the hot spot for all sports climbers who want to escape the winter. Olympos is a small ancient city on the east coast, about 70 km from Antalya. Besides historical ruins, the picturesque location by the sea and the cabin-villages giving the town a special flair. In the summer, festive backpackers from all over the world meet here to celebrate and dance together in the surrounding cabin-villages. On recommendation from other travelers we stayed at Kadirs Tree House.
Due to the low season we were only a group of 20 people, but we enjoyed the relaxed and quiet atmosphere. In the high season, up to 300 backpackers make their way to the Kadirs Treehouse. Olympos also has a lot of activities to offer. So Marc and I took a kayak tour along the coast and went climbing in the surrounding rock faces.
The great thing about hostels is that you quickly meet like-minded people from all over the world, who like to travel and are open to any activities. Among them were Dave, Helene, Simon, Marija, Deniz and many others. Over time, we all got along so well that it was difficult for us to move on to Geyikbayiri.
Before we went on, of course, we had to look at the nearby main attraction: the Flame Mountain. With Marc's Guitarlele (quote Marc: Guitarlele = When a guitar and ukulele have sex) on the back, we set off late in the evening to the Flame Mountain. At first we were all still somewhat skeptical, but when we arrived we were totally from the stool. There were flames coming from the ground, without smoke. We made it around a fire place and Marc played his best campfire songs.
It was a great ending of an outstanding time. Next stop was Geyikbayiri. But Marc and I were not moving on alone. Dave quickly reversed his flight and joined us. Simon and Marija also came along. With a packed car we drove on to the one-hour distant, Geyikbayiri.
Geybairi is a world-famous climbing spot. Especially due to the warm temperatures between 20 and 25 celcius, the area is ideal for climbing. There are 5 climbing camps, where you can either pitch your tent or rent a cabin / caravan. Marc and Dave moved into a hut, and I pitched my tent. The area is extensively developed with routes and it never gets boring.
I had climbed a lot during my sports studies, which was 5 years ago. Even though it was a few years back, I had already licked blood again in Olympos. Our days were quite simple: food, climbing and relaxing. Everyone had his projects. The motivation increased even more as soon as one had completed his project.
You could get used to the lifestyle, but unfortunately it was time for our paths to separate. Marc had to go to Ankara to look after the visa for Iran (he has now arrived in Tehran / Iran). Dave, Simon and Marija have flown back to Innsbruck/ Austria. I had a memorable time in Turkey and have made great friendships. Through these beautiful encounters I had fulfilled my plan to find like-minded people.
My original plan to travel through Georgia was no longer a question. It had already snowed. In thought of my homeland, I thought of a very special person who I wanted to see very bad. So I decided to fly to Munich.
Of course the journey is not finished, because Kagate in Nepal is still my goal, which I am looking forward to. By the way, the school building in Kagate makes significant progress (Photo).
How are things going on now:
On January 10th I fly to Dubai to visit a friend. A week later I continue to Sri Lanka. There I will try to work on my surfing skills.
I would like to thank all the supporters who have shaped the donation project and the journey so successfully. Thanks to your great help, this donation project is realizable.
I sincerely wish all the like-minded a Merry Christmas and a good start to the new year.
Among like-minded peopleDecember 29, 2016
German Version and more photos on www.cyclingfornepal.com