Saturday, 24 March 2012

Marmaris, Turkey - The lost world

Our bicycle adventure across Turkey has come to an end in the out-of-season, seaside resort of Marmaris. Turkey has given us some brilliant cycling and wonderful experiences with the Turkish people. Last Thursday was a typical day cycling in Turkey. It went like this ...

We woke with the rising sun in a woodland high above the river with snow-capped mountains around us and the sounds of the morning call to prayers from a village mosque. After a couple of hours on the road we pulled into a small village to buy bread and cheese and drink Turkish tea.
We cycled on following directions we'd been given in the village but before too long we seemed to be a little bit lost in a maze of dirt roads with our food supplies dwindling. It's funny how sometimes things go wrong but end up for the better! We popped out into a slice of paradise in a place that felt like a lost world -red-roofed buildings were stacked on the hillside beside terraced fields being worked by hand, mountain views were all around and we cycled passed blossom trees covered with flowers and orange trees heavy with fresh fruit.

We pulled off the track to make a picnic lunch and had no sooner sat down than we were invited by a young woman, Tazjen, to come to her house.
It was a simple house but comfortable and homely. Tazjen gave us a lunch of eggs, bread, yoghurt, olives and vegetables. You may think that there is nothing unusual in that but as she showed us around we learned that all the food had come from the family's plots adjacent to the house - wheat grew in the terraced fields which they milled themselves to make bread; chickens provided fresh eggs every day; four cows produced milk to make yoghurt and cheese; olive trees yielded delicious green and black olives; and fruit trees provided bananas and apples. We were so impressed by Tazjen's traditional skills and warm friendliness to two strangers.

After lunch we continued to pick our way over steep climbs and twisting descents on gravel tracks before eventually finding the dam that we should have crossed early that morning. It was late now with just an hour before dark so we threw the tent up on an exposed, rocky shelf above the dam - not a pretty spot but the stars and planets were spectacular after dark and we slept well after another great day cycling in Turkey.

We are now waiting in Marmaris to catch a boat to the Greek island of Rhodes for the next chapter of the adventure.


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great trip. I travel a lot with my folding bike, and I'm always looking for new places. I've never really considered Turkey, but I'll definitely have to check it out now!