samedi 14 juin 2014

Day 15 - Antalya

We made it!

I'll be able to post the cycling statistics later, for now we have just a couple days in Antalya before heading back to Berlin.

We met up with our couchsurfer, Hasan, who lives not too far away from the center. He was quite tired the first night after having worked on Sunday tutoring high school students in Turkish grammar.
We went off to find some dinner but got sidetracked by a barber, who was open at 9pm on a Sunday. As it turns out, we were quite early, as the place was full with people waiting in line when we left at 10:00. I like getting haircuts in other countries where I only barely have a grasp of what's going on (I've done this in Israel and Estonia as well).
The haircut was good, and he offered to style it for me. It was a bit short in the sides and longer on top and I thought he was asking if I wanted it shorter on top. He was actually asking if I wanted it styled and wrote "dikmek şekil" into the translator on my phone. This translates to "plant shape" and I wasn't sure how enthusiastic I was to receive a plant-shaped hair style but I agreed.

He also put hot wax on my cheeks and, as Mylène showed in her post, a ball of fire on my ears. I'm not used to having my face touched so much, but it was a good experience after all.

It's only the beginning of June but it gets pretty hot and sticky during the day. The weather is great once the sun goes down, though. We went with our couchsurfer to the gym after he finished work and I tried to make sure I hadn't transferred all of my strength to my legs in the last few weeks.
We also met up with another guy from couchsurfing and went to a concert where he was playing. It was another cover band, like the ones we saw in Izmir. According to him, the live music demand is large enough to forego a DJ but not enough for people to discover new music that is not already on the radio. He is able to pay several shows per week around Antalya, all playing cover standards from Turkey and the US pop charts (including Rihanna and Pharrel).

Colorful umbrella covered street lined with döner restaurants

A fair amount of people bike in Antalya but the bike lanes often put you on the tram tracks. Also, some cars use these as loading zones.

Now the trip is rapidly winding down, we await only our flight to return to Berlin.

mardi 10 juin 2014

Istanbul to Antalya: Stats

I'll sort some pictures and put them on a consolidated map in a few days. But here are some quick stats from the tour:

Total Distance: 1,460km (907 miles)
Longest Ride: 139 km (Istanbul to Tekirdag)
Average Speed: 20.4km/h
Max Speed: 62km/h (what goes up definitely comes down)
Total hills climbed: 19,253m (63,166 ft) - in comparison, the ride from Berlin to Helsinki was 400km longer with a total of 13,482m climbed, but only 0.4km/h higher avg speed. Making progress!
Most hills in one day: 2,407m (Kaş to Çıralı)
Total pedal strokes: 248,794
Total time in the saddle: 73.9 hours (13.3% of the entire time spent in Turkey)

Estimated water consumption: 85 L (22 gal)
Estimated şeftali suyu (peach juice) consumption: >20 L (5 gal)
Number of çays drunk: 98 (for me, this translates to about 196 sugar cubes)

lundi 9 juin 2014

Day 14 - Çıralı/Olympos

There were two mountains in between Kaş and Çıralı - this was the hilliest day of the tour. But at least I was treated to some nice panoramic views.

Kaş from above

The ancient Greeks got here before us, and even left some ruins near the beach. I was able to cross riding through an ancient Greek city by bike off my bucket list.
Also at Cıralı is the site of the Greek myth of the Chimera, a fire-breathing beast who terrorized the lands in Lycia and was defeated by Belerophon with the help of Pegasus, then imprisoned below the mountain, known as Yanartaş.
The myth came about because the mountain is literally and permanently on fire due to natural gas leaking from below the surface. There aren't any huge flames; some are about the size of a campfire, in fact some people brought some skewers and grilled some food. I think it's just more surprising to see flames coming out of the ground. It started to rain while we were there, but the fire kept burning.

Fire from the mountain at Yanartaş.

To sleep, we could have set up the tent, but Olympos is famous for its treehouses, we found a relaxed place along the myriad of other treehouse places, but this one certainly had the most charm.

Our cozy treehouse.

Chez le barbier

En Turquie, traditionnellement, les coiffeurs pour hommes et pour femmes sont séparés, et sont spécialisés.
Le mot français "kuaför" est utilisé pour les femmes, et "berber" (barbier) pour les hommes.
Après 3 semaines de vélo, de chaleur et de camping, il fallait bien se rendre présentable. Surtout, il faut tester les coutumes locales !
Ma coupe fut très réussie, aussi parce que je pouvais montrer ce que je voulais et ensuite faire confiance.

Andrew, quant à lui, a vécu un moment assez drôle, étant crispé lorsqu'il confie sa tête à quelqu'un d'autre ! Les difficultés de communication ont renforcé le comique de la situation.

Nous nous sommes tous les deux fait épiler les joues à la cire, et brûler les poils des oreilles. Comme on le devine sur la photo, Andrew n'est pas très rassuré !

samedi 7 juin 2014

Day 13 - Kaş

It was tough going from Butterfly Valley to get to Kaş, there were a couple more mountains to climb and, according to locals, very unusually strong winds, unfortunately they were not blowing in my direction. Every time I tried to stand up and push, I was knocked back into my seat. We were delayed leaving Butterfly Valley for the same reason; we couldn't risk climbing the cliffs with such high winds, even the shuttle boats to Ölüdeniz weren't running. A perfect place for an Agatha Christie mystery.
Consequently, I wasn't able to do the 120 km ride to Kaş in one go, we stopped in Eşen for the night, a very rural village on the way to Kaş, we figured we could stay in a hotel there. Nope, no hotels.
We asked the restaurant owner and we couldn't understand a word he said - he had a mousey voice and spoke exceedingly fast. He brought us to the roof of his house motioned for us to set up the tent. It wasn't too bad until about 4 in the morning when I heard a loud clap of thunder and several flashes of lightning. This would have been okay except for all of the metal wires sticking out of the roof, and the fact that the tent was about a foot away from the house's power line connection.
We abandoned the tent and slept in the car (lucky to have had it).
The next day, the ride to Kaş was almost entirely on a pure blue coast.

One of the blue beaches along the road. And one of the most famous in Turkey: Kaputas.

Kaş is the center of diving in Turkey with about 60 diving schools. Of course the campgrounds we stayed at had a diving attaché and we agreed to go with the instructor, Adna. Although he prefers free diving (without an air tank) he is an instructor for both forms.
Although I was intrigued by
free diving due to the breathing exercises that one must do to dive, they reminded me of many of the exercises I use for the clarinet.

Free diving breathing guide.

But we opted for the more popular route, regular scuba diving, which neither of us have done before.
There's certainly a learning curve and a reason why you need to have a license to do out unassisted. But we practiced removing and replacing the breathing apparatus (although Mylène held onto her's vehemently the entire time) and changing levels. The water was very clear and we saw a lot of small-medium sized fish. But the experience of diving itself was quite different and overwhelming at first.

Playing around while diving.

I relaxed quite a bit and managed to nap both days. There is a mountain to cross directly out of Kaş, my legs need to be ready!

jeudi 5 juin 2014

Réveils Sur la Plage

Nous avons quelques nuits de camping sur la plage derrière nous: soit nous nous arrêtons dans un camping officiel, ou bien nous demandons au restaurant-hôtel au bord de la plage, qui n'a pas beaucoup de clients car la saison touristique pour les Turcs commence véritablement en juillet, si nous pouvons monter notre tente pour la nuit.

Quoiqu'il en soit, les réveils au bord de plage sont à chaque fois très différents:

Il y a quelques jours, nous pensions être tranquilles sur un bout de plage, tout isolés. Dès quatre heures du matin, cependant, des bruits de moteur nous réveillent. Nous n'étions pas très loin du port de pêche, et tous les petits bateaux commencent leur journée très tôt ! Lorsque nous nous sommes levés, vers huit heures du matin, ils étaient déjà de retour. Pendant qu'Andrew commençait sa journée à pédales, je prenais un thé au bistro avec les pêcheurs finissant leur journée de travail.

Deuxième réveil mémorable sur cette plage de rêve, en bas de la vallée des papillons, dont l'accès se mérite : il faut une heure de descente pas facile pour y arriver !

Et bien nous avons été réveillés par des rafales de vent qui emportaient les objets alentours et ont failli emporter la tente !

Enfin ce matin, derrière surprise : un bon orage nous a délogés du toit de la maison où nous avions posé notre tente, après accord de l'habitant. Au milieu de piquets électriques, il ne faisait pas bon rester !

Allez, au moins, on ne s'ennuie pas,  c'est différents des réveils pour aller au boulot ! 

Arbres Fruitiers et Şeftali Suyu

C'est la saison des récoltes ici, et nous remarquons beaucoup d'arbres fruitiers différents. Cerises, pêches, abricots, olives... Nous traversons de nombreux vergers et renforçons nos connaissances en arboriculture.

Les paysans vendent leurs fruits directement devant les vergers, au bord de la route. Au cours d'une courte pause en vélo, le paysan nous montre ses vergers et je suis toute fière de sortir mon turc: "zeytin mi?" (ce sont des oliviers?). Et lui de me regarder comme si je venais de Mars : "Hayır, şeftali" (non, ce sont des pêchers).

Je ne sais pas comment j'ai fait pour confondre les pêches et les olives, pourtant, les pêchers poussent aussi en Alsace...

En tout cas, nous reconnaissons ces fruits au goût, car nous absorbons littéralement des litres de jus de fruits par jour. Les premiers jours, j'ai fait l'erreur de demander un classique "jus de pomme", c'est trop exotique ici. Nous nous rabattons donc sur le jus de pêches et de cerises, les olives étant un ingrédient typique du petit déjeuner en Turquie. Pour l'instant, je suis fan du jus de pêches et pas encore dégoutée...

Andrew cueillant des abricots