So where was I?
18.05.2009 - 18.05.2009 33 °C
When I last left you I was in Konya. So much has been seen and experienced since then! Well, not in Konya. After leaving the internet desk with the guy smoking next to me I headed out with Yusuf (our tour guide) in search of coffee. The real stuff not the seemingly favoured nescafe that is available everywhere. Unfortunately no coffee was to be found but we ended in a little cafe of a Turkish style with people smoking the waterpipe - I think it was apple flavoured as I'm getting a bit of a nose for it now. We had just enough time to down a glass of Turkish tea before having to head back to the hotel for our epic journey to Cappadocia.
Let me start off by saying that the total time between Konya and Cappadocia was ELEVEN hours. It felt like it too. I was perched on the edge of a seat at the front of the bus for most of the way. You would think that being at the front would mean I had a better veiw of the scenery... well I thought I would. Not so. The wide vista was marred by the countless bug corpses splattered all over the glass. Well, I guess they were Turkish bugs so at least I was still seeing all things Turkey!
Bugs aside the scenery was so beautiful. This really is the best time to come to Turkey with all the wild flowers out. Fields filled with yellow, purple and pink flowers. The mountains in the background highlighted by snow completed the vista for me. But then the scenery would change over and over again. From open fields of green so green it didn't look real, to craggy rocks or smooth rocks, fields of dancing green wheat (or something like it). We passed gypsies and goats, shepherds with their sheep, horse and carts, women working their land and men on their tractors through the olive groves.
But arrival in Cappadocia was the sight that took the cake for me. Honestly words are hard to find to describe the sight. As I still haven't been able to add my photos please do a google search for Cappadocia. You will then understand why I can't describe this other worldly landscape.
We were landed in the centre of Goreme where we cooked in the hot hot sun until a beat up station-wagon arrived to take our luggage to our accommodation. We were not to stay in a hotel but in caves! Now I did say our luggage was being transported to our accommodation but not us. So we walked through the cave dwellings of Goreme and climbed a rather steep hill to get to our sensational abode for the next two nights.
Sleeping in a cave meant cooler environment which was good and a padlock for security. The dogs here were huge! I mean the size of a Saint Bernard but so much cuter. And they were everywhere. I learnt later why I loved them even more...I will explain when I get to the morning prayers at 4am!!!
After we had all excitedly check out each others rooms we headed into town where we had a short orientation (it really wasn't that big) and then Sally, David and I headed off to the Hot Air Balloon office. I'm such a sucker! I was going to go for the 1 hour trip but the woman was such a good saleperson that I ended up saying to myself...'how many times do I get the chance to do this?' So after forking out 490TYL I need a drink - a real one! I found Lindsay, Rachel, Mari and Alia and ordered a iced coffee (yes, real coffee) with no ice, no sugar and only a little milk (su). Yes, I'm strange enough that he remembered me again the next morning when I went to order the same again.
That night was to be a very special treat as we all climbed into a minibus to be taken out of the touristy Goreme to be welcomed into the home of a local family for dinner. We got to see where they make their wine and then sit down as the sun set for a home cooked meal. The little boy (about four years old) took a little shine to me and gave me a flower. The young girl (about nine) took a shine to Lindsay and sat next to her all night. The food was lovely especially the herb and tomato soup. Of course at the end we were offered tea. I'm a little over the apple tea (or tourist tea as it is really called). Not being much of a sweetened drink drinker I wasn't too keen on it to begin with but now...I groan when it comes out with an expectant smile from a friendly Turk.
Dinner ended too soon for me but we had to head back to our hotel and I had a very early morning ahead of me. 4.55am was when I was to be picked up for my balloon ride.