We now realise that Mustapha, our hotel owner in Ephesus , the one who had stiffed me for 45 Euros for a coupe of glasses of raki, also prebooked us into one of the worst hotels in Turkey. We have decided now that it is probably better to follow our own instincts on hotels from now on. He booked us into the Hotel “Rami” -it was full of noisey insomniac turkish lads on a school football tour and served no food or alcohol. Never mind we went to the only licenced show in town , had a great meal with a few beers and nearly got to watch the Turkish cup final which was cancelled due to a flooded pitch.
Torrential rain overnight cleared the skies ready for a blast across the vast Cappadoccian plateau all of which is above 1000 meters. Once through Aksaray we wound our way up into the volcanic range that gave birth to the incredible dentate rocks mounds that have made Cappadoccia famous through 3 millenia. Stopped for a lunch beside a trout stuffed torrent and clambered among the first of of the cave villages.
We skirted round the highest of the volcanos, Mt Erciyes rising up to 3916 metres -sticking its snow clad rim into the clouds.
Cappadocia is a region which developed a unique identity for several reasons, firstly it is on the silk route and therefore attracted travellers from Christian, Turkish , Persian and Greek regions, Some travelled through, others settled. Secondly those who stayed found that they could protect themselves from invaders by building underground interlinked dwellings bored out of the Dentate protuberances. They would wall up the openings and anyone would tried to climb up to attack the cliff side dwellings could be poked and stabbed through small holes in the walls. Invading Turkish and Persian adventures got fed up with trying to winkle them out and largely let them be. The three local volcanos induced these dentate growths by blasting larva up through the sandstone, they number tens of thousands, and gave rise to the hundereds of communicating hollowed out villages
We are staying at a cave dwelling hotel in Gerome and our proud hotel owner,Hassan, has built a fine traditional house stuck on the side of the caves. I slept in large cave room completely dark and soundless.
We are encouraging Richard to start cooking in readiness for less appetising offerings ahead. John expertly side tracks Richard and I who are keen to assemble our Delia Smith field kitchen , by spotting excellent local restaurants. To be fair John,who we believe is at least trying to enter into the spirit of camping and field cooking, has identified a 5 star camp site on his Ipad but it sadly is not our route. It’s in the Maldives!
Dont forget – if you wish to see the photographs more clearly double click on them and some blow up nicely.