My first bicycle tour of 2023. It has been 10 months since Ferda and I finished our long (four-month) spring/summer tour in Munich last year. For this 10-day tour Ahmet and I headed into the mountains to the NE of Antalya, at least my fourth bicycle tour intothisfantasticarea.
I’ll start with a map. This year’s route is in purple. Ahmet and I rode the red route together two years earlier. This year Ahmet had the idea to take the tram from Antalya east passed Aksu, avoiding about 25km of city and highway riding. That worked well.
We were quickly off the highway and into a fairly flat agricultural area — veggies, olives, and pomegranate mostly — before the climbing started.
Bozburun Dağı at 2504m is the highest peak that we can regularly see looking east from our apartment in Antalya, and I had never climbed it. (On very clear days we can see higher stuff even farther to the east, and of course looking west there are many closer and higher summits.) Philipp can also see Bozburun from his apartment, and he’s been trying to summit every peak near Antalya so it’s a bit surprising that he hadn’t been up Bozburun either. (BTW, Sivri Dağı is still on his list!) Özgür had probably been up Bozburun before, but he’s not really sure as he followed his father up heaps of mountains around Antalya when he was a kid.
The drive is kind of far (over two hours), but with Özgür’s fancy car we were able to continue up the forest road all the way to about 1300m.
The walk ended up taking about 7.5 hours, half in the forest and (the funner) half above treeline. It didn’t seem so steep going up, but it felt surprisingly steep the whole way going down. I was the only one to bring poles, and I was glad I did.
Tijuana’s airport is right on the US border. Here’s Ferda just across the street from the Tijuana airport with the US-Mexico border fence behind her.
For years I’ve wondered why they don’t make it into a multinational (or whatever the right term is) airport like Basel or Geneva. Ferda and I found a US$98 ticket from Tijuana (TIJ) to Tuxtla Gutiérrez via Mexico City to visit Zane in Chiapas so I was excited to learn about CBX. Does that make TIJ into a two country airport? Well, yes. Does that make it useful? No!
Why not? The biggest problem with CBX is that they charge US$30/person to use this service. Then there’s the issue of getting there. We paid US$20.50 each to get (by bus) from Orange County to San Ysidro, then another 20 pesos each (US$1.12) on the Mexican side for a bus to the airport. For a bus from Orange County to CBX, however, they want US$38 each. So using CBX instead of simply walking across the border at San Ysidro would add over US$46 each to our trip — for what advantage? Avoiding one city bus in Tijuana and perhaps saving an hour. Really? Switzerland and France can figure this out, but the US and Mexico can’t? Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.
Anyway, since we weren’t taking a bus directly to CBX, it was easy to add a stop to our itinerary in San Diego (another advantage of not using CBX). First we visited Old Town San Diego which I suppose eases one into Mexico.
Just before walking to the main square in the city of Tlaxcala, capital of the eponymous state, I told Ferda about how Mexicans make jokes about the tiny state of Tlaxcala not really existing except perhaps in fairy tales. How appropriate then some thirty minutes later to see for the first time the state tourism board’s motto: Tlaxcala, ¡sí existe! (Tlaxcala, yes, it exists!)
The tradition that I have always associated with Tlaxcala is pulque,