Antalya to Çay, on the road again

Even the sky was crying when I pedaled out of Antalya late on a Thursday afternoon.  I rode into a headwind and a storm but hardly noticed the weather with all the emotions of leaving.  There was lightning and wind, and I did have the sense to get my tent setup before the two hour deluge.  Wow, in three months that’s perhaps the third time it rained like that in Antalya.  What a time to choose to start a tour!

It is a bit ironic that I spent the best riding months of the year having a most fabulous time in Antalya.  If I’m careful, that just might happen again.

Back to life on the road.  I’m slowly making the adjustment.  Navigation, however, has been easy.  I know it’s possible to find bad roads to cycle in Turkey.  So many cyclists choose bad roads into Istanbul that travellingtwo described an alternative.  But, really, I’m not sure that I know of an easier country for finding fantastic back roads with so little traffic.

Consider this, a day out of Antalya:

DSCN9628 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN9632 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN9649 by bryandkeith on flickr

I started by heading east out of Antalya and then turned north through Gebiz.  Since then, I’ve just been pushing north, mountains be damned!  Actually, of course, I’m aiming for the mountains.  It just so happens that there’s always another range to the north.  I even managed to find a 2200m pass before descending to Çay this morning.  That’s exactly the kind of thing that Kurt and I were working so hard to avoid in February.

Certainly this area was under snow 3 months ago:

DSCN9751 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN9758 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN9765 by bryandkeith on flickr

So, Turkey has great roads, but I’m also loving my interactions taking advantage of my newly acquired language skills.  I don’t think a day has gone by without an offer of tea.  Bayram and his buddies called me over for tea, and it turned into a complete lunch with grilled eggplant and peppers, yufka, cheese, cucumber, and tomatoes.  The 80-year-old (in the right of the photo) was asleep by the time I left!

Bayram and friends invited me for tea and lunch by bryandkeith on flickr

We talked about politics, cows, the USA, villages, and after lunch even got into religion.  I found myself trying to explain atheism, the meaning of life, and nature vis-à-vis spirituality in Turkish.  Bahhahaha!!!

With these farmers near Sorkuncak, however:

They are trying to grow wheat in this rock field by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN9705 by bryandkeith on flickr

I kept coming back to the topic of how many rocks were in their field.  I mean, you can’t really expect anything to grow there, can you?  They had wheat in this field a couple years ago but let it lie fallow for a bit because, well, you can only squeeze so much nutrients out of a rock every year.  By the time I was leaving (after tea and biscuits), he was joking that they’ll probably grow rocks this time.

DSCN9706 by bryandkeith on flickr

Not much traffic here... by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN9682 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN9663 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN9730 by bryandkeith on flickr

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8 Responses to Antalya to Çay, on the road again

  1. Elise Davis says:

    Loved your post, as usual. It was fun reading it to Jasper and telling him the foods that you ate in that photo with the men. We looked closely at your tent and also at how everything of yours fits on your bike and compared that to our attempt at camping just overnight (we had a full carload of stuff – all quite essential). Hope those blue skies continue.

  2. mehmet can tunçtan says:

    ben çaydan mehmet kasabın ogluyum babam fotorafları gönderdigi için çok teşekkür etti babamın ve hüseyinin çok selamları var biz seni hüseyinin sünnet dügünün e davet edeceyiz

    • Bryan Keith says:

      Merhaba Mehmet,

      ah, fotoğraflar almanız beni çok mutlu eder! Benden babana ve Hüsey’e selamsöyle. Davet için çok teşekkür ederim. Bence bir sünnet düğünün çok ilginç, önemli, ve eğlencili (benim için!!), ama gelemem. Uzaktayım. Erzurum’dayım. Burdan beraber bir arkadaşım gizeceğiz. Çay’a dönsem, sana mesaj göndereceğim.


  3. Kurt says:

    My God, what a beautiful road that is on the side of that valley. Can I come ride with you?

  4. Ozcan Dogan says:

    Hello, I am a friend of Emine Mart from Antalya, and brother of Hasan (fan of western movies).
    Emine hanım sizden çok bahsetti; Anadolu’yu geziyorsunuz. Benim hep yapmak isteyip yapamadığım bir şey. Yalnız gezmek istemedim, kimse de bana eşlik etmedi, o yüzden çıkamadım.

    Sizi tanımayı çok isterim. Antalya’ya döndüğünüzde görüşmek isterim.

    Bon voyage monsieur 🙂

    • Bryan Keith says:

      Merhaba Ozcan,

      TODOSK’da Hasan’ı tanıştım ve başka bir kardeş, değil mi? Siz kaçsınız?

      Yalnız gezmek daha zor, ama Türkler konuşmak severler. Ben çok yalnız değilim. Ve şimdi beraber ABD’dan arkadaşım geziyorum. Gezmek istersen, çık. Dunyada keşfetmek severim. Çok ilginç bence.

      Antalya’ya geldiğimde görüşürüz! Gelecek aralık??!!

      Say hi to Hasan and remind him he must come to Colorado! And hi to your other brother whose name I’m forgetting.

  5. Cher says:

    That water looks amazing! Bill and I are brainstorming fall vacation options, and of course you are again at the top of the list! We’ve met a fun bicycle touring couple that reminds us of you, and are trying to convince them to join us ; )

    Hope to chat soon!

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