Great camping and lots of climbs through Denizli, Uşak, and Kütahya

I’ve mostly been using village roads to connect the provincial capitals of Antalya, Denizli, Uşak, and Kütahya.  Another week of riding after Pamukkale, and I made it to Kütahya.  By bus from Antalya to Kütahya is 381km.  It took me 15 days of riding, and they certainly didn’t feel as lazy as that might sound.

Pamukkale, in the Menderes River Valley, is low (200m?) so I knew I’d have an effort to get back to the Anatolian Plateau (generally 800-1000m in Uşak).  It was done in one quick push from Güney Şelalesi (waterfall) to Güney İlçe where I happened upon the Pamukkale Winery, Turkey’s 3rd largest, according to my tour guide there.  At the end of the free tour he gave me two bottles of wine!  I’m used to be invited to tea in these villages, but, wine, well, that’s a special treat.  My guide also assured me that each of Turkey’s three largest wineries get all their grapes from Güney.  He called it “Turkey’s Napa” (sorry, France).

DSCN6241 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN6264 by bryandkeith on flickr

Of course it wasn’t long before I stopped for another lunch:

I got a free tour of the winery, and then they gave me two small (19ml?) bottles of wine! by bryandkeith on flickr

Güney (meaning south) is the northernmost İlçe in Denizli.  Before long I was in Uşak which had somewhat frustrating riding — endless short climbs, sometimes steep, without the mountain views that longer climbs often provide.  The biggest complaint about the map I’ve been using for about six months of riding in Turkey is the lack of elevation information.  After Uşak was Kütahya, and there I ended up on a brilliant mountain road that I guessed would be mostly flat from its position on the map!

If road surface is important (it doesn’t much matter to me), that could be another complaint about my map.  Each of these four roads is shown with the same symbol on the map:

DSCN6204 by bryandkeith on flickr

One of 3 or 4 stream crossings in this area that didn't have a bridge by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN6321 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN6402 by bryandkeith on flickr

As far as old stuff, I stopped at the Roman cities of Tripolis and Aizanoi (in Yenicekent and Çavdarhisar, respectively), the Ottoman Karavansarai in İnay (with its restored mosque which used to be a church), and the archaeology museum in Uşak known more for its Bronze Age silver bowls than the heaps of carved marble sitting in the garden.

DSCN6218 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN6362 by bryandkeith on flickr

This mosque is old.  It used to be a church during Byzantine times.  It's still in use today.  The imam showed me around the village.  I told him I was an atheist. by bryandkeith on flickr

The old carved rocks in the garden at Uşak's museum by bryandkeith on flickr

The highlight of Aizanoi is the Zeus Temple, not dissimilar to the more famous one in Athens minus the crowds and the 12€ entrance fee.

DSCN6371 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN8037 by bryandkeith on flickr

For me the highlight of this section was the brilliant camping.

DSCN6281 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN6302 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN6318 by bryandkeith on flickr

Camp next to old Roman stones, cut for the canal by bryandkeith on flickr

A super camp, but I should have put on the fly; it was much colder than I expected by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN6370 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN6357 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN6329 by bryandkeith on flickr

DSCN6207 by bryandkeith on flickr

This entry was posted in Bicycle touring, Turkey and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Great camping and lots of climbs through Denizli, Uşak, and Kütahya

  1. sage says:

    Nice to see your continued travels.
    Yesterday I ate red lentils and quinoa on a three day backpack trip i took. Needless to say, I thought of you. I finally replaced the tent bag sack I gave you, in preparation for a tour through Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in a few weeks. Bringing a laptop. And lots of bug dope. It should be great. I may gt to east lobster or seal. But I’ll miss the eggplant and popcorn!

  2. armin says:

    looking at the picture from this postI traveled not only in Turkey, but also in Greece, in France, in Italia and also in my country. Turkey is indeed a very complex country!

    • Bryan Keith says:

      Well, one of those photos actually was taken in Greece. The second photo of the Zeus Temple is the one in Athens. In the background on one side you can see a construction crane. On the other side you can see the Acropolis. The rest of the photos were indeed taken in the Turkish provinces listed in the title of the post. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.