Akşehir to Isparta, the end of another short bicycle tour

Akşehir, Sultandağı, Çay — we spent a couple days skirting the north edge of the Sultan Dağları (mountains) on tractor roads. These cities are connected with a busy, fast road, the major highway connecting Konya and Afyonkarahisar. We had to cross it a few times, but except for short stretches before and after Çay, we managed to avoid riding on it.

IMG_20210707_154022 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20210708_133513 by bryandkeith on flickr

These agriculture roads were kind of fun, not least because we could stop almost anywhere and eat fresh fruit that was literally falling off the trees — sour cherry, cherry, apricot, apple, plum, mulberry. The sour cherries were the most plentiful. The cherries were my favorite.

IMG_20210709_165301 by bryandkeith on flickr

It turns out that Sultandağı has a nicely restored caravanserai. I wish we had known that before we sat down for drinks and a bite to eat at a typical Turkish village tea garden, full of men hanging out. How much more fun it would have been to do the same thing here:

IMG_20210708_113829 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20210708_113939 by bryandkeith on flickr

We could have even played pool!

IMG_20210708_114014 by bryandkeith on flickr

Avoiding the main road between neighboring Yeşilyurt and Çayırpınar took us onto a pretty faint (but easy to ride) track.

the "road" between Yeşilyurt and Çayırpınar by bryandkeith on flickr

That evening we camped in a fruit orchard (was it apricot?) in Pazarağaç where the owner said we could stay 10 days and eat as much fruit as we wanted.

IMG_20210708_185856 by bryandkeith on flickr

During this whole week we were plagued by the loud, polluting engines of the patpat, shown here:

IMG_20210709_092812 by bryandkeith on flickr

They take an engine that’s designed for pumping water out of the ground and make an inexpensive vehicle out of it. The only place in Turkey where these vehicles (?) are made is Büyükkabaca where there’s a patpat statue in the center of town.

IMG_20210710_102953 by bryandkeith on flickr

Like Thailand’s famous tuktuk, patpat is also an onomatopoeia for the same two-stroke engine. A week was enough. I’m happy not to hear those anymore.

We were heading south now, back toward Antalya.

IMG_20210709_115438 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20210709_154541 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20210710_120343 by bryandkeith on flickr

Ahmet ran out of time in Senirkent. We said goodbye to him there, and he got a ride in a car back to Antalya.

IMG_20210710_134637 by bryandkeith on flickr

Ferda, Yasemin, and I crossed the mountains again, using the Kapı Dağı road from Uluborlu to Gönen.

IMG_20210710_153316 by bryandkeith on flickr

First though we stopped at the Roman Psidian city of Apollonia, more recently known as Uluborlu Kalesi where the most interesting thing we found was the arched bridge (aqueduct?) called Cirimbolu Su Kemerleri:

IMG_20210710_170655 by bryandkeith on flickr

The climb the next morning was hot and steep at times.

IMG_20210711_090705 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20210711_094708 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20210711_105213 by bryandkeith on flickr

Climbing higher didn’t help with the heat as there was no shade at the top.

IMG_20210711_114607 by bryandkeith on flickr

With one exception everyone else we saw thought it was hot as well.

IMG_20210711_134523 by bryandkeith on flickr

We spent our last night of the tour at the pretty Atabey Baraj Gölü (a reservoir).

IMG_20210711_184100 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20210712_055238 by bryandkeith on flickr

Our last sightseeing was (of course!) another Roman ruin, Seleukeia Sidera. A team is excavating the theater. There’s not a lot to see.

IMG_20210712_095202 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20210712_100134_9 by bryandkeith on flickr
looking down from the top of the theater
IMG_20210712_102938_43 by bryandkeith on flickr

We rolled into Isparta and easily found a bus to take the three of us and our bicycles to Antalya. If it weren’t for cold showers and air conditioning, we’d really be suffering here (43°C, they say today, warmer tomorrow). But we’re getting ready to leave again, this time hopefully to somewhere a bit cooler. Stay tuned…

IMG_20210711_171930 by bryandkeith on flickr

Oh, and here’s the map (red is what we just finished, blue is the disconnected start, orange is last summer, and green is June 2012):

%C3%A7altepe_%C4%B1sparta by bryandkeith on flickr

And the numbers:

  • 602 tour distance (km)
  • 13219 total elevation gain (m)
  • 17 days of the tour
  • 16 cycling days
  • 13 nights in the tent
  • 57 most distance cycled in one day (km)
  • 1517 most elevation gain in one day (m)
  • 38 average distance on cycling days (km)
  • 826 average elevation gained on cycling days (m)
This entry was posted in Bicycle touring, Turkey and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Akşehir to Isparta, the end of another short bicycle tour

  1. Mike Painter says:

    Another adventure! Looks great!

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