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 into this fantastic area.
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.
I guess we also saw watermelon. It didn’t take long to get into the mountains.
This tour was over the summer solstice, the 2nd and 3rd weeks of June. It was warm during the day and surprisingly cool at night. It rained five of the first six days of the trip, including a deluge with marble-sized hail on our first day. We both got pretty wet (and cold) before finding shelter under a roof in Gökçepınar. We camped that night under a roof in Etler.
We started getting views of Bozburun, the mountain I had walked up a couple weeks earlier. It took us three days to skirt around the west side of the mountain from south to north.
Here’s Bozburun from the south,
from the west a day later,
and from the north the day after that:
Perhaps my favorite campsite of the trip was this one at Kızılova Yaylası,
not far from Beydili (aka Çimenova) where the sheep licked the salt off my gear.
We climbed out of Beydili and then crossed the Köprü Çayı, the hardest riding of the trip. It was a rough 1400m descent (I was very happy not to crash; disc brakes are f’ing great!) via Eski Beydili, followed by a 1400m climb out the other side.
We rode through Kesme the next day before starting up the other side.
Kesme has a rose petal processing facility, and we learned from the driver of this truck that his load of 300kg of rose petals will yield 75g of rose oil!
Of course we descended the other side of the pass and then essentially made it to the southern edge of the Anatolian Plateau.
Dumanlı had some nice houses,
as did Yeşildağ:
Yeşildağ is at the northernmost point on the purple route on the above map, where the purple and orange routes come together for a short bit, just south of Beyşehir Gölü (not shown on the map). It really is flat if you continue north so it was time for us to turn south and cross the mountains back to the Mediterranean.