My notes from this section keep saying “another great day of bicycle touring!” Even though we had a 200m climb through Kayabaşı, the day that Ahmet and I rode through Yeşildağ was the flattest of our 10-day trip.
The following day we rode through the pretty village of Çamlık where we saw more of the nice houses that we had started to see in Yeşildağ.
From there I guess you could say we had a bit of an adventure. It started off quite pretty.
As we crossed provinces (il) (from Konya (Derebucak) to Antalya (Akseki)), the road got kind of poor and muddy. We were pushing some and pedaling some. I guess I got too much mud gunked up in my chain and derailleur. The drive train locked up, the derailleur twisted into the spokes and was ruined. I’ve done this before but perhaps not anywhere quite so remote. We were still about 20km to the nearest village (could be much more remote, of course) so I made my bicycle into a single speed and pedaled on.
To complicate matters we were out of fuel (normal automobile gasoline (benzin in Turkish)) for our stove. I had been surprised there was no gas station in Yeşildağ but figured we’d make it to Cevizli the following day and buy fuel (in hindsight we should have topped up in Kesme). That didn’t happen with all the time spent on bicycle repairs. We did, however, arrive in the first village, Salihler, where two high school students on bicycles kindly found a couple hundred ml of gasoline for us. It’s kind of amazing how stuff usually works out.
The really amazing help was the next day in Cevizli where Mehmet Usta removed an old derailleur from one of his two needs-to-be-fixed bicycles. We got that working well enough that it’s still the derailleur I’m using (however, I only trust it so much — I’m carrying a spare now). He also topped up my chain oil, gave me a good bit of old chain, and allowed us to top up our two dying phones and a powerbank while we tinkered with the bicycle. For all that he asked 250 try (US$12.27)!
and a couple photos from the ruined Pisidian city of Kagrai above the modern town:
What fun it is to pedal with gears again! Ahmet and I descended into Üzümdere Canyon where we had perhaps my favorite campsite of the trip.
For the last night of our trip we spent the night in Tolga Bey’s Ormana Active, a boutique hotel, in Ormana. Tolga Bey’s mother gave me a short tour of the hotel seven years ago, and I’ve wanted to come back and stay ever since. Ormana deservedly makes it onto lists of Turkey’s most beautiful villages.
Tolga Bey gave us a short tour of the village and explained the traditional construction (1.2m thick walls, interlocking wooden beams with notches, no nails or concrete) of the düğme evleri (button houses). There are over 300 of such houses in Ormana, more than in any other village in the region.
Our final day was a long one to Manavgat from where there are frequent (every 20 minutes?) large buses to Antalya. Of course there was a big downhill to get out of the mountains.
Neither of us were interested in a hot night camping at sea level so we pushed through 25km of flats late that afternoon. It was the longest day of the year. On the way I was excited to check out the 2nd/3rd century Roman aqueduct at Oymapınar, which supplied water to Side.
That’s only a small section of the 30km aqueduct, some of which is now buried under the modern water infrastructure of Oymapınar Reservoir.
Ahmet and I wanted to eat a little before getting on the bus. How lucky we were to stumble upon a pideci with Georgian haçapuri in Manavgat.
I’m hopeful this won’t be my last bicycle tour of 2023.