Bicycle touring South Korea: Incheon to Yeoju via Seoul

Another adventure starts with packing up the bikes in Antalya and taking a taxi to the airport.  With a stop in Moscow it took 21.5 hours to get from our house in Kaleiçi to a campsite about 4km from the Incheon (Seoul) airport.  Our flight landed late in the evening, and it was 1:30am by the time we were pedaling away from the airport.  Our late arrival, finding a good place to camp near the airport, and even the 21 hour travel time reminded me of our journey from Antalya to Faro six months earlier.

IMG_20190924_181552 by bryandkeith on flickr

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Deep water soloing in the center of Antalya again

For years I’ve wanted to get good photos of the climbing traverse that I do regularly on the limestone cliffs (falez) near the Ramada Hotel in the center of Antalya.  It’s only about five minutes to get there by bicycle from my house, and since I can get a quick climbing workout without needing a belay partner, I go frequently.

Now that I have an action camera I figured maybe I could take some decent photos.  Of course if I go by myself like I normally do, then I end up with photos like this:

20190726_074211A by bryandkeith on flickr

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Güver Uçurumu Canyon descent with Fahri’ler

Two years ago at the end of August I descended Güver Uçurumu for the first time.  It was hot and dry, and I knew I wanted to try canyoneering here when the river was running.  I don’t know that the creek dries up every year though it did two years ago.  I heard there was still a lot of water well into September this year.  This year’s trip was on the last day of July, and you’ll see from the photos that there was plenty of water.

There is no USGS-equivalent website to check the flow rate of this small stream, a tributary of the (also small) Karaman Çayı, so I bicycled up one morning to the rappel point to check things out.  It looked like this:

IMG_20190729_083544 by bryandkeith on flickr

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Wrapping up Siberia

This was my first trip to Russia so I feel like I ought to have learned a little bit about the country, something besides just spending a bunch of days wandering around the mountains of Siberia.  However, I’m not sure that I know much more about Russia now than before I left.  Our trip was like going to the US and just visiting a couple national parks in Alaska, say Denali and the Wrangell Mountains (it’s a comparison I can justifiably make since I’ve done such a trip :)).  You can see some incredible scenery, maybe some animals, and meet other like-minded trekkers from various parts of the country.  Even the meeting people part was difficult for me since I don’t speak any Russian.

We did pass through a number of cities and towns in Siberia: Gorno Altaysk, Barnaul, Novokuznetsk, Abakan, and last but certainly not least Krasnoyarsk.  Before getting to Krasnoyarsk, I was afraid I’d have to report that I didn’t see a single nice urban area in Siberia.  I felt it was like Indonesia in that regard — a great place to visit for nature, but they sure don’t know how to do cities.  Krasonyarsk wasn’t wonderful, but it was nice enough and gives me some hope for other built up places in Siberia and Russia in general.

Krasnoyarsk’s bridge over the Yenisei River, the 5th longest river in the world, is so exciting that it’s featured on the 10-ruble note.

IMG_20190902_154127 by bryandkeith on flickr

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Trekking in Ergaki National Park

The story goes that during Soviet times mountain-loving Russians headed off to the Pamirs, Kyrgyzstan, or other Central Asian mountains.  Only with the collapse of the Soviet Union did Siberia’s Ergaki National Park start to get popular.  Even today the area is hardly visited by non-Russians — we didn’t come across a single foreigner during our week there.  It’s amazing to me that such a beautiful place is still such a secret.  As I mentioned in my last post, it was only thanks to Alex that Özgür and I ended up in Ergaki National Park.

Özgür, Alex, Bryan by bryandkeith on flickr

Also it was only by pure coincidence that the one week we had left for Ergaki after the Altai Mountains was the same week that Alex was in the park guiding his last group of the season.  One day at a yet another beautiful view Alex asked, “Bryan, if this were in the US, don’t you think you’d see photos of it all over the world like the Grand Canyon?”

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