Hiking in what type of weather conditions?

Trip Start Feb 17, 2012
1
4
9
Trip End Feb 26, 2012


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Flag of Turkey  , Cappadocia,
Monday, February 20, 2012

Lets play a little game. Its called, you know when its cold when...lol

I woke up super early for a 6:30AM hot air balloon tour. It was so hard for me to get out of bed. Even though theres heat in my cave room, it still gets chilly at night and in the morning. Well, I looked at my phone and it said the current temperature was 2 degrees fahrenheit, holy cow was it cold. Even though it was winter there were still 30 people in my hot air balloon basket and about 20 other balloons that went up at the same time. The basket was diving into 5 areas. 4 longer areas for people to stand and one narrower area for the pilot and pilot in training. This is the slow season. During the summer months around 100 balloons go up for sunrise and then another 100 for sunset. The driver controls how high we go by making the balloon temperature one degree higher than the outside temperature. We turn by pulling on a rope connected to a flap which controls the direction of the balloon. We flew over Lovers Valley and saw many beautiful snow covered fairy chimneys. The ride was short, but was absolutely stunning and worth the 110 Euros ($150 USD). Of course once we got to the hot air ballon my camera decides not to work. Luckily I also had my iPhone and have some good shots on their. We kind of off shot the landing and landed father away from everyone else. It made it hard to pick us up but after walking a bit we managed to find the van to drive us back. My feet were so numb because of how cold it was that if I were to sprain my ankle, I would still be able to walk OK because everything was numb.

From their I went back to my hotel for my breakfast and to warm up with some nice hot tea. Even at 9am when I arrived at my hotel it was still 5 degrees outside. It was freezing. Once i warmed up, I had my thermals on and I was ready for round two. 

I walked a little over 1K to the open air museum stopping along the way at two random churches, El Nazar Church and Sakhli Church. Both required some hiking. At the second church the restaurant owner explained how to hike to the church. He said to walk up the stairs to my right. Follow the foot prints in the snow. After 15 you should see some stairs make sure to go down those stairs and you'll find the church. I say, "OK" and then I'm off. I noticed the whole time I'm hiking it's all uphill. Thank God I've been working out otherwise I'd be out of shape. I make it up top to a clearing and met two other travelers who had hiked up pver rocks to the look out point. After taking some photos of each other with jaw dropping scenery we parted ways. I make it to this tiny cave church and it was closed. The same view promised to me from the restaurant owner were the same as the look out point. As I was walking back the couple I met decided to see which way I would be climbing down. We walked together to the UNICEF site called The Open Air Museum. The Byzantine monastic settlement house 20 monks then it became a pilgrimage site from the 17th century and they formed a bunch a rock cut out churches, chapels, and monasteries. The churches here date back to the 11th and 12th century. I couldn't take pictures but the church depicted stories for the bible including the last supper, the birth of Jesus, and the resurrection. The pictures looked very similar to the cave church I saw yesterday but some of them were clearer while others weren't. The churches are small and quant but good.

After the museum my new Canadian friends and I decided to go for a trek through Rose Valley. Their hotel said it should be around 3K. It wasn't that bad, however the entrance to the park was COVERED in snow. We had fun walking to this amazing over look as each step we took went up to our knees. We then hikes downward over some snow covered rocks and found a path that was heavily traveled on. This again, we followed the way of the feet. During the hike we never saw another traveler just signs of some were there from the foot path. We found some really interesting caves, some we could go into and others we could. All in all it was a brilliant hike with a lot to see. Plus seeing the beautiful valley was breathtaking. Plus my Burberry snow boots did fairly well. I didn't fall once and kept my feet dry.

Once we arrived at the end of the trek the directions said not to head back to Goreme but to follow signs to Cavusin. As we walked Into town, it was desolate. Not a single local could be found. As we walked further into town we noticed this huge ruins site built into the side of the mountain. I mean this thing had to be at least 8 stories high. There were no guards or signs of us having to pay to enter it so we just started to climb it. As we start to enter this site someone screams out to us that it's called the Church of John the Baptist. After doing some research i found that the church was built in the 5th century and it is the biggest cave church of Cappadocia even though it was divided into three rooms in 10th century against danger of collapsing. Most of the frescoes of St. John the Baptist church are faded by smoke but there are still some visible ones. Its cathedral-like proportions are also astounding. This place is astonishing. It was huge. If it wasn't already getting dark we probably would have stayed their longer. We walked back to Goreme which was another 3k back. All in all I think we walked around 8-10K around 5-6 miles. As we were walking the sun set and it was getting chilly outside.

We made our way back into Goreme. They had mentioned to me that a specialty food that is served in this area are food cooked in clay pots. It reminded me of the clay pot rice I had in Vietnam but they cooked a whole meal in it. It was really good.

After dinner I went back to my hotel, took a 30 minute shower (literally) and put on my night clothes and my comfy socks... Sooo comfortable. I checked the temperature not to long ago. It was 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

I am so exhausted after the hiking in the snow. I have some really awesome photos and cannot wait to show them to everyone. My camera is freezing and it stops working when it's this cold :(. The moment I put my camera on the heater it starts to work again. My laptop won't connect to wifi, my camera stops working, I am a mess. However, Im a mess in a beautiful country.

Even though it's freezing cold here in this freak of nature winter (it hasn't snowed this much in Goreme in 10 years) it is beautiful. The summer time would be nice to see this but from what I gather hotels sell out, streets are packed with tourists, and prices sky rocket. I hiked a cave today for over 2 hours and saw no one. I was able to take photos from a scenic view and there was no line waiting to take a shot. I love it. Plus the snow adds some beauty to it. 

I'm off to the western coast tomorrow to a toe called Selcuk which is the biblical town next Ephesus. I hope everyone is enjoying their week. 
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Comments

Mom on

The trip sounds wonderful, but isolated. I hate the thought of you hiking these snow covered mountains and caves alone.

Glad you bought your boots and took a hat, gloves and thermals!

allieadventures
allieadventures on

I wast alone. I was with a Couple from Canada. :)

Peter on

good to hear that u are over there and u must be very brave to be alone.... good thing u meet new Canadian friends :-) look after urself and enjoy ur trip..... it is so cool to see ur website trek.

allieadventures
allieadventures on

Thanks Peter. Wait till you see the pcitutes, they are fantastic!!

jo.christophers
jo.christophers on

Another clay pot meal!

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