Fairy Chimneys and Cave Livin

Trip Start Apr 12, 2006
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Saturday, June 10, 2006

For three consecutive nights i slept on the deck of a mediterranean gulet boat, followed by a night in a tree, so it seemed fitting that for tonight, i would be hanging out bat style, shacking up in the side of a cave.

The balltearing bus from Antalya tarrived early morning in the gorgeous, amazing little town of Goreme, centred right in the guts of the world famous Cappadoccia region, which is right in the guts of Turkey itself. I can tell you that any longer on the God forsaken bus and my sphincter would have given upon hope completely, arriving at the 'Shoestring Cave Pension' just in time to make a complete mockery of their bathroom. Iskander kebap was finally purged from my interior, thank the Lord Almighty, though the day's agenda was plagued with many a return trip thank to a nasty case of the 'Hershey Squirts' that seriously impinged on my ability to go about business in a regular fashion. Actually, regular might be the wrong word - i was bloody regular alright. Regular like clockwork. Anyway, too much information, i digress.

Unlike the other guys on the bus, i didn't book a full day tour of Cappadoccia for today, knowing full well from prior experience that i'd be completely wrecked from a 10 hour night bus. So i went to bed for four hours and woke up as fresh as a spring daisy. Pottered around the hostel once i rose again, and checked out the awe inspiring view from the shoestring terrace. Cappadoccia is famous for its fantastically unique natural landscape, a vast collection of surreal ridges and valleys with dramatic, eerie looking 'fairy chimneys', windswept through the years, shaped by the punishing, continually fluctuating elements. It snows big time in winter and is dry as a dead dingo's cabasa in the summertime. You've probably seen pictures of the place and not realised they were from here - vast cliff faces and valleys littered with tall, pointy clay towers that, in fact, do resemble dead dingo's dongers. The place is the butt of many a phallis joke, and the aptly titled 'Love Valley' is called that fof very good reason.

Went for a sensational three hour hike through the valley of erect love, completing a nice round trip through the White Valley and the Honey Valley, a breathtakingly surreal experience and a highlight of the trip to date. Suleyman, the hostel dude, had me, 2 Aussie ladies named Rhiannon and Em, and seven middle aged Germans (without ski poles), through valleys, caves, inclines and ridges, past some of the most amazing landscape i've ever had the pleasure of seeing. An old man and his hijab-clobbered missues trotted hunbly past us on an even older looking donkey on the walk back to Goreme, followed minuted later by three blokes on a tractor and another old timer perched on a horse. Being so far East, there's a noticably different vibe to Cappadoccia, the further away from the progressive western coast you get, the more conservative and 'old school Turkish' you go. Customs and attitudes are definitely this way inclined, as my friend Rhiannon, dressed in comfortable shorts and a tightish singlet, seemed to come across as if she was naked to the tea swilling gringos along the main drag, who stared at her with disdainful eyes, and muttered jive to their backgammon mates parked at the cafe tables.

Backat shoestring, we regrouped with yank buddies Catie and Ryan, and Aussies Michael and Berrin, who looked pretty knackered from their all day tour. Sank some Efes, sat around talking, and went out to the Goreme main drag to continue the consumption. We all dined at the 'Bonafide Cafe' with another couple from Chile, and ate some tasty bonafide Turkish. I ordered the Kofte (meatballs) which would later only prolong my hershey squirts, and the dinner got very romantic when candles came out to combat the sudden full town blackout. I still felt schtonkered from the night bus and the beers, and hit the hay at around midnight.

There was good reason to suggest that I'd be in a similar state tomorrow morning as well.
Though i'd booked the Cappadoccia tour for tommorow, Rhiannon persuaded me instead to blow my cash on another venture, and to join her up in an early morning hot air balloon. Looks like i was getting up at Dawn's crack to see the Cappadoccia region in style.
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