The idea for another expedition was spawned at the celebratory book launch lunch hosted by Nigel and Ann Robertson at Skirmett in June 2013. Mehmet rose to the challenge and organised the logistics of the trip with great skill and panache. A brief account follows and links to photo albums, etc are available at the end.
21 Sep – Monakus – Demre/Antalya, 410 km1
22 Sep – Demre – Gazipaşa, 700 km
23 Sep – The British Leg (Tony & Sheena, Roger and Carol, Nigel, Tim) did not arrive
as planned. They missed Istanbul –Gazipaşa flight and stayed in Istanbul.
This is what they found on arrival at the Asian International AirportMeltdown of the computer used by the immigration staff. But we did have a short but comfortable night In the Ramada Hotel 15 mins drive from the airport.
Arriving 23 Sep 7:30.
The British leg arrived (w/o Roger and Carol’s suitcases. They went to
Antalya !) Roger and Carol had to buy ersatz clothing and slippers in Gazipaşa
– Gazipaşa – Boğsak (Turtel Motel) via Anamur and the coastline road, 900 km
At Boğsak: Very good beach, moderate food, expensive wine.
24 Sep – Boğsak – Pozantı, 1 100
Only set out around midday which allowed for pleasant swim out to platform. Good run on fine roads although the motorway climb up to plateau level was slowed by lorries sometimes three abreast.
At Pozantı Pendosis Hotel.
The setting very impressive, the food ain’t
25 Sep – Pozantı – Uçhisar, 1 300 km
Hotel Karlık Evi, very nice
26 Sep – CAPPADOCIA = Uçhisar – Göreme – Avanos –Ürgüp (Triangle)
6 a.m. the Balloons were amazing on a perfect windless and sunny morning.
Roger and Carol’s suitcases retrieved from MNG Courier Service Co in Urgup.
Visit to Goreme Open Air Museum with its amazing collection of 12th century Christian Cave churches.
The only Kombi in Cappadocia at hijacked after a high speed chase by Mehmet and put at Expedition’s disposal.
Lunched on the road to Avenos at Cavusin and then to Avenos to admire the first suspension bridge in Turkey (built 1973 for pedestrians over the Kizilirmak river which is the longest in Turkey)
Sheena and Tony married exactly half a century ago on 26 Sep 1964.
The Expedition celebrated with one bottle champagne (Roger’s gift) and
7 bottles of Cappadocia wine. The meal was superbly specified by Gul in the Karlik Evi dining room
27 Sep – Further exploration of Cappadocia.
We drove to Zelve to see the Fairy Chimneys and our only camels. Then on to Urgup for the small but interesting museum and lunch in Ziggy’s. Then the rain came down until we drove to Nevsehir for a good value Doner Kebab meal in the evening
28 Sep – Uçhisar (departure at 1 510 km) – Beyşehir (via Konya), 1 850 km.
Long drive across the plateau to Konya via Aksaray. Lunched in roadside restaurant near the largest caravanserai in Turkey at Sultanhani, which we visited before proceeding to Konya. Truly magnificent structure.
We eventually found the centre and somewhere to park so we could admire the mosque and museum from outside. Konya (1.5 million) is expanding rapidly, small to medium size industry.
Rolled up to our lakeside hotel, Atapark Hotel near Beyşehir, about 7:00 pm. Excellent meal
29 Sep – Beyşehir – Gazipaşa, 2 100 km
And so Gazipasa with a 2hr wait near Alanya while tar from an naked tar 3km of road descending to the coast was painstakingly cleaned off
Last meal on the beach restaurant at Gasipasa was disappointing despite Gul’s best efforts to coach the staff. Unsuccessful dinner with 3 bottles of wine and a few bottles of beer.
30 Sep Mehmed wakes and gets up (most unusual) at 3:30, checks Pegasus flight to
Mehmed waits till 5:30 (getting up time) knocks at Tony’s, Roger’s, Tim’s and Nigel’s doors to tell them to go back to bed and sleep.
Inquisitive Tony wants to know if Mehmed is “kidding”.
Everyone sleeps till 8. Then to Gazipaşa Airport w/o breakfast.
Istanbul supposed to take off at 7:50. The flight is cancelled due to strong side
wind. New departure time 9:40.
Mehmed and Gül say “Goodbye and Bon Voyage” to the British Leg and depart for
Lunch at Göcek. Very pleasant.
Arrive Monakus at 7:00 p.m, 2 700 km.
Summary: Mehmed drove (new: Slalom Driving) 2 700 km in 10 days.
Monakus, 600 kms away.
Photo links: –