Sunday, July 26, 2015

Cappadocia: a day in the dirt

Cappadocia is an amazing place. Weird rock formations, beautiful vistas and amazing trails. You can see a lot of it without ever leaving asphalt roads, but a lot more when you do! We really wanted to see it all and thus stayed a bit longer, took the gravel roads around Cappadocia and were rewarded with some spectacular scenery and the best day of riding in Turkey yet! If you don't mind a little dust then this is not to be missed.

You don't have to go very far off-road, if you don't want too, but at the same time can ride around here for hours and hours without any problem. There is simply so much to see here! Of course my Triumph is no match here for the XT, plus I had come down with some bug or other which meant I wasn't as sharp as I should be. For Mike it was like a kid playing in the sandbox. He was totally in his element. 

It was the first time we tested the Avon TrailRiders properly on trails too. Trails which are normally done by trails bikes or 4-wheelers. Some of the hills were so steep that a Landcruiser came sliding down... yet he took his XT660R with panniers up there... We walked quite a few of the hills to, to setup our cameras for the video, and found our boots loosing grip on sections where the TrailRiders didn't. We were both impressed with the TrailRiders, especially as this was definitely more that the 90/10 balance they are listed for.

The landscape reminded us of parts of Utah, a state we had enjoyed very much. The pillar like rocks, shaped over thousands if not millions of years by erosion, are impressive. Some of them are lived in, others used to be at some stage and now open to the public, giving a glimpse of the way life used to be here. 

Some of the tracks were pretty gnarly. Wash-outs gave my Bonnie's baseplate a hard time and found the end of the suspension on many occasions. Here I was seriously overdoing it for a bike which by all accounts was meant to ride to the pub on Sunday. After all it's a classic, not an enduro. This bike wasn't designed for this kind of treatment, but, it was just to beautiful not to do it! It had been raining earlier in the morning, which was one of the last things we had expected in the middle of Turkey and the middle of summer! Luckily the sun came out again and allowed us to have a look at it all in beautiful sunlight.

Sadly the flu-bugs inside my head gave me a hard time... add to that a helmet bouncing on my already sore head... and at about 3 in the afternoon I decided that enough was enough. Time for me to go back to the campground and sit in the shade for a bit. My head felt like an atomic bomb ready to go off...

I told Mike not to come with me but enjoy the rest of the day... he did! I also said to him 'don't do anything stupid or your trip might end here...' What he did can be seen in the video he made. As he was on his own, it meant riding up and down the tracks several times to setup the camera and pick it up again after. I didn't see him for 3 hours...

The next day, I felt a lot better and we thus decided to go back! Have a look at a few more trails and see the parts I hadn't seen all that well yesterday! So a day in the dirt became even better: two days in the dirt...! I've said it before, but I'll say it again anyway: Cappadocia is an amazing place. The nature, the people, the trails could ride... everything.