MAZI-DERINKUYU-IHLARA VALLEY (bicycle)
18.06.2010 - 19.06.2010 27 °C
Ihsan was perfect host and prepare breakfast in his little office. Because he was buying all food, we gave him some money to cover the costs he had with us. Again he gave us a short cut directions which saved us few km of cycling later. I promised that I will return with my girlfriend in 2,5 weeks and we left.
I was feeling much better this day and hangover was long gone. This was more than welcome because we had to cycle 90km in this day which wouldnt be possible with headache. First we took a secondary sand road and cycled arround 15 km in hard conditions. Than we connected to main road and cycle another 25km to town Derinkuyu. In Derinkuyu there is another for public open underground city, which is also very popular attraction for tourist. We have skipped that one and only bought some water and food in the town and than start pedaling towards Ihlara valley.This valley was 55km away, but terrain was flat and we were moving fast. It didnt ake us more than 2,5 hours to reach it. Landscape was still magical since we were still in Cappadocia region. Ihlara valley was also formed by volcano eruption and is placed bellow 1 of 3 volcanos that shaped this region centuries ago (mount Erciyes).
Valley is 16km long and it is possible to walk trough to next village. Christian people lived here for same reasons as in the underground cities - hidding from Roman soldier. In valley there is hundred churches carved into the volcanic rock.
We arrived at 16 o clock. First we had to find accomodation. Camps in Turkey are to expensive and it is more economical to rent a room. In Ihlara there was a nice camp, but owner wanted only 10TL less than for the room. We decided to rent a room in a small pension. After shower and food we wanted to explore the valley. We arrived to main entrance at 17:30. Employee explained, that it is open till 18h and we dont have enough time to come back till than. We tried everything, but he was strong negotiator and his word was the last. No matter that we were able to watch this natural wonder. Too bad, that we didnt arrive 1 hour earlier...Later in the evening we made a plan for following day. We decided, that we will not return to valley, but cycle toward Aksary. Because we were in Capaddocia already for whole week, we already saw plenty of old churches, caves, underground cities, valleys and crazy landscapes. That is why we didnt feel to bad not entering the valley in the morning. Whle day we had sunny and warm weather and we cycled around 95km.