- ODO 3751km
- Location Pamukkale
- Weather 28-37 in the valley
Turkey is a fractal. However large or small the terrain the surface of the earth roles in a wavelike undulation of grass or mud or trees. I started the day at 900m but gradually descended all day. It’s days like these where you feel like you’re riding with a motor or an invisible hand making each road and bend flow by. After lunch the general decent shifted to a shear mountain bike track. Falling through a forest road designed for fire engines dropping 300m in 3km many kilometres. With roads so steep my bike still pushes me forward, even at full break and the surface is so broken and bouldered that the wheels skip and hop shooting large chunk of rock off and over the side dropping to the road below.
After a good 70km the path rolled out into a vast green basin. My track took me alongside a fast flowing canal feeding acres of grape plants in the fields all around. The smell of the fresh grapes and pallets of drying raisins mixed with dust and sweat.
That evening I had my first stop of the trip. Keen to make the most of being in so many unique countries I’ve selected a stop every week along the road. Good for learning more about each country as well as for my sanity. I picked Pamukkale in passing with my maps app. Before I even got there my route took me across the city of Tripolis – an ancient Roman style city with visible inscriptions, columns and a full room mosaic. There were only three people there and a security guard with this dog who whistled at me for getting too close. This whole site was bigger and more intricate than the Roman town in Norwich but there was nobody there at all.
When I got to Pamukkale I understood why it’s such a tourist attraction. This chance side stop was not only a full scale ancient city called Hierapolis but the city itself was built on top of limestone springs creating rolling while mounds and stalactites of glistening white. I booked into my hotel, paid my 35TL and joined hundreds of other bare footed tourists cooling their feet in the white waters with views over the wide valley below. What a sight!