E and I (E in particular) take great pride in utilising every mode of transport available to us, wherever we go. Turkey has been a veritable cornucopia of options, but no where more so than Cappadocia.
To our greatest pleasure we got to explore the area from the ground
and in the sky…
Taking the ATV out was a spur of the moment, fly by the seat of our pants kind of thing. And also the
gentle heavy handed persuasion of a roadside tout, Mustafa, who turned out to be hilarious fun ( and not a bit adverse to bringing out the mischievous hoon in me…)
So with me on the back of his bike (self described by him as the “crazy bike”) and E on the “safer” option we took off across the dusty hills….
The bonuses were that we covered a lot more ground than if we had hiked (our original plan), Mustafa took us to places he grew up (like a monastery we tried to rock climb – unsuccessfully) and we got lessons in driving the ATV’s. Fun! Also, being on the crazy bike, I got to (Mum – stop reading now!!!) do lots of ridiculously scary fun jumps and skids and generally just hang on for dear life.
Not something I ever expected to enjoy, but apparently there’s a bit of bogan somewhere in me after all…
Hot air ballooning is something I’ve literally wanted to do for years. YEARS!!!! So it was never a doubt that we’d take a joy ride in the air over one of the most famous hot air ballooning places in the world. And it was EVERYTHING I hoped it would be. SO AMAZING IT GETS CAPITAL LETTERS AND LOTS OF EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!
It started off a slightly frustrating experience because, as has been our ongoing hurdle, we don’t speak the language.
We were picked up at 5am and then dropped like cattle into a barn-like restaurant, all hundred odd passengers going up with our flight company of choice. There must have been many more herding pens around the city like it, because around 80 balloons go up every dawn and they average about 10 passengers each. Lots of very tired, very confused but very excited people waiting around in the cold and dark!
And then nothing happened. For about an hour. Anti climatic. And frustrating. E and I ran through the apple tea and our stash of Le Snacks pretty quickly and spent the rest of the time terrorizing the Turkish tour guides by smiling at them (I don’t know why this works, but it does…)
Eventually the call goes up, the wind is right and like hurricane chasers, we’re all leaping into trucks and vans and skidding our way to the air lift site.
I think this was the most special thing I’ve ever fine, let alone favourite thing I’ve done in Turkey. Mind blowingly awe inspiring. Cappadocia from yet another magnificent angle!
Side note – I’ve written these posts from oddest of places over the last 2 weeks. Basically wherever I can find 5 minutes. I wrote this one while experiencing yet another Turkey transport system – the public bus. And may I quickly say that the driver knows exactly where the brake is. And he’s not afraid to use it quickly and often. Apologies in closing for any spelling or editing mistakes, it’s difficult to blog on a phone while being bruised by a bus!