Dublin to Nepal, On Tour, Turkey

Day 58: Ilica to Sariyar Baraji

There was a little rain this morning but thankfully we had but the tarp up yesterday so we were dry getting ready and by the time we were off it had cleared up.
We had a morning climb through the rocky, mountainous scenery but there was still a decent amount of green vegetation around. The climb took us up to 1100 meters and we got a great view of the countryside behind us. It was good we stopped to take it all in, for although it was different to what we had cycled through before, the terrain still felt a bit European or something.

  

   

at the top of the climb

   After we were halfway down the descent on the other side, I’d say the starting point was after passing through the town of Tašçilar, the scenery changed drastically. There was little vegetation and the mountains now exposed we big sedimentary things with the various layers of rock visible like slices of bread, one on top the other. It felt now,moor the first time, that we were starting to enter the Middle East. 

     
It was a lovely long descent on a wide and quiet road. In fact at one point a young guy driving an empty mini bus pulled up and offered us a lift onwards to the next big town called Nallihan. We didn’t take him up on the offer as the cycling was so nice but did pose for a photo with him, he seemed very pleased with himself to have met us. 
When we did arrive in Nalihan maybe 45 minutes later we stopped to,have a short look around since the place was quite big, biggest town we’d passed through since Izimit. We picked up some Tavuk Donner and then some baklava for later. Baklava is a great cycle touring snack, its like rocket fuel.
On the other side of Nalihan now, and we were in for a big surprise. Once we finished the initial climb out of the city we were greeted with some of the most dramatic and impressive physical geography I’ve seen. At first it was wide expanses of desert with interesting rock formations off in the  distance.

  
  
     

Once we got close to these rocks and hills though the whole landscape came alive.I could try describe but probably can’t get the point across so here are pictures instead:

  
 

 
  

 we arrived at the big lake (or wetland, not entirely sure what it was) we took photos and then figured we might as well stop here and camp at a little spot we had seen from the road that overlooked the vista. We were a couple of kilometres short and would have to make up for it on the ride into Ankara tomorrow, but we had a host lined up there and how often do you get to camp in a place like this:

  

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