It was time to leave Avanos. On the morning of departure we awoke to rain pattering on the tarp. We hauled it and our gear under the shelter by the pool and waited for the tarp to dry off (so it wouldn’t be wet when we packed it away) and the rain to ease off. Fortunately it didn’t stick around all day and we were cycling out of Avanos after a shop and some food at 11.
Riding out of the Cappadocia basin started, naturally, with a bit if climb. Once up on the top we were back on the Anatolian Steppe with land stretching off for miles in every direction. The scenery isn’t all that interesting but I think just the vastness of it all gives it a beauty of its own. We reach the top of a hill and as far as you could see was just land, like a great sea, uninterrupted by towns or forests just horizon to horizon was land.
Without an geographical feature to stop it the wind was howling something fierce. But it was blowing our backs, in the perfect direction to push us along all day. It made the riding go by really quickly and before too long we arrived at the roadside town of Kalaba. Here we went looking for some food to eat and got led to a döner place run by a really friendly husband and wife, the husband was beaming the whole time we were in his eatery.
Leaving Kalaba with full bellies we rode on, up and down the gradual undulation of the landscape and through tiny hamlet, some populated and some abandoned. The road turned from sealed Tarmac to exposed rock and dirt as we got deeper into the back country and further from the main routes. Some guys we passed at a crossroads called out to us saying we were going the wrong way, but only because the road was so remote they didn’t expect we really wanted to ride it.
With the wind at our backs we made great time, but there was one problem: this wide open landscape offered little in the way of good camping spots. Every now and then an irrigation channel would provide water enough for a small stand of trees to grow along side it but most of the time there were very few places we would want to camp at.
We got lucky though, riding out of the last town we would pass through today (Yamacli) and on the lookout for somewhere to stop we came down into a small valley with flat ground and sheltered from the wind by the small hills and few trees dotted around us. Although we were camped quite close to the road and relatively exposed, none of the trucks or tractors that passed seemed to mind our being there.