Yesterday I slowly came to the conclusion that I was ready for a day off, so I really wanted a cruisy ride into Malatya, where I hoped to easily find accommodation that wasn’t going to break my budget. I am delighted to say everything worked out the way I wanted, starting with a cruisy descent to Karakaya Dam Lake. From here I faced a steady climb past the peak of Selvi Tepezi before finishing with a small descent into the city. I came across an internet café without really trying and spent 1l (AU$0.30) for half an hour of internet, which gave me enough time to suss out accommodation options. I decided to check out Park Hotel first and this is where I ended my search. I received a very warm welcome by the manager, as well a guide who helps out a bit and who could speak perfect English. Storing my bike was no trouble at all. I received a pristine twin room with clean bathroom (complete with a hot water shower, soap, shampoo, toilet paper and towels), WiFi and breakfast, all for 50l (AU$17) per night. After receiving help moving my bags into the room, I spent an hour on my phone while I waited for the water to heat up. After my first shower in seven days I felt presentable enough to go for a walk in town. On the way out I chatted to Ramazan, the guide, about the possibility of visiting Mount Nemrut on an overnight car trip. I didn’t know anything about this place, but apparently tourists generally only come to Malatya when they want to visit the mountain, atop which are the ruins of an ancient tomb dating back a couple of thousand years. Most alluring is the remains of old statues.

I left the hotel thinking hard about whether I wanted to spend the time and money seeing the place. I also thought hard about food. After wandering around aimlessly for a while taking in the city’s atmosphere I stopped into a kebab shop where I had the best doner I have had in Turkey (AU$2 for a kebab, chips and yoghurt drink). I continued wandering and eventually came across a large supermarket where I stocked up on some of the supplies I need for my next stretch of cycling, as well as some junk food to binge on back at the hotel. Before reaching home I couldn’t resist filling up completely with a second doner (AU$1). I placed myself on my bed with my junk food within arm’s reach (packet of chips, chocolate bar, small bag of Haribo lollies, chocolate biscuits and 1L apricot juice). As I watched Interstellar on my laptop, I proceeded to devour absolutely everything. I felt slightly sick afterwards, but in a very satisfied way.

Couch potato time

Accommodation Free-camp
Distance ridden today 71.77km
Average cycling speed 17.1kph
Total distance ridden 25,250km