It was a great choice to sleep in the farm shed last night as I stayed warm without having to cover up to extreme levels. Besides the occasional train it was nice and dark and quiet. With only 40km to ride I didn’t need to be in a hurry to get up. Even after a small lie in I was ready to go sooner than yesterday, given the fact that I moved quicker in the warmth. It didn’t take long for me to completely warm up as I began to climb into the hills. Soon I was sweating lightly under my waterproof gear.

I reached the summit sooner than expected. I promptly rugged up, knowing what was coming: a freezing cold descent. Enough pedalling kept me warm as I began to glimpse homes built against and within the rocky landscape. From Urgup I heated up again as I climbed out of the town and past more spectacular rock formations. I also began to see tourists, lots of them. At some point I’d picked up a slow leak in my front tyre, but luckily I only had to pump it up once to reach Goreme. I’ll deal with it another day.

Once in Goreme, I rode straight to Yasmin’s Place, but the hostel seemed deserted. The reception area was open and I spotted the WiFi password, so I took the opportunity to jump online and check what my friend Jonno (who I met in Tajikistan) had to say, having been here a few weeks earlier and who said he’d pass on his recommendations. His message told me where he stayed (Relic House Hotel), so I went there instead. Again I found a deserted place. While waiting for signs of life, I had a picnic lunch in the courtyard and even walked through the property twice, but I still didn’t encounter anyone. As I left I started chatting to a young guy outside Cappadocian Guide Travel Agency. The boss inside ended up calling the manager of Relic. I returned there and waited a further ten minutes for the manager to arrive. I checked into a four-bed dorm (the only dorm room they have) for 25l (AU$6.50) a night. After getting my stuff in and securing my bike I jumped on the WiFi. After a quick message to my mum she called for chat. It was just a brief one as I was keen to have my first shower in five days. After a decent wash I packed up my dirty clothes and left the hotel to get some things done.

Step 1: organise a hot air balloon tour. I returned to the Cappadocian Guide Travel Agency and spent nearly an hour chatting with Kadir. At the end of this I had booked a day trip (green tour) and reserved a balloon flight. Unfortunately tomorrow is bad weather so no balloons are flying. At this stage I will fly Tuesday, return to the hotel at 8.30am and ride out of town the same day.

Step 2: find a place for laundry. My hotel charges 30l, so I was keen to find somewhere cheaper. I found two places that charged 25l. Expensive (same as a night’s accommodation), but time-saving, considering how long it would take me to wash the 26 items I had. My chosen place was a hairdresser with a washing machine out the back. I put a load on to wash and went out to dinner to Firin’s Cafe. When I ordered pide and stew, I was told that it would be too much food and that a pide would be plenty for one person. I capitulated, appreciating their honesty, and just order pide. When I finished that I ordered the stew and ate that too. I then found a supermarket to buy some snacks. On my way home I dropped into the hairdressers and said I would use the drier on offer – originally I planned to take my clothes back to dry in my room. I returned at 7pm and moved half of my clothes into a drier, taking the other half (merino wool stuff) home to hang out. I then returned to the streets for more exploration before collecting the rest of my clothes returning home to sleep.

Hiding

Accommodation $ Hotel
Distance ridden today 43.58km
Average cycling speed 14.6kph
Total distance ridden 25,668km