Gas jets sent hot flames above my head, heating the air within the droplet-shaped space enclosed by white and blue canvas. The basket silently lost contact with the ground as it began to rise. Within minutes I was studying the intriguing patterns on the earth’s surface that represent Cappadocia’s unique geology. What a feeling it was to rise above such a beautiful landscape in a hot air balloon and watch it turn golden as the sun made its appearance above the far horizon. With little wind, the balloon didn’t travel very far, but I still felt as if we had a wonderful journey nonetheless. The best part was when the balloon dropped into Pigeon Valley and floated out across the top of Goreme. An incredible way to start the day.

Returning to my hotel at 8.30am (having left at 5.40am), I was nearly taken by sleep. Instead, I put my head down and got to work on my list of chores: wash clothes, buy food for coming days, get a haircut, fix my punctured tube, backup photos and video footage from Azerbaijan and Iran, charge my electronics and record a video to document where I am at in my overall cycle journey. At lunch time I joined Diego (who I met on the Green Tour) for a meal at Firin’s. I returned to the same place for dinner, where I bumped into and ate with Glen and Beatrice, a Kiwi guy and English girl who were on the morning’s balloon flight. Firin’s is the only place I have eaten at while in Goreme. I have spent the last little while packing up my stuff as far as practical. Come morning I need to look at my front tube again, as it has deflated since I repaired it this afternoon. I suspect that I didn’t manage to remove all of the tiny piece of metal I found protruding through the tyre.

In orbit

Accommodation $ Hotel dorm
Distance ridden today 0km
Total distance ridden 25,668