Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Wed 22 Jun 2016. Goreme to Konya to Egirdir

Wed 22 Jun 2016. Goreme to Konya to Egirdir
Filled our water tank and farewelled the ever-helpful Ahmed (we didn't tell him we won't miss his multitude of uneven rock-hewn steps up and down three terraces in the sun to toilets, showers and pool). 

On road to Konya, passed a series of refugee camps in tents, out of towns on open barren ground, no shade, their well-water out in the sun. These refugees are obviously not given the same welcome as in Europe, although they have been provided with survival necessities - land, tents, food, water (although some seemed much better off with cows, satellite dishes, motorbikes and trucks in some camps). 

Today's drive is showing us the Turkey we were expecting - dry clay-coloured low hills and plains. We cannot understand the economics of putting in irrigated pastures and crops from underground aquifers- surely water is a limited resource in arid country? Ahmed had told us he had to keep going down deeper for water in last couple of dry years. Saw a couple of small marmot-type animals with large rumps in the furrowed fields. Dust-blown flat plains and heat haze, rambling cities. We seem to be entering all from the more desolate, industrial side.

Ugly smelly industrial entrance to Konya. Prepared our lunch on edge of service station  - all staff came over to look, smile, talk, and wave goodbye. Later we stopped for fuel, they also were excited to see truck, and talk over the map on the side. The next we knew four of them were giving us a spontaneous sudsy windscreen wash from manual bay.


Turned towards Isparta and started climbing hills - immediately greener, cooler, prettier. Stopped for huge fresh organic strawberries from old man who didn't understand how to sell anything less than a kilo. GirlRob noted there are very few fat Turks, and BoyRob replied "that's because they all get eaten at Christmas" - too corny travelling together some days...

Passed a turquoise-blue reservoir, towns with stockpiles of green and ripened apples. Stopped at bakery for a round flat loaf and Turkish baklava to add to dinner. 

Arrived Egirdir on southern tip of a lake, part of the Lakes Area of Turkey’s Mediterranean Region, which is connected by river to Lake Kovada National Park further south. We checked out a a possible free campsite on the water but it was next to rubbish bins, bottles, cigarette butts and old campfires  - looked like it would become the local teen hot-spot of an evening. 

Went on further and found Altincum Camping on Lake, had front row position on beach (for 30tl - half that of Goreme without the heat and dust!) pulled up to an admiring crowd of fellows (it's become the norm for all stops), pulled out the chairs in front of the view and had a refreshing toast "to cooler Turkey" after our 400+ km drive. After consuming the local produce acquired during today's drive, chatted to our Turkish neighbour Laurentin (?) in a caravan, who was keenly interested in expedition vehicles. Wanderoos took each other to the loo in the dark to help with rescue if either got locked in single doors with tricky keys and locks low down at toddler level. Travelling is always SO exciting…

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