Our time in Cappadocia has come to and end after 3 days of hiking. It’s been wonderful to be in a quiet town without a lot of traffic and the people have been very nice. Hiring a car and driver yesterday allowed us to see all of the sites I had on my list at our own speed and not on someone else’s time table!!!! Our driver spoke not a word of English so we did a lot of hand gesturing and tracing points of interest together on the map I brought along. He was good natured and kept opening the car doors for us. I enjoyed riding in the front seat and seeing people working on their farms–everything seems to be done by hand, except for tractors pulling loads of hay down the road. We passed tons of strawberries and melons. We toured 2 huge underground cities (one 8 floors deep–Aleta did not like it and found it extremely claustrophic, but I loved it!), churches and monestaries, and we got out and hiked at each stop. Our last stop was a walk through the Ihara Valley which was a deep canyon with a stream running through it and some more early Christian churches built into the rock face along the way. It was lovely to pause on a rock and let our toes drag in the cool water. The rock formations are truy like another planet here.
I had an amazing meal up the steep carved rock along the back of Goreme of the tiny ravioli which is a specialty here and it was 100 times better than the one I has sampled in Istanbul. I took pictures of local women making the little stuffed bundles and also the bread in a big brick oven. A wonderful local place.
Today we went on another day long hike through 2 different valleys on a loop broken up by a rest in a cool little hill town and some shopping. We walked through little farmed plots here and there and got to steal ripe apples, plums and some berries drying on the roof top of a huge building that was under construction. Long way back and it was dry and hot.
Tomorrow we have an 11 am bus for the coastal town of Antalya (8 hours) but our hotel is booked and they will pick us up at the terminal. Arranging everything takes time but it’s all coming together.