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From a salt mountain to the sea

Written by ralph on October 13th, 2015. Posted in Ralph's blog

We were late leaving this morning.  Last night we got into conversation with Benta and Martin, a lovely couple who had driven their Mercedes camper overland from Denmark.   They had travelled via Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania and Greece to end up sharing the same campsite as us.

We sat drinking Croatian beer and swapping travel stories far later than our normal bed time. 

They were hoping to catch a ferry back to Greece and then to Italy.  They were then spending several weeks in Italy visiting Rome and returning home in November. 

If you are reading this, Benta and Martin, we wish you a safe and enjoyable journey and thank you again for the beer and good company. 

Once we got underway we visited the Roman ruins above the Salt terraces. 

  We then set off towards Affrodisia.  We took the high mountain route which involved tackling some serious inclines and a track or two. 

Unfortunately every up has a down and whilst coming down the other side we suffered a complete loss of braking.  Being an automatic, Matilda has very little (i.e. none) engine braking.   However after a suitable application of cheese and biscuits and a lunch stop all was restored. 

This did mean that we had to make a choice.  If we visited Aphrodisia we would be late arriving at our intended camping spot. 

In the end we decided to give it a miss as we plan to spend tomorrow morning at Ephesus. One of the best preserved Roman sites around. 

So, here we are:

  
Camped on the beach watching the sun set over Aegean looking forward to another eventful day. 

 

View from our bedroom this morning

Written by ralph on October 13th, 2015. Posted in Ralph's blog

  
To the sound of a thousand birds and a hot air balloon. 

Pumukkale 

Written by ralph on October 12th, 2015. Posted in Ralph's blog

An amazing spectacle and well worthwhile visiting. 

   

   
We walked up from the bottom only to meet Nick and Karen at the top.  They had come a different way and parked nearby.  Sadly they are camping in a different site to us. 

On our return to the car we started to look out for a place to eat later.  As we walked we met Jessica and Bill.  Two travellers that were very interested in our travels.  They asked to see our car and we walked back to the campsite and gave them the full guided tour of Matilda.  They originate from Hawaii and were touring by catching the bus every few days to a new location. 

We have the greatest admiration for them both, carrying their whole world in a few bags and leaving their transportation needs to the destiny of local public transport. 

If they read this, we wish you safe travels and thank you for brightening up our afternoon. 

So here we are 

Written by ralph on October 12th, 2015. Posted in Ralph's blog

We started the day with this view. 

   
 
From our bedroom.   With dinner, breakfast, a super king size bed, wifi and a superb shower only 2 miles from the Roman site it was just what we needed.  At only £70 total it was also a no brainer for us. 

After s relaxing 123 mile journey, through wonderful countryside, we have arrived at Pumukkale the site of hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water.

It is 27 degrees and we are camped at the foot of the crystal white terraces.  Once the temperature, and glare, drop a bit we shall go exploring. 

  

Has it really only benn two days?

Written by ralph on October 12th, 2015. Posted in Ralph's blog

Poor signal has prevented me posting but I can now give an update. 

Much has happened. 

We left our little rock enclave with most things still damp or wet.   Because of the need to cover ground we leave camp before the sun has had much chance to warm up and dry anything.   In addition because most of our camps are at altitude, the temperature drops significantly and condensation and dew form readily. 
On this day we started at 1800ft and stayed quite low for the early part of the day. 

Lunch was taken alongside a track in the bottom of a valley.  Once again we took the opportunity to dry some things out 

  
We stopped in a small village for provisions and gave the locals quite a spectacle as we all parked in the small village square. 

  
The way they looked at us you would think we were from outer space😀

Soon the track started the climb and we hit our maximum altitude of 6475ft surrounded by some spectacular scenery.  Unfortunately you’ll just have to imagine it as I forgot to use the iPhone and take a picture 

Eventually after a bit of a search and a high level turnaround at a dead end track we camped in a builders yard!

It’s not quite as bad as it sounds though

  
The night was disturbed at 10:30 as the camp was ‘raided’ by the local Jandamerie.   Hearing their sirens and seeing there red and blue flashing lights bumping up the track was and interesting siteThe next day was a very slow start as Ken’s car had developed a wheel bearing problem which took most of the morning for Paul, with some assistance from Nick and plenty of supervision by others, to resolve. 

The sim was to travel by more mountain tracks to the Roman Site at Sagalassoss but, because of the late start, it was decided to go by road. 

Eventually after a mad road dash we arrived at the Romans site which is perched at 4800ft at the end of a narrow switchback road. 

  
We arrived with just one hour to spare before the site closed for the day. 

It is at this point that we made the decision to split away from the group again.  With so many sites to see, in this area, we wanted to move at a slower pace and enjoy them more. 

Following the mountain tracks is enjoyable but eats up the time.  So we have stopped in a local hotel (hence the wifi) and will be continuing by road until we meet up with the group again in Bidrum on the 14th. 

Must dash now as breakfast is calling. 

More later. 

Midas city

Written by ralph on October 9th, 2015. Posted in Ralph's blog

 Today started with us shrouded in mist and ended with us shrouded in dust. 

It was freezing cold last night and everything was soaking when we woke. 

We drove some lovely mountain tracks until the land levelled out to reveal some amazing rock formations. 

Lunch was taken in beautiful sunshine and everyone pulled out their awnings in a desperate attempt to dry them. 

 We then went on to visit a historic site which was known as Midas City and ruled over by the original goldfinger

  

   
From here we followed several dusty track to eventually camp in a secluded clearing, surrounded by strange rock formations, as the sun set.