The weatehr was very hot and I had a long distance to cycle that I started cycling early in the morning. On the way, I saw people selling nuts. I like pistachio, but I usually don’t buy it because it is expensive. Turkey produces pistachio that I can see many snacks and bread having the picture of pistachio. I thought it would be cheaper to buy here. So, I bought pistachio and some nuts from them. But actually it was not that much cheaper.
It was typical Turkish scenery at the gas station. Drivers paid some small money and the worker washed their car while the owner of car having coffee or food. He used the brush with the water that it looked very creative.
I had to cycle harder today, but then suddenly my rim was broken. I didn’t know how many times rim was broken on the trip. Always there was the same reason that worn brake broke it. It was really shame that I made the same mistake again and again.
It was impossible to cycle a long distance because a broken rim would make a flat tire. So, I tried to hitchhike for one hour, but it was impossible to get a ride. It was so funny that everyday there were a few males who stopped their car and asked me to give me a ride. Of course, I did know actually what they wanted. But when I really needed pure help, there was nobody who wanted to give me a ride.
When I was frustrated, the owner of the house near me invited me at their house and gave me water and some sunflower seed. I had never seen original sunflower seed that it was interesting. Some of them were empty. They had a van that they took me a bicycle shop at the center of the city.
I did thank to them. After they were gone, I asked a mechanic that he had a right size of rim and he said ‘Yes I have’. Then he uninstalled wheel. After that, he was checking what he had and told me he didn’t have actually right size and recommended me to change a hub and rim together. I didn’t want to spend money to buy a bad quality one. Actually I realized that when Russian guys tried to help me they changed my rim from 36 to 32 holes. 32 is not good for traveling at all that it was weak and specially I can find 32 holes rim only in a big city like the capital.
I checked a few bicycle shops more but it was not possible to find the part although it was a big city. I was so tired and hungry that I had some Turkish pizza. The bread was very thin and topping was tasty that I liked it.
I was supposed to arrive at some hotel today. I changed arrival date so many times that I could not change anymore with feeling sorry. I decided to go out of city first and tried to hitchhike again. After waiting for a while, one car stopped. He gave me a business card later on the car and told me he worked at his brother restaurant. When we arrived a big city, close to Cappadocia, he stopped at a gas station. Then suddenly he asked me to give him back his business card.
Around Cappadocia, he said I should cycle 2~3 km more (1~2 miles) by myself because he would go to the other way. Then he stopped at some kind of parking place at the next to a main road. He asked me some hug but I felt weird that I refused. Then he suddenly grabbed my butt and showed me disgusting smile and walked back to his car. What the hell…? I held his t shirt and tried to stopped other car to report him. But then he pretending to threaten me and got a car. Then he disappeared.
I got too shocked. It was my second time to get sexually harassed. The first time was in Egypt. Some guy on a moto cycle touched my butt while I was cycling on a bicycle. There was nothing I can to do because it was happened suddenly. The only thing I did was shouting to insult him. But this time I did want to report him because we stopped at a gas station that if I were lucky I could catch him.
I cycled with broken rim to Cappadocia that I didn’t get a flat tire luckly. I realized once I got there that he must pass here. He dropped me there on the purpose. What a bad guy.
Cappadocia was famous for a cave hotel. I got a contact from an owner of the hotel that I would stay here for a few days for free after making some contents for them. But I was too shocked to see how the cave hotel was amazing. I wanted to call the police to report but I heard they didn’t have the police station because it was a small village. There were only militaries. I decided to see them at the next day. I could not sleep at all with too much stress.
At the next day, I walked around to find an information center to call police militaries. On the way, I saw huge baskets for balloon tours.
Turkey was famous for a carpet. Now I knew how they cleaned it. They put on the big fan(?) and made turning.
It was too dark and shocking to see the town yesterday that I didn’t know why it was a famous attraction. Once day came, I realized it was really beautiful town.
Two hours after kind of being blamed by local guys at the information center with reasons “why don’t you have picture of car, him, why don’t you remember car’s number, why didn’t you report as soon as arriving, and so on” , I succeed to call a local military.
A commander was a very strict guy that he only talked about the accident without any judging. We went the gas station and checked a video surveillance. We found a car, but the guy was actually not the owner of car. However, a commander was so powerful that he found the driver. When I faced him at the first, my heart was pounding with being nervous and scared. He apologized at me and I accepted it. And then I made a report. In my opinion, there were two steps for criminal. First step is to apologize and the last step is to get penalty by the law. So I reported it although I accepted his apologizing.
Actually I got too much stress for all those progressing, but the reason I did was I hoped there was less victim of it. Girl and even boy travelers were sexually harassed sometimes more in Turkey than in other countries. If we kept reporting, I thought there would be less problem of it.
I had spent all day at the outside without eating under the heat. After finishing reporting, I felt free and I went to a restaurant to eat something. If I only kept silence, I would not feel free and I could not enjoy Cappadocia.
At the next day morning, I woke up early and went out with the camera to see balloons. Behind the town there were many people on the hills. But I didn’t know how to get there that I just went a small hill near my place.
But actually the place I were was the best place to watch it because I could see hot air balloons closely. It looked not many people knew about this place.
To see lots of hot air balloons flying together on the sky was one of the best things to see. Actually I didn’t have the plan to try it because it was too expensive around $130~$140. I tried to be satisfied with watching them just on the ground.
One month ago, I bought Phantom3 drone, Ipad mini2, Gopro4, and a few accessories that I had spent too much money. I always tried to keep emergency money for flight to South Korea and something in case. But I spent almost $2,000 one year ago to buy a new camera and winter gears. This time again $2,000. Now I had to see the lowest balance I had ever had. I must enjoy the drone which made me poorer. The picture was taken by my new baby drone.
It was taken by my dslr around the sunset. The name of village was Goreme which was a main touristic village. Cappadocia meant around this region which had lots of fairy chimneys rock formation. The region is vast that it is spread to hundreds miles. People lived at rock houses and most of them was used as the hotel these days.
The village looked very mystery and beautiful because of rocks.
Cappadocia didn’t have good transportation that it was difficult to move from A to B. A bus didn’r run often that it took too much time. Green Tour was very popular because a tour guide took tourists to a few attractions which was far to each other. I went for it as well. We went to some hill at the first near the village and a guide gave us 10 minutes to take the picture.
After that we went to Derinkuyu underground city. I was really excited to see because it was the largest underground city in the world. But the guide didn’t took us many places, he stopped only at a few places, and spent too much time on just explaining that I was disappointed at the end.
At the next, we walked along the valley, which I really liked it. Actually all of them on the van came with friends and it looked like I was the only one hanging alone. But there was another Asian girl. She talked to me first and I realized that she was Korean as well. We became a really good friend soon. We loved to chat and laughed many times together while walking.
People carved everywhere on this area.
The day was so hot that I enjoyed putting my feet under cold water. At least the guide gave us more time here than underground city.
The lunch was included. But I felt like it was free lunch that I ordered fish which I usually didn’t buy by myself because of the smell. After ordering, the guide told me he forgot to mention bees loved fish. My fish became so popular later. It was interesting to see a small bee was carrying big piece of fish.
The guide stopped at one place and kindly he gave us one minute to take the picture. He told me something like it was the place where Star Wars was taken or inspired.
We arrived at the place where we watched for a minute before.
I used the drone to take the picture and video. Above the picture was taken by the drone. The camera of the drone was not possible to be detached. But it had much better quality than Gopro. The picture and the video of Gopro are too bad. Someone told me Gopro is overpriced and I think so. I think it would be good if the drone company sells only camera as action cam. If I had chance to buy action cam again, I would go for Sony one because it is half price and similar or better quality I think. I was ripped off by gopro youtuebe channel.
The friend I had just met, Roh, liked to be taken the picture that I also started having my pictures more.
At the inside of the cave, there were some churches as well.
After we went back, I had beer with her and I really enjoyed talking to her.
At the night, I was very tired, but I decided to be brave and go out because there was Perseid Meteor Shower. I was lucky that I could take some meteor shower with my camera.
I wished with watching shooting stars that I could travel safely.
After 3:30 am, the village started to wake up. Many cars having a basket made noise to prepare hor air balloon tour. At the moment, I was starting thinking of going back to sleep or wating for one hour to take the time lapse picture of balloons.
Balloons started flying around 5 am before sun rising.
Because of curiosity, I waited. It was azming that I could see from the first moment of installing balloons to the end of uninstalling. It was so stunning moment in my life to see it.
Here short timelapse I made
When the sun made Cappadocia beautiful with red color, I went back to sleep.
In the night, I saw Roh again and another Korean backpacker which I was chatting on online before. We had beers at the place where I took time lapse and watched shooting starts. It was just so much fun to hang out with good friends. Silly joke and talked about life, which now I could not remember well. The only thing I could remember was we had good time together.
I made star trails with a remote control while chatting. I didn’t need to touch once I set the timer.
At the next day, I went hiking with a new guy, Kim. It was extremely hot, but I was about to use to walking with this crazy heat.
There was no any single same rock. It looked similar or too different sometimes. It was like to see human face. Some people looked similar and some looked really different, but never same face in the world. My interesting was how rocks looked different.
At the inside of cave on the rock, there were some different kinds. Some were for church and the others were for living. Even they kept domestic animals in the cave. I could see how they carved as seeing the ceiling. The cave was very cool, dark and damp. I was wondering that long time ago people got some affect because of living in the dark all the time.
Kim and I were making fun of her like Hey don’t leave but stay with us.
But she left. She was really generous and sweet person that it looked like she would listen to any friend for all kind of talking all night. It was sad to leave her.
At the next day, I met Kim again and went to dinner. We had similar character that we could not decide easily where to go. After 30 minutes discussing and walking around, we went to Korean restaurant which was quite expensive. I love Korean food but I had never been by myself because it was always too expensive at the abroad. I only went some times when I was invited by other Korean. Unlike our expect, it was so tasty that we loved it. Look at those side dishes! Free tapas all the time!!! lol
There was Uchisar Castle just near the town, 5 km (3.15 mi) far.
The view from the top was really beautiful. I wanted to take the video with my drone. After taking off, my heart was too pounding because it was shaken by strong wind hardly. It looked impossible to land on the ground that I held it with hands on the sky to stop it. Oh my dear money….
I went to pigeon valley again where I had been at the last tour with the guide. Long time ago, people carved the rock for pigeons.
The place was different from the top that there was no wind. So I used my drone. The picture was from my dear money, drone. Oh.. quality of the picture was so good.
There was a local girl taking the picture for her wedding. I got permission to take the picture of her beautify.
It was at the village and I thought it showed good example how rock could turn to the house. They can carve like quadrangle at the left or just any shape like the center.
I had another Korean backpackers that we had Korean dinner together.
The owner of the hotel was very kind that actually I almost stayed for a week. After that I moved to a hostel. At the beginning I didn’t like there much. But soon my mind was changed that I felt at home there. Maybe it was because the owner and staffs were very nice and friendly. In the hostel, I had met one backpacker. I had seen many low budget traveler, but seriously he really didn’t have money. He only stayed at the hostel for a night and he told me he had only $2 now and he would survive with some canned food. He told he worked under parents before that he could get 200~300$ sometimes from his parents that he was waiting some transferring money. After listening to him, I kept thinking of it at my room. Then I decided to hand him 50 Euros although I also had problem with money. He denied getting it, but I told him it was not my money actually but from other donors that feel free to have it. Maybe that 50 Euros would be more worth to him than me.
There was open museum around the place where many balloons taking off at the morning. Actually there were everywhere rocks. But it was said this place had well maintained painting at the cave.
Long time ago there was volcano here. Later it became a religious refuge during the early days of Christianity made many rocks here. That was the reason there were many church things on the cave although Turkey was Islamic place now. When I touched the rock, I could see it could be carved easily. Some rock’s surface was came off easily with only my fingers. So around this area the ground was covered by the sand.
The painting didn’t look special to me because I saw that kind of paining at many different places during traveling. But anyway I paid some money just because everybody went here.
It was forbidden taking the picture that I took the picture of the outside.
Actually there was more interesting place to me, which was called Pasabag. It was only 6 km far to the south but it was difficult to go by transportation. I was not sure how much time I would have to wait on the way back.
Rocks had a different shape.
The picture by drone
My picture with rocks
It was always joyful to imagine about how the nature made rocks.
Some cave had two storages and I saw somebody went up. After he came down, I went up as well. Nice view after getting some scratch on my arm.
Just amazing earth
Turkey was Muslim country, but it was more open that some girls didn’t wear hijab and some did. But actually I saw for a few times on the street that the guy was having physical contact with his girl friend wearing hijab on the public place like the picture. I felt weird to see it because I thought wearing hijab could mean conservative that I had never seen this kind of thing in other Muslim country.
While I was looking for a place to use my drone, I found a hiking trail. I checked offline map on my phone and I saw it was connected to the next village. At the beginning, I got lost for a few times. If I didn’t have offline map, I could never make it.
To me, the best place in Cappadoccia was this tracking route. I was walking at the middle of mountain, which gave me very special feeling.
There were many different shape rocks that I really enjoyed hiking.
Actually tracking route was only about 2~3km, but it took three hours to get the village because I really enjoyed walking and taking the rest.
I could see many pigeon’s house here as well.
Here was another good example how they carved for the house.
Actually I was not planning to try hot air balloon, but after while staying in Cappadocia, my mind was changed. I thought it would be my only one time in my life to take balloon with more than 100 balloons. Although I didn’t have much money, I just decided to give myself the chance to try it. On the website of balloon, it was said around 140 Euros, then on the town all of agencies started from 125Euros. But the owner of the hostel gave 110 Euros, which was the best deal. Actually there was no reason to pay 140 Euros because we would be at the same basket. Around 4 am in the morning, the car came to pick up and then driver stopped at many different hotels to take more customers.
I was so excited at the beginning. But actually it took off very smoothly. When we went really high, I was thrilled again. But then after that it was very calming down and relax. Actually I realized it was not good plan to take hot air balloon at almost last day of staying because I already saw too often balloon and so many rock. If I took it as soon as arriving, I would be more excited and have so much fun.
However, it was so beautiful to see many balloons with the beautiful nature at the sun rising. The photo was taken by gopro.
Around 20 people were at the basket. If I calculated how much they could make money from it, it could be around 30 million dollars per year. It was interesting this tiny small village can earn lots of money.
I heard normal salary in Turkey started around 500~600 $ per month, if someone made enough money, then 900$ per month, if someone had really good job, then 1500$~2000$. So it meant this village had really good income.
It was about to land. I was at the basket around 45 minutes? or one hour.
I had met one girl at Pamukkale and she told me she witnessed balloon was on the fire after touching power line. It was said that they had accident every year and some people died or got injured during touring. But as my experience, it was so calm and even it was a bit bored. I thought paragliding could be much excited, which I had never done but wanted one day.
There were main pilot and second pilot. The second pilot was a girl wearing hijab. I was so impressed by her because one of my dream was to become a pilot. Ah! Actually I already made dream come true that I was a pilot of drone. Hm……………………um………..
Anyway she looked so awesome to me.
I thought it would be cold at the bascket that I prepared the jacket. But actually because of fire on the basket it was hot.
I took the picture to show how real size was. It was so huge!
Vlog of Hot Air Balloon Ride
It was impossible to find 32 holes rim that I ordered it on online through Turkish bicycle online shopping mall with google translator and I paid with the credit card. Local website was better than eBay because a delivery took less than one week. There was really good thing that I could use the address of the village of the post office. So I didn’t need other people’s address. I was carrying cassette remover and spokes that I was excited to do by myself with watching youtube tutoring.
But it was weird that the last spoke didn’t touch the rim and I gave up. The hostel boss was about to go to a big city that he dropped me where I could fix my bicycle. So it meant I failed fixing by myself. The picture showed ‘I am disappointed because I could not do by myself.’
Video about building a rim
Kim left after week and I stayed more to enjoy. I really liked hiking so much at Cappadocia although it was extremely hot to walk at the day time. Pigeon valley was connected from the village that it was easy to start walking. There was some tunnel like the picture, which made me feel mysterious.
When it was too hot, then I stopped at the shade. Thank to offline map on the phone, I could reach to the end. I was about to go back to the town on the main road, but then I found another hiking trail on the map which was just next to it. So I started walking again. Around the beginning of the trail, I saw too thin dog that I shared some of my food with him.
But then he kept following me. I felt pity at him because he breathed very hard.
On the trip, I could see many poor street dogs. Sometimes I gave them some bread. I thought why I fed them was I liked the dog and they looked poor. But these days I thought that maybe actually there was one more reason. Maybe because I felt a sense of kinship with the street dog like no friend, no family, but alone on the road.
The place was called white valley and I could see why the name was like that.
There were small and big rocks on the trail where I had to walk on that it could be slippery for the weak dog. But he was following me very well.
To walk another trail was not my plan that I didn’t bring enough water and food. After sharing some food and water with him, I didn’t have anything. It was very hot day that he was struggling for breath, so I had to stop often for him. What a pity friend.. Although I didn’t have any food to give him, he kept walking with me like that. Sometimes when I went far from him that he could not see me, he was whining in search of me.
After white valley, there was love valley came. Actually it was just connected.
Thanks that there was a small cafeteria at the end of trail. I bought water as soon as. There was bucket with water that he drank water lot as well. The cafeteria didn’t sell something to eat except bread. But he didn’t eat the bread and just sat down. When I went to take the picture near, he went behind the shop for shade, I guessed.
I started to think what I should do for him. Turkish were generous that they usually left water and food for street dog specially in Goreme and other village. I thought that if we walked to the village, people would feed him every day. But the problem was we had to walk one hour more to go to the village with 40-degree heat (104 f) and he looked too weak. I saw there was a big dog on a leash, so maybe the owner could feed him.
I was not sure really what to do. I didn’t call him, but started walking. If he followed me again, we would go to the town together. If he stayed there, I would wish good luck for him.
As walking far until I could not see the cafeteria anymore, I could not see him anymore. When I came to the asphalt road, the boy and girl on a car asked me to give me a ride. It meant that I really could not see him.
I was really tired in the night because of walking with the heat. When I closed my eyes, I thought of him. I felt like I was betrayer that I left my weak friend behind. I was not sure why there was tears coming. Sorry my dear friend…
At the next early morning, I took some friend whom I met at the hostel to my favorite spot for watching starts and balloon. I was not sure how many mornings I was starting with watching balloons. I liked that word on the balloon ‘You deserve the best.’
Show on the bascket
After watching balloons, I went hiking alone again. At this time, I walked at Rose valley. Rose valley was popular for sun set because the light at the sun set made the red valley more beautiful.
Although I brought something to eat, I became hungry soon that I bought some pancake at the touristic spot and saw interesting tree. That blue thing on the tree meant luck.
The trail was connected to the next small village which I already had been when I hiked from Pasabag last time. So it was familiar.
There were lots food for street cat every day in front of the hostel. If he came to the village he could have enough water and food, I thought.
At the day I left the hostel, my kickstand was broken. I thought every two years it was broken. This company for the kickstand, Greenfield, was my favorite one that I really liked it. It was only $18, but the problem was shipping fee was more than $20 or 30. I had to look for the address to order and recieve it.
I heard many cyclists and backpacker slept at the cave. Before coming here, I thought I would not do it because it would be illegal. After I came here, my mind was changed. There were thousands caves along 400 km (250 mi) and I had never seen the sign board ‘no camping’. Also when I talked to local guys to ask where is good place for camping, none of them said it was illegal. So I decided to try it.
I loved talking to people, but I didn’t like to stay at the hostel usually. I liked to stay quietly. I loved the party, but the party must be not at the place I have to sleep. So, usually I felt uncomfortable at the hostel. But this hostel was exception. Maybe it was my first hostel in my trip that I felt at home.
The right on the picture was the owner of the hostel and he was 26 years old. He could speak some Korean and he was so cute when he spoke in Korean. Usually when foreigner boy speaks Korean, it is so cute. The building was belonging to his father, who had the restaurant at the second floor. The reason he could have cheap deal for tours was that he worked at tourism for a long time, he told me. So he had many contacts here. While staying here I talked to the owner and other staff every day and I liked all of them. Other staffs on the picture were always smiling and talking with the word of “Hey my friend”. At some point, I started calling them always “Hey my friends” as well. I felt sad to leave the hostel. When I talked about being nervous to do wild camping, the owner told me he would like to let me sleep for a night for free at the hostel. But I wanted to do wild camping that I just told him thank you.
To try wild camping at Cappadocia turned to horrible scary experience. Actually I had to find the camping spot at the day time, but I didn’t have the time to do it. So I just went there one and half hour before the sunset. But because of the sand, it was impossible even to push. Also occasionally I saw people hanging around, which made me nervous with the question “How can I hide from them?” I had no idea how many times I felt down with my heavy bicycle on the sand. If kickstand was not broken, it could be not worse. Later I left my bicycle just under the tree to look for a camping place. It got the dark and I got blind that it was much difficult to look around. Later I found some cave near my favorite spot for watching balloons. I was checking with flash on my phone. Then I heard some voice that I ran far away and kept my eyes on the cave. Soon I saw there was another light at the cave where I wanted to camp. Then I got horrified if I set up my tent there, how scared I would be to see a stranger male on the cave.
I gave up that place and kept walking around. Later I found some place which was a bit off from the track. There was my tent at the right bottom on the picture. I was too scared to set up my tent at the cave that I just pitch my tent in front of the cave.
It was weird that there were people on ATV even late night. Why the hell they were there. (Or why the hell I was there.) I wanted to see and take the beautiful of the night sky. But the sound of human made me too scared that I stopped it. What a funny… some cyclist said “I loved camping. It was just fantastic camping place.” And I said “The camping place was so scary that I could not sleep at all”. Yup for sure life is totally unfair. The only thing I could do for the life was to try to enjoy with what I had.
At the next day, the bright sun made me forget about a scary last night and I was already excited to cycle again. Yeah I was still alive!!! I left Cappadocia after taking the photo to celebrate 42,000 km (26,250 mi)