Day 034 Turkey : Walking the Rose Valley & Red Valley

a_SG101666 We awoke to the sounds of whooshing gas as more than 30 balloons took off over the campsite this morning.  While we waited for the kettle to boil we decided that, as we hadn't had a long walk in a while, we needed to stretch our legs and so decided on a walk through the neighbouring Rose and Red Valleys.  We donned hats, sunscreen factor 50 for our naturally blue skins (though we are turning a bit redder/browner at the moment), sunglasses and shorts and, looking like typical British tourists, off we trotted in the hot, clear day.

a_SG101672We started through the Rose Valley so named because of the colour of the rock formations which really is a delicate pink especially in the setting sun.  As we turned a corner this church appeareda_SG101677carved into the rock itself.  We climbed up the face of the rock using the specially created foot and hand holdsa_SG101685.  The doorway opened into a tiny hollowed out room with 1 fresco still visible on the wall.a_SG101681

We crossed over the top of the Rose Valley and dropped into the Red Valley - again, named because of it's colour a_SG101713.  After walking for another 2 kms, we came across Hagli Church.  The frescos inside are still very clear and beautiful.  Again, the repeating theme of domes, art and crosses marks this place of worship.  a_SG101696a_SG101698a_SG101697

By this time it was getting a bit hot so just below the church we went and had ├žay (chai) in the Flintstone Cafe (I swear!). 

bw_SG101703An enterprising local pictured here had set up little stall with tables and chairs and sold tea, coffee and water to thirsty walkers.  A little goldmine for him, I'm sure.  But how he gets there every day is beyond us (another question to keep us busy for a few hours whilst driving).  As we passed by he fetched us over to offer us tea.  He couldn't get over Trevor's hat (it's a safari hat from SA).  He sat us down and proceeded to swagger up and down the inside of the cave with exaggerated bandy legs (having left his horse behind) and using the only English word he knew, proceeded to shout "cowboy, cowboy", ducking behind the cave entrance and drawing his pistol from his imaginary holster to shoot at the hundreds of Indians hollering outside of the cave.  LOL!

As we started back to Goreme town we passed a fairy chimney, a_SG101711 which is a rock pillar that has eroded more at the bottom than the harder rock at the top (sort of like a mushroom), and started to drop down into the valley a_SG101721below.  We had an amazing photo opportunity as we passed by an outcrop.  The rock that Trevor is standing on, is a slippery gravel surface about 40cm wide at the top with a 120m dropoff.  To get to it he had to cross over a narrow path on a much narrower rock that fell away about 150m to the valley below - all a bit scary and something I never could have done.

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We ended up having walked about 4kms.  We were approaching town having just got onto the main road when a really kind local chap took pity on our hot, sweaty faces and offered us a lift into town (now about 0.5km away).  I have to confess that after a long relaxing lunch, we caught a taxi back to the campsite.  We just couldn't face the massively steep hill and another 2.5kms that we would have needed to climb to get back. 

By the time we reached the campsite, 2 new overland vehicles were parked up and we went and introduced ourselves.  Markus from Germany has just started his trip and is on his way to Asia and Australia and Wim from Belgium travelling with his dog Zappa in a converted Mercedes ambulance on his way home from Asia.  Proof that we aren't the only mad ones!!

#1 trevorb on 6.13.2009 at 9:16 PM

Just manging to catch up with where you are...I'm almost up to date...anyway, thinking of vertigo - posting this here as we've been on holiday at last and depending on your bandwidth put some about 10 facebook photos here, Madeira and Scotland:

www.facebook.com/.../album.php

Too busy walking on Madeira (and me not happy in water) enjoying the heights to go swimming in the marine reserve. Hope all is well. I'll post again a bit later, if any more of your news leaps out at me. All the best TrevorB and Jane.