Exploring Cappadocia: A Solo Traveler’s Tale

Eager to reach Cappadocia early, I continued my journey through mountains and valleys, often at altitudes around 2000 meters. As they say, where there's a will, there's a way, and by 2 PM, I was in the heart of Cappadocia, ready to explore its magical landscape and historic sites.

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Well hello and welcome back, 2wheeler ladies and gents! It’s Day 12 of our adventure, and today’s journey is one of the most anticipated on the route I had planned. Cappadocia – or Kapadokya in turk – promises to be as thrilling as it is scenic, and I along with some of you out there, have been waiting to set wheels in this unique destination. Nevertheless, it isn’t the only thing on the “menu” today, so let’s get rollin.

Listening to Locals… Is Good

One of the joys of solo travel is the freedom to change plans on a whim, often based on recommendations from locals. This morning was no exception. The hotel receptionist insisted that I couldn’t leave without visiting the largest waterfall in the region.

Following his advice, I set out at 8 AM for Günpınar Şelalesi, just 8 km from my hotel. The journey was worth every extra meter. I arrived before the official opening, but as is common here, the park was open for early visitors.

With my bike parked right at the entrance, I ventured into the park alone to witness the famous Günpınar Waterfall… and it was stunning. I was alone in the park, surrounded by the beauty of the cascading water, the river, and the lush gardens. It was a serene start to the day.

Soon, the park staff arrived, and we had a delightful conversation, me in Portuguese and them in Turkish. Why speak English when the result would be the same? They immediately offered me tea, a drink they seem to enjoy at all hours. Despite the language barrier, we connected, and they generously offered me tea—a drink they seem to enjoy at all hours, and a staple in Turkish hospitality. I even suspect they drink it when they wake up in the middle of the night…

Onward to Cappadocia in Mountain Majesty

Eager to reach Cappadocia early, and maximize my afternoon, I continued my journey. The route was challenging, winding through mountains and valleys, often at altitudes around 2000 meters, with snow still capping the highest peaks. Turkey’s vast landscapes allow for hundreds of kilometers above 1600 meters, and these high plains between mountains, some covered in snow, lend a unique light to the landscape providing impressive views.

Arrival and First Impressions

As they say, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and by 2 PM, I was in the heart of Cappadocia. In a rare extravagance, I opted for a €70 hotel room, a significant upgrade from my usual €20-30 accommodations. This was my splurge of the trip, booking a central hotel, nevertheless, if there’s one place worth staying right in the center, it’s Cappadocia. After unloading my bike, I quickly headed to nearby Uchisar before returning to Cappadocia, or as it’s known in pure Turkish, Göreme.

Exploring Ushisar

Uchisar is dominated by its magnificent rock castle, Uchisar Castle, which is the highest point in Cappadocia and offers breathtaking vistas of the surrounding valleys and fairy chimneys. This ancient fortress, carved into the rock, provides a glimpse into the region’s rich history and unique geology. Wandering through the narrow streets and exploring the various caves and tunnels, I felt transported back in time.

Back to Göreme

After witnessing the magic of Uchisar, it was time to get back to Göreme, explore it, for afterwards I was on for a well deserved moment of relaxation. I parked my bike and savored every second of this magical place. It sure is worth it.

Now a word on the hotel choice. My chosen haven was the Nomads Cave Hotel and Rooftop. The warm welcome from the staff made me feel instantly at home as they took genuine interest in my trip, sharing valuable tips about the area. The hotel itself is fantastic, boasting comfortable accommodations and a stunning rooftop with panoramic views of Göreme’s unique landscape, and the perfect spot to end my riding day. Its prime location right in the center of town made it an ideal base for exploring. If you ever find yourself in Cappadocia, I highly recommend the Nomads Cave Hotel and Rooftop.

Reflecting on the Day

Already relaxing in the rooftop, amidst all of the singular beauty that surrounded me, thoughts and reflexions came to my mind. Today was an extraordinary motorcycle travel adventure day. It was also the day that marked the 6000 km milestone of travel and revealed the six characteristics I believe best define Göreme:

  • Wonderful
  • Stunning
  • Captivating
  • Charismatic
  • Iconic
  • Romantic

How did I came about these reflexions? To be honest, I don’t really know. It must be one of those thighs that happen when you set out on an solo adventure. Come to think of it, it’s almost a therapeutic-like experience where you get to dive deeper within yourself and the way you connect to the surroundings. Cappadocia is an amazing setting to do just that.

As night fell, I remembered that sleeping is also needed. After all, I already set the alarm for 5:30 am to witness the famous balloon flights from the rooftop at dawn.

Thank you for joining me on this journey through Turkey’s Eastern Anatolia. Until next time, ride safe and farewell!

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