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Turkey’s Journey’s End: Albania Awaits

The importance of family support for a solo motorcycle traveler cannot be overstated. It serves as a vital connection to loved ones and home, a two-way lifeline... It's these connections that anchor us amidst the whirlwind of adventures.

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As Day 16 of my journey unfolded, I found myself in a transitional phase, traversing from the mesmerizing landscapes of Pamukkale to the coastal town of Çeşme-Esmirna, with the anticipation of two ferry rides awaiting me the following day. Tomorrow’s itinerary includes a brief 35-minute ferry to Chios, Greece, followed by a lengthier 10-hour and 10-minute voyage to Athens, set to embark at 10 PM and arrive at 8:10 AM the following morning…

Now, Mom, if you’re reading this, here are the schedules, but keep in mind the border procedures. So, if I don’t call in exactly at 8:11 AM tomorrow, you know who to blame—the Greek Border guards!

With the preemptive guilt out of the way and conveniently shifted onto others, let me emphasize two things. Firstly, the importance of family support for a solo motorcycle traveler cannot be overstated. It serves as a vital connection to loved ones and home, a two-way lifeline. Secondly, to all of you reading this, I cannot stress enough the significance of staying connected and sharing experiences. It’s these connections that anchor us amidst the whirlwind of adventures. If I haven’t expressed my gratitude before, I’ll do so now. Thank you, each and every one of you.

Now, back on track for Day 16 and today’s logbook.

With modest expectations for the day, my primary goal was to settle into a camping site near the center of Alaçati, a village I had only seen in photographs but had imagined to be quaint and charming.

The Journey Continues

The journey itself lacked any notable magic, save for the picturesque coastal drive from Izmir to Çeşme, where the Aegean Sea coastline boasted hues reminiscent of the Caribbean.

After my encounter with the turquoise waters of Lake Salda, often dubbed the “Turkish Maldives,” I had not anticipated witnessing such vibrant colors again along any body of water. Yet, Turkey had a way of continually surprising me, always for the better.

Finding myself once more beside the stunning sea, I veered off the direct path in search of the camping site, eager to stay as close to the coastline as possible. Along the way, I encountered breathtaking beaches and some of the clearest waters I had ever seen.

Upon reaching Alaçati, I headed straight for the camping site, secretly hoping, like many other places I had attempted to stay in Turkey, that it would be closed. While part of me yearned for a camping experience, the allure of excellent hotel prices was undeniable.

I’ve often heard the cautionary adage “Be careful what you wish for,” but in this instance, I had no desire to heed it. Fate seemed to have a different plan, graciously granting my wishes. The camping site wasn’t just closed; it was completely abandoned. Undeterred, I turned to Google Maps in search of an alternative, eventually finding a charming option in Kybele Otel Alaçatı, priced at 1000 Lira per night. Though breakfast wasn’t included, the hotel’s amenities and proximity to central pedestrian areas made it a compelling choice.

Exploring Alaçati: Traditional Charm

Having unpacked and enjoyed a revitalizing swim in the pool to escape both the scorching heat and the extra warmth from my touring gear, I set out to explore Alaçati. As the evening descended, the village came alive with energy and glamour, exceeding all my expectations.

Alaçati struck me as the epitome of a traditional Turkish village, embodying all the essential qualities and characteristics one would expect to find in such a setting. With its narrow cobblestone streets, stone houses, boutique hotels, and quaint restaurants seamlessly integrated into the picturesque landscape, Alaçati made me feel transported to a different era.

Despite my usual penchant for solo travel, I couldn’t help but feel that this was a place where companionship would enhance the experience. Perhaps it was a sign that it was time to reunite with loved ones.

Journey’s Next Leg

Tomorrow marks the ferry journey to Greece, heralding my initial step toward returning home. I eagerly anticipate revisiting Albania, as my previous visit felt all too brief, and left me longing for more. So let’s see what Albania has reserved for me, and for our journey.

Until then, farewell, and safe rides!

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