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Turkish Trails: Riding, Revelry, and Ancient Ruins

Today's ride consisted mostly of mountain roads, wonderful roads I might add, however, it's worth highlighting something that I may have overlooked until now, as I was reserving it for some final insights about Turkey.

Table of Contents

Welcome back, my friends! Ready for another day of motorcycle adventure in Turkish lands? I sure am, and I invite you all to ride along as we start day 14.

Waking up in a hotel with a pool and having paid only €15 makes for a great start, wouldn’t you agree? If it weren’t for the party in the room next door just as I had finally fallen asleep, uninvited, I might have slept even better.

I’m happy all day long, even if my neighbor enjoyed a few minutes of revelry. Fair enough! Happy for him, but feeling a bit sleepy myself.

But let’s get on the bike, after all, that’s why I’m here.

Stops Along the Way

Today, my plan was to sleep in Marmaris, but I had two stops to make before that. Remember Derya? I had to stop by Kas!

And do you remember Jorge, whom I met in Southern Italy? I had to pass by a beach full of guesthouses and bungalows…

And I didn’t even know I’d come across signs along the way saying “Xanthos, declared to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.” Well, I had to stop there too, as I was passing within 3 km.

The result was another day hard to describe in words. The color of the sea was incredible; we could easily have been in the Caribbean if it weren’t for the water temperature being at least 10⁰ lower.

Riding Conditions

Now for the riding, and the riding conditions. Today’s ride consisted mostly of mountain roads, wonderful roads I might add, however, it’s worth highlighting something that I may have overlooked until now, as I was reserving it for some final insights about Turkey. The roads here are heavily populated by trucks. I’ve never encountered such a high volume of truck traffic in any other country. It’s quite overwhelming and serves as a testament to the significance and influence of Turkey. Nearly all of these trucks bear Turkish license plates, suggesting that a substantial portion of their cargo is bound for Europe, especially considering my observations at the border.

Back to the recommendations, both were fantastic; once again, thank you to both.

Kas is a coastal town located along the stunning Turquoise Coastline, renowned for its crystal-clear waters and rugged landscapes. So much so that it is one of the leading scuba diving spots in Turkey. Nestled between the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, Kas has winding cobblestone streets, lined with vibrant bougainvillea and charming cafes, and a characteristic jasmine scent in the air. Kas is also steeped in history, with ancient Lycian ruins scattered throughout the surrounding hillsides. One of the most iconic landmarks is the ancient theater of Antiphellos, offering panoramic views of the surrounding coastline.

As for Xanthos, it holds a significant place in history as an ancient Lycian city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although the city boasts a rich tapestry of archaeological treasures, including well-preserved tombs, temples, and an impressive amphitheater, It was worth it for me because it was right there on my way, otherwise, it wouldn’t have justified a detour, unlike Sagalassos Ancient City, which justified every meter of deviation.

Unexpected Encounters

Just as I was nearing Marmaris, I finally ran into Toprak’s friends. I was beginning to wonder why I hadn’t seen any, but today I encountered a few on the road, and it’s clear that they’re almost as crazy as the original.

I have to thank these wonderful people who mostly greet me with a smile wherever I go.

Thank you all!

PS: Another Twist

Did you think my day was ending there? So did I, but… There’s always a twist. I decided to dine at a restaurant/bar recommended by a hotel employee (I forgot his name, my apologies if you’re reading this) from the hotel’s bar/restaurant where I stayed.

The hotel boasts a sea view, all for about €30.

Interestingly, the employee seemed to share my passion for motorcycles and was intrigued by my journey, becoming yet another follower on social media. Our conversation about the trip led him to utter those rare words to me: “You can’t leave without dining there.”

Considering that he works at the same place where I’m lodging and that everything he recommended could be found right here in the hotel, I thought it prudent to accept his invitation, and off I went.

Here’s a little aside: in terms of hotels, bars, and restaurants, the scene here reminds me somewhat of the Algarve, Montechoro, but amplified. If you know it, you get what I’m referring to… if you don’t… then good for you.

Though not exactly my style, since I’m here, I might as well explore.

The restaurant turned out to be a karaoke joint where the staff doubled as performers, entertaining with a variety of shows.

It was enjoyable, but they only served half-liter beers, and after three, I had to reconsider. After all, my true passion lies in riding motorcycles, and for that, it’s best to rise early and seize the day.

Heading back to the hotel, I retraced the 30/40m path, reminiscent of my earlier stroll. Such moments have been scarce since day 3, aside from my time in Istanbul. Upon reaching the hotel, I was met with a spectacle beyond words. I find it challenging to articulate; perhaps a video could capture the vibrant energy of the night, although it might not be suitable.

To add to the surprise, my bike was parked in what appeared to be the ideal spot, only to find out, it wasn’t quite perfect…

Fingers crossed there aren’t any tipsy Englishmen perched on it when I set off for Salda Lake.

Off I go. Join me tomorrow for another chapter of this adventure!

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