Impending Storm: Corral Camp to Korkuteli - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

February 24, 2014

Impending Storm: Corral Camp to Korkuteli

When I first got out.
Heart 0 Comment 0
It looks like it could rain today.
Heart 1 Comment 0

Rain is forecasted for Monday and Tuesday and, looking out the sky this morning is enveloped in a bank of dark blue cloud. The sun only visible as a pink band on the horizon.

I pack everything on the bike and cycle back out to the road, turn right and continue toward the hills Is approaching late yesterday when it got too dark to ride further. It takes quite a while until I draw level with those hills where the road passes into a narrow valley with pine-trees either side and processes along it gaining altitude and reducing my pace to a laborious grind. After a while of this I'm glad to see a billboard advertising a petrol station with a restaurant two kilometres ahead.

The restaurant looks an unappealing place to eat a second breakfast, so I settle for tea and sit drinking it on the veranda. I take out my notebook to write but instead watch the other coming and goings. An old Ford van packed high with tyres on the back pulls in, its driver gets out and receives a hearty welcome from the proprietor with a cigarette dangling from his lips. The newcomer sits down a few tables from me and the proprietor brings him out a bowl of soup and a basket of bread, then takes a seat beside him, put another cigarette between his lips and lights it.

I finish my tea, leave one lira on the table and steal away. I enter the petrol station shop hoping to buy fruit cake, which will see me through energy-wise to lunchtime. But the shelves are almost empty. There are only a few packets of biscuits, none of which I like, and crisps. So I take a packet of yogurt and garlic flavoured crisps and a litre bottle of coke from the fridge. I pay four Liras, leave the shop and set off again, cycling up and round a bend, then turn off to the side on a section of old road and stop for second breakfast sat underneath a tree.

I climb with more vigour after going on again another couple of kilometres. Then sweep down toward a large lake hemmed in by lofty hills shown on the map, but not named. The road onward skirts along across a slope with the lakeshore below on the left for quite a bit until Karananli at forty kilometres from starting out and, where my road is a turn-off splitting off to the right on the way into town. I climb a steep twelve per cent through the centre of town, pass the square. This is a pretty town which would be just perfect to arrive in around noon as there are lots of cafes. But its barely eleven, so I stop instead at a small grocery shop and buy six oranges for one Lira. I've still got bread, cheese and olives left over from the day Is in Selcuk.

The road after karananli.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0

I continue on upwards out off town where the road levels out upon a plain bordered by brown hills and with cultivated land to the roadside. The next place is eighteen kilometres away according to the sign leaving town. It will be lunchtime then and hopeful there'll be some place there to sit down and eat. There's next to no traffic on this road except for tractors carrying whole families. The man driving, wife and or daughter sat upon the mudguard over the rear wheel.

At this point a chill wind begins to hit me to the side, so I position myself low, riding with my hands on the handlebar-drops, allowing me to retain a relatively big gear and making good progress, I reach the next place fairly quickly. Its a small place with a big mine. The hill behind town is carved out in big chunks revealing great square white rock faces.

leading into a long stiff climb.
Heart 0 Comment 0

The road bypasses the village and shortly after, my chosen route is a left turnoff. A long straight road follows, dropping gradually down, levelling out, then going gradually up the other side of the depression, which turns out to be the slow lead into the climb of the day. When I finish the fast run down and slow as the climbing begins, there are bleak brown hills to the side and the steep road progresses around the corner at the end and goes up through a narrow valley with a dry riverbed down to the right of the road and dry tuffs of grass on almost bare slopes. Ahead, odious dark cloud has moved in over the snow streaked mountain peeking above the head of the valley. And there's a few spots of rain, nothing much, at which point already tired of climbing and still needing to lunch, I reach a kind of bus shelter where I halt and push the bike inside. At lease I'll have shelter eating if it starts raining. Then eat the bread and cheese bought in Selcuk and the oranges bought earlier with foreboding because of spots of rain tapping the tin roof.

Nice picture to look at. Not nice to be in.
Heart 0 Comment 0
Hoping to get up through the pass and away from the rain.
Heart 0 Comment 0

Rested after the half hour in the shelter, my legs feel a lot lighter riding on, but there's a vail of dark blue rain over the mountain ahead. The road reaches up to what I think will be the final summit but then on getting there, I see another long stretch up to a supposed gap where I hope to pass and begin descending away from the impending rain. For a moment there's an opening in the cloud with a break of blue sky to the right.

The rain remains over the mountain ahead of me and I'm glad when the road finally levels out and turns left away from that mountain. There follows a long bit of riding along a plateau upon which the rain come on lightly, hitting me with cold pellets for a spell. There is a flash of lightening followed by a rumble of thunder, making me feel exposed and vunerable on a steel bike out in the open.

The rain eases again and I reach road which is dry where it hadn't rained at all. By now I'm descending down a narrow valley between wooded slopes. There is still a danger of getting caught in a downpour, so I push on hard as the road descend deeper down passing through a string a little villages. In one an old scarfed woman holds out some type of fruit to me and calls out. In my haste I wave confusedly and only moments later realise her offer of kindness. There's then follows a steep wind down to where the woodland to the side would be a good place to camp, but it is still a little early and it isn't far to the town of Korkuteli, where given the chance of rain in the night Is thinking it may be a good idea to find a hotel.

Rounding a corner Korkuteli appears ahead of me, a valley full of houses and when I get as far, there's a long avenue into the centre. I stop at a café with an array of fair on a picture board and before I can get away again, the owner is out and insists I eat at his place so, I take a table outside underneath the awning where I can keep an eye on my unlocked bike. My food when the plate is set upon the table is a aubergine and mince gouhass and come along with a plate of crunchy salad and basket of bread. It is the nicest meal I've had in Turkey so far and the bill come to a reasonable ten Liras.

It is raining when I cycle away through the traffic from the café, dripping from the sky and I've still to find a hotel as it begins to get dark. I don't see any having cycled the whole length of the main street. I stop a man and ask, motioning with my head leaning sideways on the back of my raised hand. He point me back the way I came, to lights and then right along a narrow street, apparently to the town's only hotel.

When I get there and am allowed to push the bike into reception, I'm glad the price is only thirty Liras and also to make productive use of the evening using the WiFi instead of listening to the rain drumming on the tent-fly.

Today's ride: 111 km (69 miles)
Total: 11,336 km (7,040 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 1
Comment on this entry Comment 0