One Wet Afternoon: Yavu to Beyond Fethiya. - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

March 3, 2014

One Wet Afternoon: Yavu to Beyond Fethiya.

There is a bit of sun breaking through the trees as I breakfast on yogurt and muesli. Then with the tent taken down and all packed upon the bike by eight and while pushing the bike back onto the forest track, I notice the rear tyre a little soft, so stop to inflate it. As I fiddle with getting the pump properly on the valve to begin pumping, the remaining air in the inner-tube hisses out, leaving the tyre completely deflated, flat; which is the first time its been so since buying the bike.

The road onwards is pleasant, valley rimmed with hills with sheep pasture in gaps between pine-forest and the sun glimpsing through broken clouds. There then follows a few kilometres of climbing, followed by a long extremely steep descent to the coast.

I'm glad to descend this long steep hill when its dry.
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By now the cloud is closing in and there's a few spots of rain. But I see by looking at the sky that it isn't going to rain, at least I think not. At the coast I pass through the scattered settlement of Kas, where a small Terrier dog runs out barking and nearly gets under my wheels. I scream which frightens it off. Men outside a café by the roadside wave. The road onwards following the coast is carved into vertical rock-face in places. Then climbs up and over a peninsular headland to sweep down to a coastal town, Kalkan with a long climb ahead.

Borek with cheese filling and a cup of Cay at a petrol station café.
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I now write from a petrol station café in Kalkan. I've had borek, the first borek, a puff-pastry with filling, I've had since Bosnia. This one tastes just as nice as the former, though they seem to only come with cheese filling here, whereas in Bosnia they also have meat filling. while here I wonder how arduously hilly the road is ahead. There is just over two-hundred kilometres to Mulga, or Marmaris where I'm heading and I'd like to get there tomorrow afternoon.

I climb away from the petrol station steeply up then sweep down to an agricultural plain with mostly greenhouses and polytunnels on either side. The sky darkens and more spots of rain develop to light rain as I reach a scattered village and see a small supermarket to the side where I stop to stock up on food for the day. Having bought simits and yogurt, cake and coke, I return out to the sight of vehicles passing on the road in a swish of spray as now it really is raining. Rain rumbles on the veranda-roof in front, as water gushes from drain-pines and people leaving the supermarket make a dash to their cars as not to get too wet. I assume it will only be a heavy shower as I ride on, but the sky ahead looks ill, a complete veil of dark grey. The whole afternoon onwards it tips it down. One consultation is the road remains on the flat.

Around five I reach Fethiya, which as a town together with other towns means it remains urban for quite a bit. I had planned with it raining so, the most sensible thing would be to find a hotel this afternoon, but don't see any. There is a billboard for a hotel with no location, just a phone number. A lot of good that is. Nor did I want to turn off and ride into the town-centre and spend an hour riding through busy streets in the rain and perhaps not find any hotel.

As I exit Fethiya and immediately the highway enters an adjoining town, the rain eases and my clothes quickly begin drying out, so the plan morphs to camp when I reach the end of town. I have the satisfaction despite the rain of having covered a lot of distance today. Then as I reach the end of town, the rain comes on again in big droplets and the way ahead is one stupid steep hill, meaning I get a good soaking as I grind up the steep slope with a river running down, until I reach a track off amongst the pine plantation to the side.

Its a really steep hill the track I push the bike up. It winds up, falling away on the outside and with a carved rock face on the inside; a service road to pylons I see on the hilltop ahead. There isn't a level place to camp as it continues raining and it will soon be dark. Finally near the hilltop in the dark I reach a turning place backing onto a mature pine-tree and get the tent out and quickly up, trying as I will to prevent rain getting in until I have it staked with the fly-sheet tault. But the floor gets wet anyway. I get all I need off the bike and into the tent. I open the sleeping-bag and climb in and after eating supper of a simit and cake, draw the hood up snug around my face and soon am cocooned in warmth.

Today's ride: 132 km (82 miles)
Total: 11,711 km (7,273 miles)

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