Sunday: Near Kumluca to Beyond Yavu. - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

March 2, 2014

Sunday: Near Kumluca to Beyond Yavu.

It feels good waking up in the tent this morning instead of that windowless pension room back in Antalya. A grey and overcast morning. I missed the dawn call to prayer being well away from any settlement. I do hear a man herding sheep up on the hillside somewhere above. Breakfast this morning is cornflakes along with raisins and milk bought yesterday.

The road after Finike.
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I've packed up and leave around eight, dragging the brakes a lot on the descent back down the track to rejoin the road. The way ahead is a whopping big descent too; six or seven kilometres, pretty hairy in places as the road winds its way down to the coast and into the town of Kumluca. I keep cycling through from traffic-light to traffic-light; pass signs for Sehir as Centre is in Turkish and out the other side where the flat coastal plain continues towards the next hills and location of a small town, Finike; on the way into which, I happen to come to a small supermarket open on Sunday morning and stop to stock-up for the day with a bag of simits, muesli and yogurt for tomorrow morning, plus a bottle of coke.

Beyond Finike the road is pressed out along the coast as it climbs and then descends as the way ahead is cut into steep hillside with waves crashing against the rocks below. At a certain point periodic big waves hit the rocks with an impact that sends a great crescendo of water and spray up to road level, flowing back down the rocks like a waterfall.

The campervan passed me later in the day.
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A bit of sun breaks through as I'm nearing the next town, Demre around noon and there's a billboard advertising a petrol station with a restaurant four kilometres ahead. I've been looking forward to such a place as I need to charge my music-player and I may as well write-up yesterday's page for the journal when I'm there.

The place is crowded when I enter and the food on the tables looks and smells good. Just as I sit down, a man come over and shakes my hand, saying in English "welcome". Once I've told him where I've cycled, he goes on to tell me about a Korean cyclist who passed through here and proceeds to show me pictures on his smartphone of the cyclist now in Morocco.

The food when it comes is a metre long cheese and vegetable pida on a board the waiter puts down resting upon two serviette boxes either side. Together with salad it is as much as I can eat. I remain using the WiFi for an hour after finishing, then have Cay before paying the bill of eight Liras and leave.

Looking to the side down on Demre. The countryside around is covered in greenhouses.
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It has turned hazy grey with a cover of sea fog when I return out. I had thought of making up a fair bit of distance in the afternoon, but there is one brute of a hill on the other side of Demre. A constant eight or thereabouts gradient going on and on with Demre down below the road on the right and a steep slope on the left. I thought once around the corner ahead it perhaps would level out. But round the corner it is yet steeper. I hear a truck labouring upwards from behind. It is going no faster than me as I grind away and it remains behind me for almost a kilometre until I reach the next bend where I assumed at last the road would level and begin going down. Yet again the road curves round and another uphill straight is revealed, so I stop and let the truck pass while I eat a simit and drink coke.

Towards the end of the day.
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I eventually descent through a hamelt of a mosque and a few farms called Yavu, then climb a short rise where it rains briefly before quitting. By now it has gone five and I've only covered twenty-five kilometres since leaving Demre at two. The way ahead passes with pine forest on both sides and there's something appealing about pine-trees with the road a wet sheen of fresh rain, which won't be raining more as sun breaks through just as its sinking below hills beyond the treetops. At this point I merrily turn up a forest track and ride for about half a kilometre until coming to a level grassy area to the side where I camp.

Today's ride: 98 km (61 miles)
Total: 11,579 km (7,191 miles)

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