Turning West: Antalya to near  Kumluca - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

March 1, 2014

Turning West: Antalya to near  Kumluca

Today is the day. From now on I'm cycling homeward. I say goodbye to the pension owner with his rules and am glad to be leaving as I make my way carefully downstairs with the loaded bike. On the main walking street I stop at the usual simit-stall. This morning I opt for a change. A sweet-bread bun with apple ousing out on top and peanuts therein. Then have a glass of fresh-squeezed orange-juice from a stall a little way along and continue to the cafe. The usual young lady seems to be in a bad mood this morning as she slams my coffee on the table. A bit later she draws my attention by knocking on the window, complaining that I must move my bike. Its in the way of a trader who has just turned up to sell backgammon boards and before I'm out of the shop she has lifted the bike up off the ground, but quickly drops it again, realising how heavy it is.

The beach-front park to the west of the city-centre.
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I remain at the café until well after ten, editing a page for this journal, then set off, following the tramlines from the seafront west. I meet with runners in twos and threes panting out of breath as they approach the end of some kind of running event. I remain on a small road along the shore which becomes after a bit a two metre wide path through a park going on for a couple of kilometres before leading out upon the highway that follows the coast. At this point I pass a sign: Mulga 420 km, which is fairly close to the ferry port of Marmaris. I'm surprised its so far as I thought it would be only three days riding at the most.

The mountainous coast ahead.
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This reminds me of the Sean Connery era James Bond films' opening sketch.
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The D400 is a four lane highway with a good shoulder and after passing along the shore for a stretch with palm-trees on the beach-side and apartment blocks on the inside, the way ahead is closed by mountains; so, there's a tunnel; an eleven hundred metre tunnel followed by two shorter tunnels. But they are recently built, so are well-lit and have a raised walkway wide enough to cycle upon at the side.

In the second tunnel a racing cyclist passes down off the walkway at what must be about forty-five kilometres per-hour. Then two follow, followed by a forth a little bit behind. At a point, my chain which is making a squeaky noise causes me to stop and give it a wipe with a rag and oil it.

Food!
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I reach the town of Kemer in time for lunch and straightaway come to a reasonable looking roadside café. There is one dish of the day, an aubergine goulash served with rice and salad and a plate of chili-pepper to spice things up. And of course followed by Cay and the friendly curiosity of the cook who ask me where I've cycled from and where I'm cycling to, also where I sleep.

I feel the cool wet splotch of rain on my nose as I ride away. Its grey but I hadn't thought it would rain. In an instants it is raining as the few drops built to light rain, so I stop and pull on my rain-jacket, hoping that will bode good will to the weather gods. It seems to, as the rain within seconds quits, so I stop and take the jacket off again as the road is now rearing up, causing me to break out in sweat. This is only the start of the climbing, as for the remainder of the afternoon the road goes every so gradually upwards. It only starts levelling out after five. Then as there is a town not far ahead, I begin looking out for a place to camp.

I was trying to take a self-timed shot.
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Again I rode too fast and was turning when the camera shot.
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Waning sun.
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I come to a recently made orange-brown track, seems to be a service road which turns off up the hillside between clumps of scrub and trees and pass big boulders as it switch-backs its way up. I push the bike most of the way as the surface is stony and loose. Then eventually come to a level grassy place to the side and find a suitable place to put the tent hidden behind scrubs, in the unlikelihood a vehicle should drive up the track.

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This evening as I lay in the tent it is quite windy out which is good as it'll mean the tent won't be wet in the morning with condensation. I must have a cold. I've a dry tickly troat and have sneezed a lot today. Here's hoping it won't last long.

Today's ride: 84 km (52 miles)
Total: 11,481 km (7,130 miles)

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