Day 255-256 – 10.-11. January 2014

Day 255:  In Kemer, a dog followed us for almost 10 km. We were afraid that he would get hit by a car, so we stopped at a fruit seller and asked them to hold him until we were too far away for him to follow.

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After 45 km, we reached Antalya and stopped in the center. All off a sudden a guy on a bike showed up and as it turned out he contacted me on facebook several weeks before. Murad helped us to find a place to eat and offered us to stay with him.

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Because it was still early we decided to go past Antalya.  After sunset we started to look for some accommodation. We were very picky and could not find the right place. About 20 km after Antalya, we passed many big resorts and hotels. They were out of our price range and we feared not to find any appropriate place. Between all the big resorts we found one little apart hotel with reasonable prices. The room was big enough to store our bikes in.

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Day 256: The next morning the big resorts became even fancier.

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Back on the main road we had wind from the back and the road was good and flat. We made good speed and reached the next big hotel area in Side in the early afternoon.

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The old town of Side was very nice. Even in winter there are many tourists and all the souvenir and other shops are open. I was stopped by some shop owners and they called Ali.

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Ali was a cyclist and spoke German. He gave me a few tips where to go and when I asked him where we could find a cheap hotel, he took his bike and came with us. Ali invited us for dinner in a very small but unique restaurant.

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Ali showed us a good pension and we probably got a better price through him.

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In the evening I went to the harbor and took some pictures of the sunset.

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Day 255: 70,89 km all: 8359 km

Day 256: 78,55 km  all: 8438 km

Day 252-254 – 7.-9. January 2014

Day 252:  The first 25 km from Kalkan to Kaş was flat and easy, but then we had a big, steep hill to climb. It took us 3 hours to climb to 600 m. The next 20 km was also demanding, because the terrain was hilly and we had three bigger climbs of 50-200 m. The sun was already down when we finally reached the top of the last hill. Now we had to descend to sea level again. 15 km in 30 min! It was dark and very cold in the descent.

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In the next town we asked the police for a cheap hotel and were very happy to have survived a 1500 m climb and one of the hardest days so far.

Day 253: After the long day we decided to take it easy and only go 30 km to Finike. We had time to enjoy the wonderful area and weather.

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In Finike we quickly found a nice hotel at the waterfront and we had a tasty dinner on the floor.

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Day 254: Shortly after the start we had to climb to 600 m again. This time it was a long steady climb. After we were on top, the next 35 km was mostly downhill.

We reached Kemer at about 4 pm and had time to look for a place to stay. We had so many possibilities because the town consisted mostly of hotels, restaurants, shops and supermarkets. We got a very good deal in an apart hotel with a kitchen. So Sarah cooked a wonderful meal again.

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Day 252: 75,76 km  all: 8187 km

Day 253: 31,90 km  all: 8219 km

Day 254: 69,95 km  all: 8288 km

Day 251 – 6. January 2014

After breakfast with Michelle and Mehmet, we said goodbye and went down the hill to head towards Antalya.

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We had to climb a small hill. Afterwards we had a nice and flat ride to the Mediterranean cost. After 80km we reached the historical site Patara. They close the place at 5pm and so we decided it was not worth the entrance fee and went on. We had to climb a 250m hill and when we got to the top it was almost dark. At the bottom we found a cheap pension in the town of Kalkan.

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We went out to get something to eat and we met a local guy. He lived in the USA for most of his life and is now building and selling villas in the area. He even took us with his car to a restaurant where we had a good dinner.

Day 251: 93.75 km  all: 8111 km

Day 246-250 – 1.- 5. January 2014

We started the new year with a small breakfast and met Saina´s sister Sanitar and her boyfriend Pouria.

Sarah and Scott met Michelle and her husband, Mehmet, when they visited Cappadocia a few weeks earlier. Sarah and Scott wanted to see Michelle and Mehmet again, so they picked us up and we drove to the town center. First we saw the harbor, the market, had lunch and a fresh pressed juice.

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We also went to the mountains to a deserted city and a nice beach.

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Michelle invited us to her home for a very tasty dinner.

The next day it was raining almost the whole day. So we only went out to buy groceries and prepared dinner for our hosts.

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In the evening, Mandy and Josh, a couple from the USA also came for dinner and we had a great time. Saina and Sanitar  performed some Iranian songs for us.

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On January 3rd, we met Michelle and she took all our equipment in her car to her home. She lives on top of a steep hill and so we were glad we did not climb up there with our heavy bags.

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We arranged a new picture for my 8000 km.

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We stayed a few days with Michelle, Mehmet, and her father, Gordon. We did some bike repairing and cleaning. Sarah and Scott cooked dinner and the rest of the time we relaxed and had a nice time.

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Day 248: 19,10 km  all: 8017 km

Day 245 – 31. December 2013

After a beautiful sunrise in our wonderful apartment we proceeded to Fethiye.

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We had outstanding weather, the road was flat and we enjoyed riding.

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At 1 pm we stopped at a restaurant and had something to eat in order to conquer the next hill we had to climb.

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We climbed 200 meters and reached a tunnel. We were not allowed to use the tunnel and had to climb another very steep 150 meters to the top. The downhill part was nice and brought us back to sea level.

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It was getting late and the sun was almost down but we still had to go 30 km to Fethiye. We continued on and had to climb three 100 m hills to finally reach our destination.

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Through warmshowers.org Sarah found a host, so we called her and finally managed to find the place.

Saina showed us the apartment, but quickly had to leave for work.

We moved in and went out to eat something. Scott was dreaming for several days about having Chinese food and only a few blocks away we found a good Chinese restaurant.

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Saina joined us at the restaurant and we went back to her apartment and talked until the new year.

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Day 245: 70,81 km  all: 7998 km

Day 244 – 30. December 2013

After one week in Marmaris relaxing, we were all eager to go on and cycle again. We visited Tolga´s bike shop to say goodbye to him.

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We had to go back almost to Akyaka to get on the road to Fethiye. It also included two steep climbs. After that the rest of the day was easy.

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We passed a lot of orange farms, so Sarah and Scott had a freshly pressed orange and pomegranate juice. People stopped us and gave us so many oranges that our bags were full.

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When we reached Köycegiz we went to the tourist information. Tolga had called his friend, Nil, who works at tourist information and told her that we were coming. She spoke excellent German. She told us about a camping place just one km away close to the beach.

The camping place was not what we hoped for. While we were discussing what to do a man approached me. Because he lives in Germany we spoke German and I told him about our journeys. When I asked him about a cheap hotel he offered for us to stay in one of his empty apartments.

We gladly accepted and went to his house. It was probably the best apartment in the whole city. The two top stories of the building, with a beautiful view of the lake.

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Sarah and I went shopping and she made a tasty dinner. We ate dinner, sat around and watched some youtube shows I saved the day before.

We were so happy to be so fortunate as to have such a nice ´palace´ to stay.

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Day 244: 66,13 km  all: 7927 km

Day 238-243 – 24.-29. December 2013

After breakfast with Cafer we decided to search for a different place to stay, because we wanted to have a place where we could cook a nice Christmas dinner.

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Looking for accommodation, we met a group of British women knitting for Syria. We had tea and a nice conversation. They tried to find a place for us to stay and gave us some addresses.

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Marmaris is packed with hotels and apartments but unfortunately most of them are closed in the winter. We found a few apartment hotels but could not really find what we were looking for. Finally we found a place, moved in and went out to look for a Chinese restaurant.  The only Chinese restaurant we found was closed so we settled for traditional Turkish cuisine.

In the evening we exchanged some presents and watched a movie.

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On December 25, we went out to get ingredients to cook a tasty dinner.

The next few days we spent sightseeing. We took a bicycle ride to Icmeler, a small town close to Marmaris and had a beautiful view of the Marmaris bay and the Mediterranean Sea.

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We stayed two extra days to rest and relax and have a movie marathon.

Scott and I desperately needed a shave, so we went to a Turkish barber. Scott got a haircut and a shave. I had a shave and my ears were waxed, so now I can understand what women feel when they get waxed!

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I finally got the time to go through my stuff to select things I did not use or will hopefully not need. I sent a package home and now my bags are 8 kg lighter.

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Day 238: 10,32 km  all: 7861 km