Our flight and transfer out to Göreme went smoothly and although we lost about half a day travelling we made the most of it with a quick, late breakfast in the hotel and then a 4 hour private ATV tour out in the country side.
Those where the most amazing 4 hours of my life!
I’m not exaggerating, it was even better than skydiving. The landscape was breathtaking, so different and varied that at the same time I was feeling like an alien world, I was learning to appreciate how incredibly awesome this one is.
I can’t describe the beauty of it to you I’m sorry, I wish I could put it into words.
I would turn my head one way and see strikingly coloured hills, then look the other way down into a lovely grape-vine covered valley. Then I would remember that I was driving an ATV and had to pay attention! It was that distracting. Every moment I wanted to look right, left, up, down, stop to take pictures, yet keep going to see more.
Our tour guide was a young man who spoke very little English and was mostly preoccupied with not getting dirty -later he told us he had a date tonight. We picked out helmets and without much more instruction than pointing to the gas and breaks, we were on our way. No history stories, no geography lessons -we will get those later- his job was to show us the land, and boy did he ever!
Once he figured out Liam and I had less than the prudent amount of caution and sense, we left the trails and headed for the dunes. Dunes! Our guide was doing wheelies and jumps and we were trying to stay alive! Navigating narrow earth bridges, banks, bumps, and full-out jumps was so exhilarating. Once I learned to trust my accelerator over my break, even I got a bit of ‘air’ on those dunes.
The off-roading portions of our tour were interrupted by incredible sights and towns we visited. We left our rides and our guide to explore villages with cave houses that were inhabited until to 60s, ancient cave churches, and panoramic hiking trials. We stopped at Sunset Point to have a tea in a little wood-stove powered hut overlooking the fairy chimneys of Love Valley.
If I had to pick a ‘highlight’ of the most amazing 4 hours of my life, it would be the drive up to Uchisar Castle. Situated on the highest point of Cappadocia, the carved-in-stone citadel was lived in up until the 1950s and commands the best view of the region. The drive through Uchisar town was unbelievable. Here I was, roaring through the cobble stone streets of a quiet little town, whizzing past surprised locals and scattering chickens. It felt like a movie or a video game. It felt like a dream. As we wound our way up to the top, I had a near-tears moment when it dawned on me how incredibly lucky I was to be in full health and vigour, in an amazing place, doing something so freakin’ cool, and with someone I loved to enjoy it with.
For half of the tour we both felt like it was going to end any second, because isn’t that how things that are to too good to be true end? But it went on and on and just got better and better. When we finally did get back we were sure it had been much more than 4 hours, but no we were right on time. We thanked our guide hugely and gave him a big tip. Hopefully he is splurging on his date!
Besides one little mishap where I flipped my vehicle over on myself (I’m fine) it was a perfect first day in Cappadocia. Can it even get better than this?