4th October 2009 - Antalya to near Dalyan

Antalya is a large city which we rode straight through until we found the coast road full of tower block hotels. On the way out as all the buildings disappeared Joan spotted a campsite advertising 'bungalows' which is Turkish tourist speak for wooden cabins for rent.

The site was almost empty and we had a very basic 'shed' next to a shadly lake teeming with small fish and kingfishers. We stayed two days for a rest and David caught a small carp and a Terrapin while fishing in the lake.

Moving on, still on a major road, the traffic was not too bad, but unlike in the mountains the road roller coasted up and down 1000ft at a time and it was much hotter. We did not get too far before we turned off to a small coastal village near the ruins of Olympos. The road quickly went down 600ft and arrived at a peaceful seaside spot among olive groves where we stayed two days again. With rooms around a courtyard we met a German, a Swedish and an English couple. We had our first swim in the med.

The way out was a very steep winding 600ft climb which we thankfully avoided cycling when the Swedish couple managed to get us and our bikes into their car for a lift to the top. The coast road still went up and down and now seems much harder than it used to be - maybe our age is telling.

At Finke, Joan found a hotel that was the poshest yet and got them down to 25 pounds from 60 pounds. The room was enormous, brand new in Regency style with desk, armchairs fridge etc. The veranda had a wonderful view over the marina and jthe breakfast was the best yet.

On to Kas, Kalcan and Fethiye where we started to meet English tourists and resort areas, Turkish food is very good and reasonably priced but we have learnt to only eat where the prices are displayed or agreed before hand as if not, it seems to give them the right to demand an obviously ridiculous amount afterwards.

This is tortoise terrain, We have helped one or two across a busy road and seen the remains of those that did not make it. A bit like hedgehogs back home!

On the coast rode near Dalaman the turks have thoughtfully constructed a new tunnel which avoids a twisty 1000ft climb and cuts 15km from the distance. BUT ,,, you guessed it - cyclists are not allowed to use it! Still, it was a very quiet scenic route and the downhill bit was rewarding,. By now we are used to the road never being flat and take the every day 1000ft climbs for granted.

Dave and Joan Wooldridge