Day 47 // We reach the volcanic landscapes of Cappadocia, after sank themselves into the high eastern anatolian highlands.
We arrive at night, introduced by a bus we took by hitchiking. We are a little bit lost among the Goreme hills, whose the shapeless borders are drawn by the moon light. This night is as cold as the previous ones, when temperature went down until minus six degrees inside the tent ! Since we left Pamukkale behind us, four days ago, altitude and cold didn't ceased to rise up. Only the winter sun still manage to warm us. Inland, we don't wait a long time along the road unlike the shore. When we cross villages, we are often invited to drink the traditional çay, just before we salute each other with a hand shake, and by brushing against our temples.
Goreme's lunar canyons, extended to infinity.
Cappadocia, listed by the Unesco world heritage, have a lot of places to set up the bivouac. If the barren lowlands all around are really okay, a lot of discreet hills help to be more isolate. It's possible to lodge into the troglodytes caves too, which take place almost everywhere even if they can be difficult to access. Although the ban, and the rumor of controls, there is absolutly nobody out of season, especially because of a deterrent cold. However, it's possible thanks to a good equipement.
Ancien troglodytics caves, hollow relics.
The day after morning, we meet by chance a dude from Nantes, while we are taking our lunch before explore the area. Already there for four days, William get the same itinerary than us, but in reverse ! So, he is at the end of his journey. We share usefull tips while we are saying goodbye, with the certainty to meet us again. As we are hiking, Buck, another stray dog with limping gait, go with them for the whole day.
Buck, our road fellow during the whole day !
Besides, it's possible to find drinkable water and food, even if the cities of Nevsehir or Avanos, about fifteen kilometers far, offer more choice. On the other hand, we have to find a place to deposit the backpack, above all it's a sixty liters like ours, because Cappadocia is very expanded and the field too difficult.
Hills, akin frozen waves.
About visits, the Goreme's open air museum, the Ushisar's troglodytic city, the underground ruins and the famous baloons are payables. Remains are fully free and wilder. And because we easely see it from outside, we didn't pay anything.
"Okay, there aren't the famous baloons above our heads, but there is no tourist !"
We spend the rest of the day to explore the eventful hills of the land of raced horses like persians liked to call it. We loose ourselves into the countless canyons and we explore every troglodytic caves. The last ones were either dwellings and shelters for people during the countless conquests the place suffer, since the Hellenistic period, the Byzantin empire, the Crusades and then the Arabic invasions.
The Goreme's volcanic highlands, destined to disappear.
All this architecture is possible thanks to the soft stone made with ash, mud and lava from surrounding volcanoes. The area is huge and we realize that we would need six additionnal days to visit the whole place, without even get all aspects.
The ocher Cappadocia's plains, crossed by fairy fireplaces.
Between ocher and blue, we leave Cappadocia with regrets and the feeling that we saw one of the more beautiful place on earth. Then we take the mountains way, and more preciasely the huge Erciyes Mount, eastward.