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December 8, 2014

Bikes and balloons

In the heart of Turkey, in the Eastern part of Anatolia is situated Cappadocia, a magical place, very different from the surrounding area which looks boring and monotonous. The relief consist of a high plateau over 1000 m in altitude, pierced by volcanic peaks. The region is covered by countless valleys full of volcanic rocks, each shaped in an unique way from the erosion. The rocks are stable and at the same time soft enough for digging. Many of them were used as shelters by ancient civilizations including the first Christians who were pursued by the Romans.

In the valleys, among the rocks there are trails which are perfect for mountain biking. The ground is sandy, very dense and smooth.

You can experience different passages and difficulty, from cross country biking to single a track fast riding. On some spots the trails have turned into large furrows,   with nice walls, good for wall riding.

By bike you can explore much more than on food. It brings you a big pleasure and good sport activity.

When it’s sunny the rocks accumulate heat and then generate it which makes high temperatures high during the day, especially in the summer and cool nights.

Although the climate is similar to the desert, the landscape is very diverse. There are a lot of nut trees, fruit trees and vineyards along the valleys.

In the end of October the nature is quite picturesque, all the plants are in yellow and red. The weather is not so hot.

Traversing a plateau. In the background the town of Avanos.

The astonishing landscape is everywhere. You can see kilometers away.

Beginign a descent.

In the late afternoon when the sun is low and the light is soft, the rocks turn in this beautiful golden-red tint.

There are moments, before the sunset, when you feel you’re on another planet.

Above the town of Goreme is situated the Pigeon Valley. Climbing it you can reach the ancient city of Uchisar.

One morning we made the trip from Goreme to Uchisar, pulling the bikes up and then made a wonderful ride back.

Each day we started with Rose Valley ride

One of these days, on the run.

Riding a wall close to the town of Ibrahimpasha.

In the end of the day, on our way to Goreme.

Each morning just before sun rise, dozens of hot air balloons lift up using the calm weather conditions.

The cold air in the morning makes the rising easier.

The whole trip begins around 6 a.m. and lasts for about an hour. The flight ends up with a breakfast on the sunrise, beautiful view and a glass of champagne.

The balloons pass above the Love Valleys. The view is surreal.

The ballons emerge like mushrooms behind the rocks.

They land on a very large area.

The more experienced pilots fly very close to the canyon walls.

Riding through the Love Valley.

On the way back, down the road to  Goreme.

Climbing for one more ride.

Vineyards among the rocks.

Cappadocia 2014

 

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