The weather gods turned on another bright sunny day in Bodrum so we enjoyed breakfast by the pool, which started a trend and soon everybody was eating outside. Breakfast at the hotel consisted of assorted cheeses and olives, fresh tomatoes, cucumber, bread, jam, honey and everyone’s favourite Nutella. It’s always interesting when travelling to a totally different country to see what’s for breakfast.
We headed down to the beach to meet up with a bloke we met last night, who was a no show. It gave us a chance however to stop off for a coffee at our new favourite restaurant and say goodbye to Muhsin.
After one last cruise around Bodrum we headed back to the hotel packed the bike and hit the road. The road out of Bodrum took us up the hill past the old Roman amphitheatre which has the most amazing views over the port and beaches. Not far out of Bodrum we turned off the main road and headed along a minor road which took us through lots of little rural villages. The houses were pretty simple one or two storey white washed buildings with vege patches and grapevines. Throughout the area large scale olive groves stretched up into the hills, but unlike Greece the trees weren’t as closely spaced together giving the land a sense of space. There were also many small fields of wheat and pasture in different areas.
The people in the area were simple farmers which was reflected in their choice of clothes. Most of the men wore work clothes and the women wore simple cloths on their heads, and a cardigan over loose fitting pants tight at the ankles.
The road slowly deteriorated and the satnav indicated that we turn onto a really rough looking road I was not convinced. An old bloke sitting by the road took one look at us and flashed a gap toothed smile of, you’ll be sorry.
Well the road was a single lane of bitumen that had deteriorated so badly that the sides had crumbled leaving a strip at times no wider than a kitchen table. There were potholes everywhere and in many areas even the Tarmac was missing just leaving the road base. It became obvious that the road had been used by loggers and the heavy trucks had just destroyed it.
Luckily the road was so bad that even the locals didn’t use it so there was no problems with traffic. We had some fun times negotiating the 30 km’s of road including a hairpin climbing up a hill covered in ruts and gravel, where we stopped and started slipping back in the loose gravel. Luckily we were able to power out of it and avoid the only vehicle we saw on the road.
The countryside around was stunning with pine forests stretching up into the hills and little meadows along the roadway. After some of the worse road in our last year we decided to take a break in a lovely little cow meadow. When looked at the clock and discovered it had taken us an hour to travel about 25 km’s.
The last part of the road to the turn off wasn’t too bad and we passed through more areas of olive where the locals had built stone walls around their groves. Once we hit the turnoff the road was much better although there were lots rutswhich made the bike sway like we were at sea.
The countryside seemed quite vast with hills seemingly stretching on forever, sheer coastal mountains, and snow capped mountains in the distance. Olives grew up into the foothills and the occasional house grew orange and fig trees. Although the road was better we kept our speed down for along the roadway there was a few families grazing a few cows and sheep. Riding through the countryside it was interesting seeing locals driving walking tractors along the road with the family on the back of a trailer. The use of smaller tractors was quite evident with lots of 1960’s-70’s orangeTurk Fiat tractors in the fields or being driven into town with the wife riding beside on the guard.
As the road swung back down to follow the coast we were greeted with some magnificent views of the blue Aegean. In a few spots along the coast small shipyards were filled with big wooden sailing boats being refurbished. A long stretch of beach looked so inviting to swim at with shimmering blue waters in the background.
It was the perfect place to find lunch. We stopped off at a locals restaurant which was filled with workmen from the nearby shipyard. Soon a salad arrived with lettuce, tomato, onion, parsley, dressed with olive oil and pomegranate. The use of pomegranate has been quite unusual as we are not used to its sweet and sour flavours.
The main course of grilled chicken wings, rice, tomato, onion and parsley arrived soon after. It was a nice light lunch with the highlight being the owner dancing to some music on TV showing his wife he knew the traditional dance it was showing. A thank you, a lovely smile while telling us our tea was a gift from him and we were on the road again.
Eventually we made it to Akyaka, a pretty little town at the head of a bay. As it’s still offseason it’s pretty sleepy at the moment. After booking into the Novo Apartments we took a walk along the river named Old Washerwoman river after the ladies who used to bring their laundry down here. It’s amazingly crystal clear and fast flowing. Michele had heard there’s otters in the river here so we had to find a spot overlooking the river.
It was nice and relaxing overlooking the river and the reed beds just beyond. Every now and then a marsh bird would appear from amongst the reeds however we didn’t spot any otters.
As the sun set over the Aegean we headed back to the apartment. Tomorrow Michele’s booked a haircut at a local hairdresser and as its her first since December she’s quite excited. Hopefully we’ll get to swim in the sea.