After a night of rain and with the forecast of more rain we packed up early. The distance from Pamukkale to Akyaka was only about 160 km’s so we thought we might get lucky and dodge the rain.
The drive from Pamukkale to the city of Denizli is just beautiful down a long avenue of palms surrounded by fields of pomegranate trees. Throughout Turkey they use pomegranate syrup on their salads giving it a sweet tangy flavour which we’ve grown to love. It’s one of the fruits we’d never tasted before leaving Australia but we will definitely be using it when we get home.
Arriving at Denizli we took the wrong exit and then with the help of the satnav played a game of musical exits. It’s a game where the satnav tells you to head one way, and then it tells you to head the other way. It then tells you to take an exit and the it tells you it’s the wrong exit. Finally we got back to where we originally started and headed into Denizli. It was a nice ride after riding through the city in the pouring rain two days ago. Throughout Denizli there are extensive parks and decorative gardens. The decorative flowerbeds are filled with huge swathes of bright colours. Of all the cites and towns we’ve visited Denizli could easily be called the garden city.
Heading out of Denizli through the mountains the clouds looked menacing and there was a definite chill in the air.
Not far out of Denizli we took the turn for Kale. The road was pretty poor with roadworks reducing the two lane road down to one. It seems that there’s lots of roadworks about but not that many road workers.
The road led through a valley of deep red soil with fields of wheat, and the occasional field of grapes. It’s amazing how much of this part of the country is rural. Many people still live in simple houses, with a Turkfiat tractor for the fields and a Renault 12 for everything a tractor can’t do.
As the weather was close to rain we decided not to take a 60 km detour to the ruins of Aphroditus and headed on to Kale instead.
We stopped off at a little pool hall on the edge of town for toasties and çay, which was a perfect morning tea. It was also a great way to warm up. I’d been riding with my jacket open and I was freezing. The pool hall was in an interesting location. It was a small shopping centre which someone had thought would become a tourist stop. However, there were no tourists and only a few locals.
Despite the fibreglass statues of Turkish warriors on the roof and fountain most of the shop spaces were empty except for the small local supermarket and the pool hall. It probably explained why the two blokes at the pool hall looked at us with surprise when we pulled up.
Before we climbed back on the bike we pulled out our wet weather gear and I wrapped a pair of bin liners around my boots. Sure enough as soon as we left Kale it started to rain.
The road wound through a series of hills with road works slowing our progress. In the areas where there was no roadworks much of the road had been run over by a profiler causing the road to have two 1 metre wide corrugated tracks in each lane with a 40 cm strip of raised flat bitumen in the centre. I don’t know whether this was to improve traction but riding a bike on it was just annoying. Whenever I’d stray off into the corrugated areas the bike would sway like we were at sea.
Just before we reached Muğla we saw the result of the poor roads rounding a bend we first spotted a number of people waving their arms to warn us to slow down. Then we saw a skidmark in the centre of the road, a small truck on its roof and its driver laying prone not far from it. He’d obviously been travelling a little fast and the road had claimed him. He probably hadn’t been wearing a seatbelt either. As we were winding down into Muğla two ambulances and a police car were speeding towards the accident.
The road into Muğla opened up into a wide valley of fields of wheat, fruit trees and grapes. Muğla was surprisingly a large university town with modern apartment buildings and large schools. The city is set around the hills which surround the valley leaving the valley clear for agriculture.
Winding down the mountain from Muğla to Akyaka we stopped off at the lookout to take some pictures across the valley and the bay. A brown furry head with a flat snout popped up at the fence making me think what the hell’s a wild boar doing here. Sure enough two wild boars were eating the bread that people were offering them as they snapped off photos. A group of young blokes arrived with some bread to feed the pigs whilst they took selfies. It was funny hearing them squeal like girls every time the pigs came near them.
From the lookout it was a short coast down the hill to the Akyaka turnoff and down into the town. Since being here one month ago not much progress had been made with the road works as the road was still chopped up.
Finding the Portofino Otel was pretty easy and after arriving we discovered the owner had done a bit of kite surfing in Rockingham, Western Australia. What a small world.
Once we’d settled in we headed to the beach and down to En Trendy restaurant. Last time we were here it was our main port of call and we loved their coffee. They also had great staff and well presented food.
Whilst we were eating we met up with a lovely couple from England Matt and Evie, celebrating Evie’s birthday. We got chatting and spent a really nice afternoon learning about their life and travels to Australia. After a chance visit to Akyaka seventeen years ago, they’ve been coming to Akyaka ever since.
Close to dark we headed back to the apartment for tea and settled down for the night with music drifting up from the local bars.
Tomorrow we’re exploring Marmaris.