From Selçuk we took a few trips out on the bike. The millipark south of Kuşadası which is very pleasant (the subject of a future post). It is a good place for walking, watching eagles, spectacular views and pristine beaches. The road there and back is not particularly inspiring, through Kuşadası, holiday complexes, and smaller villages which have mostly been turned into resorts.
The other trip was to Didyma. So much easier than messing about with the many dolmuş’ needed to get there from Selçuk, and a far more interesting ride initially over the mountains to the Buyuk Menderes valley. On the way we stopped at a rarely visited site, Magnesia. There was a man at the ticket office, he did not want paying, gave us a bit of information about the site and allowed us to wander around whilst he watched over the gear we left with the bike.
We went back via Miletus and Priene, on small roads across the delta. Miletus is not one of our favourite sites though still interesting and an excellent spot for bird watching. As usual, we had the place pretty much to ourselves, and it was very marshy.
Priene is one of our favourites. It seems to have been a bit more developed since we first went – there are tourist stalls and eateries around the base of the hill. But once you get away from those you feel as isolated as ever, very much in touch with history. And the situation is spectacular.
A couple of days later we said goodbye to Dervis and family, loaded up the bike and set off for Çeşme. We took the coast road via Seferhisar. This was pretty in places, and in other places a succession of holiday complexes.
This road ends west of Izmir joining the motorway to Çeşme, good for me since it means not having to deal with Izmir traffic. It got quite windy heading out towards Çeşme, not a lot of fun on a laden bike but no big deal. Hilary had to hang on to the back to avoid being blown off the bike. Soon enough we were booked into a hotel on the seafront, and then set off to sort out our ferry for the following day. This all went fairly smoothly, just buying the tickets to Ancona. We had a pleasant evening in Çeşme, wandered around the castle, had a fish dinner and a few beers.
The following morning the rear tire was flat. It seemed someone had let the tire down overnight, annoying, and not a good start to the day. Fortunately it was almost no distance to the queue for the ferry where we managed to borrow a pump. This helped to pass the time as a whole load of nothing was going on in what was a long queue for customs. Getting through customs was no problem at all, just slow, and then it was goodbye to Turkey.
It was a fantastic trip.