We woke at 6am with frost on the ground and both feeling a little cold in the night. Our 3 season tent and sleeping bags did not quite manage a very cold night at 1000m following a thunder storm where everything got wet and a very stiff breeze. Our night was also broken by the croaking of frogs, judging by the noise they made they must all very wide mouthed frogs! However the view in the morning with mist over the lake was magical.
Having packed up our first mistake of the day was to decide to make our way up to the road on a little track we had seen and our second mistake was not to turn back when the track turned into a quagmire. It took us half an our to push the bikes up by which time everything was caked in clay/mud and we got filthy getting it all off the bikes, trailers and shoes! However we eventually made it back to the main road and had a lovely ride in crisp bright sunshine along a beautiful valley.
Our route was along the Phrygian Way and ruins were dotted along the way but none actually along the main road. When we saw that the main sight was 18km off the road we decided our cultural interest in this ancient civilisation did not extend to a 30km round trip, especially after our morning experience of being ‘off road’! We carried on and started climbing out of the valley, ending at a flat plateau with a picnic area and water trough flowing with mountain water that allowed us to clean up ourselves and our bikes a bit better.
We then had a long downhill and flat road across the valley to the city of Afyronkarahisar, stopping for Cay at a nondescript little town along the way.
Our aim in the city was to try and get additional sleeping bags to pad our our current ones as we didn’t fancy another cold night. This was a false hope though as such a thing did not appear to exist so we settled for buying some body warmers (with hoods as hats also did not appear to exist either) and decided that this would do.
We set off again into the late afternoon sun and had a stiff climb – our first continuously in bottom gear. Panting and rather wobbly legged we made it to the top and could see our destination, the town of Suhut, in the valley below, The last 12km in double quick time down hill. Still a bit worried about the cold (we were now at 1100m) we thought we would see if there was a hotel in town. The problem with the Turkish being so helpful it took three quarters of an hour to establish that there wasn’t but that we could camp in the local park. We decided that was a bit too public so we stocked up on provisions and headed a few km out of town, turned down a side road and then down a little track (dry) to a flat area in the middle of fields. Not as picturesque as camping by the lake but pleasant and considerably warmer and we were treated to a lovely sunset.