(written by Nancy)
Gosh, what a hard day…. Okay, not really, but got to keep the theme of this trip going. We woke up to bright blue skies this morning, not a cloud in sight. And, even better, no wind at all, which was good news as it meant very little wave action for the ferry crossing.
We really enjoyed Bodrum. It is a bit touristy – supposedly known as a fancy beach area where all the rich folks come to play in the summer. It was pretty quiet while we were there but it is really an enjoyable town. Our pension, the Myndos Pansiyon, turned out to be really comfortable, centrally located and the folks who run it are very nice. And, best of all, it was very affordable, at least at this time of year.
Today we were taking the ferry from the Bodrum Peninsula over to the Datça Peninsula. As Dave mentioned the other day, we could have retraced our steps back up the Bodrum Peninsula but that didn’t sound like too much fun. We also had read that the Datça Peninsula was quite beautiful, and it wasn’t likely that we would ride down it and back – as a cyclist it is very hard to convince yourself to do an out and back. So, this ferry across from Bodrum to Datça was perfect. It allowed us to enjoy the ride down the Bodrum Peninsula and Bodrum for a couple of days and we will get to see the Datça Peninsula as well.
We set off to catch our 9:30 ferry and I only had to hurry Dave along a couple of times as he stopped to take yet more pictures of the boats in the bay. The ferry was a car ferry so we could roll our bikes right on – makes it so much easier than having to take bags off. The ride was smooth the whole way across – no Dramamine needed this time, only the trusty wrist seabands. It was really a beautiful ride across, about 1 hour 45 minutes. We could see land masses around us the whole time – I think we could see the Greek island of Kos for a bit. I happily sat outside in one of the chairs in the sunshine and enjoyed the views of the horizon (straight, not moving up and down, really not on a boat…) while Dave wandered about the ferry taking pictures. I even had a piping hot cup of çay, which took the chill off the breeze.
The ferry docked in the little port of Körmen, the name of the harbor at Karaköy, which is on the northern side of the Datça peninsula. The town of Datça is on the other side of the peninsula, about 10k so we had a little bit of a ride to get over to town. It was relatively hot in the sun by then – I think that is the first time we have actually been hot (other than when climbing) since we left SE Asia. We came down into Datça (hmm, will have to climb out tomorrow) and stopped at a little café to have something to eat while we figured out accommodation options. We had one hotel picked out, but right near the café there were about 6 pensions, one of which was highlighted in our guidebook – the Tunç Pansiyion. Dave went to check it out and came back with the good news that it was open, very clean and bright, had wi-fi, TV with 2 English channels and was only 50TL. Sold. No breakfast because they aren’t in full swing yet but that’s okay as we are probably carrying too much oatmeal anyway (Dave complains that his bag with the oatmeal is too heavy).
We got settled in our room (only downside being we had to carry all the bags up three flights of stairs), cleaned up and then headed out to explore a bit. Felt like a free day almost, even though it was already past 1pm or so, as we haven’t really made it in to our final destination for the day at such an early time since we started riding again in France. Just like Bodrum, Datça is a hub of construction activity at the moment with people trying to get ready for the main tourist season. It seems like a nice little town, not nearly as many tourist shops as Bodrum but lots of restaurants and cafes. We walked around the two little harbours in the area, and stopped for a nice coffee while watching a bunch of guys working on what looks like a new cobblestone pathway along the harbour. It looked like they were in the initial stages of trying to figure out what the pattern should be as they kept laying out various shades of cobblestones, picking from the big piles of the stones sitting in the middle of the pathway.
We headed back to the pension and we are now sitting in the lounge area typing away. As soon as we sat down one of the workers brought us out a plate full of goodies and a pot of tea. Very nice… At this point I don’t think we need any more food for dinner – perhaps we’ll just grab some yogurt and fruit somewhere. I’m not sure that 11k of riding warrants 4 or 5 meals a day (plus snacks)…
Tomorrow we head for Marmaris, at the eastern end of the Datça Peninsula – a ride of about 70k or so. There is supposed to be some beautiful scenery along the peninsula and while there will be some climbing we are told that it is gentle climbing and we will be so distracted by the views that we will not even notice.
Junior editor’s note: This is being posted 2 hours after Nancy finished it. The hotel owner, Metin, stopped by our table to check on us and just now left. We learned a lot about Datca and this area of Turkey. We may even change our route across Turkey based on the conversation. Metin and both his parents were born and raised in Datca – you can’t get much more local than that when it comes to local knowledge.