Turkey 2002

Day 12 - Thursday - Ürgüp>

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Rose Valley

Rose Valley is named after the pink tints visible in some of the weathered rocky sides. Along the route we spotted our first currently-inhabited rock-cut houses. One man tried to sell nuts to us from what might have been deemed his kitchen window. We passed another cave that was accessible only by the extended steel ladder that was pegged in to the ground as a permanent feature. Our picnic spot was actually someone's 'house'. We sat at small tables in small chairs trying to fend off the unwanted attentions of the flies as we ate our bread, cheese and other snacks. Normally, the owner would sell visitors drinks - which would normally be an obligation given the use of his furniture - but today there was no sign of him. We placed our leftover food in his outdoor fridge by way of thanks and continued on our way.

As we walked through the valley, Jeff brought up the subject of flash flooding, specifically was the area subject to it? Where we were walking, there were signs that it was as all the grass was at a right-angle, as if following a once-present current. As we spoke about this, I noticed the first spots of rain, the sound of not-so-distant thunder and hoped that we would not find out first hand about the area's propensity for flooding.

Rose Valley walk - posing for a photo in a rock gorge

Thankfully the rain was short lived, and just ten minutes later I was accosted by a resourceful salesman on a pony and trap offering ice creams and cold drinks. I bought an ice-cold coke off him partly because of the heat but also for the sheer novelty of it. Moments later, just as I had finished the can, we came to the end of the walk in a village called Çavusin.

We sat at the local café (I assume it's the only one in the village) for a Turkish tea each. Next to us, a table of three weathered-looking locals. One of them signalled to Louise something about taking a picture. "Oh thanks," she said, handing the camera over to them, at which point she realised that they were not offering to take a picture of the group but were in fact signalling that they were ready for their close-up. We thought this was pretty funny, as the three guys arranged themselves at the table, posing for the 'three local Turkish guys relaxing at the cafe' shot.

Rush hour at Cavusin

The day was not yet done. Once back at the hotel, we had just a few hours before we would need to meet at reception for our evening do. Between then and now, I still had a number of things to do with my 'free' time.

Task number one was to get Manda a present for her Birthday (for tomorrow). Despite the attempts of numerous shop-owners in Ürgüp, she didn't leave Turkey with a rug for her living room, but did take a piece of Turkish style away in the shape of a shawl/wrap.

Task number two: get a birthday card. Let me just say that this proved nigh on impossible. As with the present, a request for a birthday card also prompted the response "But wouldn't she like a rug?" or similar variations on that theme. Eventually I persuaded one shopkeeper that I really wasn't going to get a rug and that he needn't bother wasting either his or my time, at which juncture he told me of a shop that might sell cards.

In a half-filled shoe box the shop contained its entire quotient of cards. Once the Happy New Year and Merry Christmas cards were discounted, and a handful of Turkish cards that could have been saying anything, I was left with a handful of potentials. All of them were awful. In keeping with the surroundings, I opted for a card featuring the happy, smiling face of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of Turkey. If nothing else, I was sure Manda would not get a birthday card like this again!

My final task was to get some money changed, which I failed on account of it being after 5pm. I did however manage to get a shave in a barber shop, and that really was quite an experience ...

Decorative image: Rose Valley walk

Rose Valley walk.