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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Turkey - 25 September, 2002



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Bush camp near Siva N39º53.299' E037º39.534' 1,472 meters .
Finish Göreme (Kaya Campsite) N38º38.209' E034º51.264' 1,228 meters

359 km

Total Leg 3:

3,861 km

Total Leg 2:

2,153 km

Total Leg 1:

3,018 km

Grand Total:

9,032 km


Weather: Clear, sunny and very hot.  Cool in the evening/night.



After a wonderful, but cold, night's sleep under the stars and the bright glow of the nearly full moon, we struggle out of our sleeping bags to get ready.  It is chilly as we dress - autumn comes early to these higher elevations.  We pack up our tent and then head over to the truck for breakfast.  After packing away all the stuff, we are on our way shortly after 7 AM.


We drive for the whole morning, continue on a south easterly track right into the middle of Turkey.  Our destination is Göreme, in the Cappadocia mountains.  This area is famed for its villages carved directly into the mountains.  We arrive at our campsite on the outskirts of the town shortly after 1 PM.  We set up the camp and then have lunch off the truck.


The afternoon is available for us to spend as we wish.  We decide to hang around the campsite.  We are having a break from all these ruins.  We take the time to do some re-packing of our bags - we start to organise our stuff and the many purchases that we have made on the trip.  Once we have finished that, we give a hand to Lotta and Rick, our drivers, who have been cleaning the truck inside and out.  This is the first trip that we have been on that we have seen the drivers take on this job by themselves and it is greatly appreciated.


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It is then time to get ready for our night out on the town.  We go for a "traditional" dinner at a restaurant called Altinocak in a nearby restaurant.  The restaurant is in a series of cave rooms that have been carved out of the rock face.  As usual in this part of the world, there is plenty of food and drink.  This is accompanied by a number of shows.


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We first have the Dervish performance which is a religious dance where the worshipers dance themselves into a trance like state.  It is amazing to watch them as they spin around in circles at high speed.


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There is music and traditional dancing, which is followed by the obligatory embarrassing audience participation.  We all go down and dance on the stage and then a long, snaking line is formed and we slowly make our way down the narrow entrance corridor to the cool, fresh air outside.  A fire is awaiting us and people take turns jumping over the leaping flames.


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We then make our way back to the dining room, where it is not yet over.  They grab one of us - it turns out to be Jacqui - to play the bride to be.  She is hidden under a veil and has to select her bride from men brought before here.  They must know that Lars is her husband, because after about three men have been rejected, they pick him out and take him to be judged.  Luckily he is chosen.


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Then back to more eating and drinking.  The highlight of the evening (at least for the men) then follows - the belly dancer.  She really does put on a great show, performing moves that seem virtually impossible (such as laying on her back and undulating her body in one continuous smooth wave).  Even the women are wondering how she does it.


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She then pulls a number of men out of the audience to see if they can learn a few of the moves.  They are undressed down to their pants and then given some clothes to wear.  She tries to show them some of her moves and get them to copy - it is hilarious.  None even come close to matching her, but one dirty old man does his best to get close physically.  He is doing his best to get up close, put money down here bikini top and to just get physical.  It is actually quite sad and rude - the other men get pushed out of the way in the process.


After a few more drinks, we are ready to head back to the camp site shortly after midnight.


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