The beer sock is born

Trip Start Jul 01, 1997
Trip End Oct 29, 1997

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Where I stayed
rough camp

Flag of Turkey  , Aydın Province,
Sunday, July 13, 1997

Slept OK despite the music from last night's party. Ants got into the tent in the night. Luckily I don't seem to have been bitten. We also found a praying mantis on our tent when we were packing it away.

Today has been very hot. First we drove to Selcuk via the outskirts of Izmir. I remember from my earlier trip that Izmir had been stinky and it still was. We had been seeing many garden centres by the side of the road, but these now decreased in number. Roses seem popular. Had a quick look around Selcuk, mainly to allow the cook group to shop. I posted some cards off to people to let them know I'm still alive.

Tried to stop at Pamacuk beach for lunch, but they turned the truck away, so we drove to a spot higher up overlooking the beach. It was very crowded down there anyway.

After lunch we drove to Ephesus to have a look around the ruins. When I visited them before we started at the top of the hill and worked our way down. This time we started at the bottom which wasn't as impressive. By now it was extremely hot and very crowded. Most of the tourists seemed to be Brits. None of us could stand the heat for too long and so returned to the truck after about ninety minutes.

As we were now ahead of schedule Euan decided to crack on to Pammukale. We had been going to camp on the beach. As we drove away the scenery soon changed and became more impressive with the mountains of Aydin Dagi to the north and Mentese Dagi to the south. Spotted many different types of fruit growing - peaches, pears, cherries, apricots, figs and olives.

At Aydin we headed off the main road and started going along back roads which was wonderful. We passed through a succession of small towns and villages. Some houses had tobacco curing outside. The birds also became more interesting. There were a lot of telegraph wires with rows of swallows and bee eaters sitting on them and several poles had storks nests on them. I also saw several birds of prey and a blue bird which I think was a roller. In the Gallipoli region there had been lots of crested larks in the fields.

After a while we came to a barrier across the road next to a gendarmerie in a place called Kemer. We stopped here for about five or ten minutes while Euan tried to explain to various people that we we trying to make our way to a nearby lake to camp for the night. Eventually they let us through and we were led to the lake first by a man on a bike and secondly by a different guy in a car. He took us along a valley with a huge dam at the end and the lake behind. By the side of the road were huge constructions which looked as if they would eventually carry water for hydro-electric purposes.

The lake is quite scenic and surrounded by trees. Unfortunately, every flying thing in the world also seems to be here. As I write cicadas are singing, mosquitoes whining and little flies are jumping on and off the page of my diary. There was also another praying mantis. The light fittings are full of dead bodies.

I've been noticing how much water is around compared to the UK which is much wetter. There are fountains, water sprinklers and showers running by the side of the road. Don't know where it is all coming from.

This evening Ashley decided his beer was getting too hot on the truck and was looking for a way to cool it. Mine is buried deep in my locker and stays reasonably cool. Anyway Ashley ingeniously stuck his cans of beer down some of his socks, poured water on them and whirled them around to cool them.
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