When I was deciding where to travel in Turkey, a few people recommended I go to Cappadocia. “You HAVE to see Cappadocia”, was what I was told. They should’ve added, “…unless it’s pissing down for most of the time…in that case, go south and relax by the sea where the sun is shining”. I was especially advised to go to Göreme, so I get a night bus there and arrive at 8am. I spend an hour hunting down a cheap hostel, which doesn’t prove easy. It’s clear the place is orientated towards tourists, even in the slow season and the prices reflect this (it’s more expensive than many parts of Europe). I spend the first overcast day exploring the stunning surroundings of caves, rock formations and old christian churches outside the town. I plan to see more of Cappadocia in the following couple of days but the cold, wet and windy weather confines me to the hostel for most of the time and I don’t feel like doing much else but browse the free internet there. Köse Pension is a cosy, friendly hostel but the rooftop dorm I stay has no heating and is freezing. There are only 4 other guests in the whole hostel (2 Germans and 2 Japanese), which adds to the lonesome atmosphere. I feel like I’m suddenly back in Ireland in the depths of winter and go into hibernation mode until I force myself to move on and hitch towards the south-east.
Hitching in Turkey is easy compared to Europe. The journey though central Anatolia towards Diyarbakır is a lot less painless than I thought it was going to be – I never have to wait more than 10 minutes for a lift. All manner of people stop for me…rich, poor, cheerful, dour, some with decent English but most with only a few words. A lorry driver insists that I take his lunch. A plain clothes police man takes me most of the way (around 200km) to Malatya and we stop for tea along the road. I reach Malatya after dark and am keen to reach Diyarbakır that night so take a bus for the remaining few hundred kilometres.