At 8 pm on Tuesday night, we hopped on the overnight bus to Goreme. The bus had a lower cargo bay than the other buses and with the extra Bayram (Festival) traffic the bus was full, so our bags had to be unloaded and our seats removed in order to fit the bikes.
Since our three friends were all unavailable to guide us to the bus, Haktan was recruited to take us and negotiate the bike loading with the bus driver. He’s another cyclist, and we’ve met him a few times during our various visits here. He is PHD student in Izmir researching more efficient air conditioning. It was great he was able to come and guide us – riding in the dark and during rush hour to the bus station would have been much more challenging otherwise.
We have observed that we end up paying extra for the bikes when our Turkish friends help us get organized at the bus station. We wonder if this is because the driver or assistant has someone they can communicate effectively with in order to ask for the extra money. Both times we travelled with our bikes on our own, we did not need to pay the extra fee – perhaps a language barrier is saving us a little cash?
We arrived in Goreme at 9 am after a long 13 hour bus ride. Since Goreme was not a major stop, the unloading process was rushed. We quickly climbed out of the bus, unloaded our bikes, and ensured we had all of our bags. We then began loading our bikes as the bus drove away. It did not take us long to realize that we left our helmets on the bus – oops. Upon discovering this, Scott talked to the agent for the bus company and they said, no problem, the helmets will come back with the bus in about an hour. The hour turned out to be in the evening at about 8 pm, but that’s OK. We got them back, so we are very happy.
Since we arrived early in the day, we decided to do a tour of various accommodation options before making a decision on where we would stay. Since it is not a busy time, everywhere we checked had lots of space. We discovered that the prices at this time vary dramatically, and there is not necessarily relationship between cost and quality. In a lot of cases, I think they look at you and decide what the cost will be. We learned that if they quote in Euro, we are likely paying too much. Also, the places listed in the guidebook are invariably more expensive than the places that are not, even if they are of lower quality. When we stopped to get are bearings, someone asked if we wanted to see their pension. Scott asked “how much”? He said “50 Lira”. So we said, sure we will look (we were not in a rush). We were glad we looked because of the five places we saw, it was by far the best value. We did see one other place that was nicer, but the cost was significantly more. We think we may be the only guests at this time, but the place is clean, the water is really hot, they have Internet in the lobby, and the people seem really nice. Oh ya, and we have a million dollar view from our front porch!
We were quite amused by the number of places that are named after the Flintstones (Flintstone Café and Bedrock Hotel). Someone clearly has a sense of humor.
After finding accommodation, we took a nap and ate. Then we did some Internet and reading, went for a short walk, and ate again. Now we are ready for bed. Goodnight.