June 4, 3013
Distance: 50.2 miles Climbing: 2007.9 ft
This morning we woke up with the sun. Being at the top of a hill, it came early and roused us earlier than usual. We cooked up a breakfast and packed away our camp. We have a tent, sleeping bags and inflatable mats that need to be broken down every day. Jenny has taken over those tasks while I boil water for coffee, slice up the potatoes, scramble the eggs and do the dishes. It takes us about an hour from waking up to getting on the road, which is actually not much of a difference than our “normal” life in Anchorage.
We rode down, the hill staring us in the eye, and back up the other side. We ground our way past Assos, which had some pretty interesting ruins, but we were in the mood to put away some miles and rode on. It was hot again, but we ended up riding near the coast, in the shelter of leafy trees. We took a break at a small roadside teahouse and bought some cold drinks. They also had a display of home jarred olives packed with slices of lemon and 1.5 liter bottles of homemade olive oil for sale. We bought some of both for $10 total.
At this point we had descended to the coastline. There were tons of dilapidated campgrounds and dubious looking hotels that we cruised past. Soon enough we were in an awful retirement community, with stacks of identical beach homes climbing up the slopes. There was a pair of supermarkets which we sampled while lingering in the shade of their entrances. The produce was dismal, but we stocked up on cheap soft cheese, pasta and local wine. While we sat outside one of the markets waiting for the weather to change from “hot as hell” to “awesome for riding” (which it never did) we saw 3 car accidents in the parking lot, resulting from the oblivious but able geriatric demographic which dominated the town. We decided to book it clear and quickly found ourselves on some side roads.
We put all our hopes and dreams into making it eventually to a campsite listed on our GPS (which had recently proven itself to be wildly unreliable). Luckily, this time, the Altin campground existed, and was more amazing than we could have imagined. For 12 Euros a night we had a nice flat spot to pitch the tent, a warm shower, bathrooms, a kitchen sink area, wifi, a café, a private sand bottomed beach in the Aegean and really nice owners who basically completely ignored us the entire time.
We made a really nice dinner of roasted red peppers with eggplant and onion over pasta with soft creamy Turkish cheese that had a rough bite reminiscent of Roquefort. Probably technically a culinary disaster, but we loved it! Filled up with carbs and a bottle or two of Turkish wine, we crashed to the soft sound of waves on the Aegean.