For the other travelers out there, you know that feeling, the night before you leave, where the road is so close and everything is calm and quiet… When you’re just waiting to make distance and be in a completely new setting? Yea, in my last full moon swimming night at that touristy place called Kabak, I was feeling this mellowness.
The road actually treated me quite well that day. Besides being dropped off in Central Fethiye and walking out to the highway (while being quite literally drenched in sweat), I made a lot of miles.
From Fethiye through the rolling and calming mountains on the way to Antalya, having my face stuffed with Turkish food at a roadside restaurant while watching Erdogans purges take place over any and all TV screens – I drifted through it all like a dream.
Then I got dumped in Central Antalya. While attempting to shrug off random Turks telling me I would never get a ride, I was saved by a young Pole who took me away from that humid concrete mess. So luck still held.
In the late evening I found myself hanging out on an overpass, watching a full moon rise and cars zip by me into the unlit road towards Konya, my hopeful stopover for the night as I made my way for Cappadocia.
I walked and walked, making sure to press myself against the concrete barriers of the road as some cars came a little too close. But by this point I’m used to it, and can’t say it scares me. You still gotta take precautions, though. One bad move and it’s all over, eh? Have to say that would be a shitty end to it all.
At 11pm I was strolling past stand after stand of fruit, giving off the only light around, manned by those who were obviously curious as to why this stupidly sweaty man was walking by, talking to himself with a dumb smile on his face. While I was greeted with blank stares by most, a few chased after me with water and bananas. My dumb smile grew wider.
As I scouted out possible sleeping locations, a car screeched to a halt ahead of me. A man and his son figured I was “probably hitchhiking,” based off obvious reasons, although by this point I was being half asked about it.
Off to Konya! In my zombie-like state we talked about just what the hell I was doing, the attempted coup, and just about all the usual stuff I end up talking about (after a while it’s almost like a pretty recorded speech depending on how often the same questions come up).
2am is when I got dumped in the city center of Konya… Not exactly what I wanted. My new friends told me that it would be fine, and even asked the police if I could sleep there. They agreed (not used to this. Canadian police would definitely not allow it). So under the guard of machine-gun wielding police, I slept with one eye open in Konyas’ city center, while Turks sped their cars through the streets, honking their horns and waving their flags out the window (anti-coup demonstrations).
Somehow I still managed to sleep. I think I was just glad to be back on the road.
I’m actually writing these while I travel through Georgia and Armenia. I’m pretty behind with this stuff!