Saturday, April 8, 2006

Between Kahta & Adiyaman

After the last 2 days of gung ho mountain action today was pretty relaxing, though there was plenty of up & down. I left the pension at Karadut having made good use of the facilities not available in a field. Clothes were washed & dried. Tent no longer the burden it had been the previous days from being packed wet. It was a lovely sunny day & fairly soon I was cycling in a t-shirt & letting my toes get some sun.

I followed the main road to the ruins of Arsameia, the principal town of the kingdom that was responsible for the statues at the summit of Mount Nemrut. Along the way it passed through some little agricultural villages. In one I saw a sheep having just been butchered in the open air. Outside another a man was plowing a field with a horse. Donkeys were a more common mode of transportation than scooters or cars. Every so often when I stopped people would ask where I had come. When I said over the summit of Nemrut from Malatya they all looked either incredulous or impressed.

The ruins had a wonderful setting on top of a spur under Mount Nemrut. As a town it can't have amounted to much as there wasn't much space to build on. There was a strikingly undamaged relief beside a tunnel with steps that my guidebook said went down 150m, I took its word for it & stayed outside.

From there I dropped down to Kahta via a Roman bridge from the era when the kingdom had been incorporated into the Roman Asian province. Along the way I ate a bag of oranges. They are so good & so cheap hear, 30 Euro cents a kilo!

I stopped for the night in a field just outside a small village. It wasn't the best location as it was visible from the road into the village & I think several villagers saw me pitch my tent. No-one has come

I cycled 82km in 5 hours & 57 minutes

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