PAMUKKALE ROAD TRIP – TURKEY

Pamukkale translates to ”Cotton castle” in Turkish, I have just bought myself a second hand Honda Transalp 650 with just 8000 km on the clock, it is my intention to travel around Turkey on this bike then to head further afield to Europe and Africa. This is the first ride out on the bike and we shall be doing around 600 km from Dalaman  to Denizli and Pamukkale. From Dalaman we head West towards Marmaris and up the large hill to the Mulga Plato, hairpin bends and very worn and slippery tarmac melting in the midday sun. Accompanying us on this ride were Ian and Bev on my old 250 Virago Chinese copy.

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The view from half way up the Mulga hill is quite something, you can see for miles towards Marmaris off in the distance. After a quick ciggie stop and pose for photos we carried on to Mugla and the junction where we would turn right and head towards the city of Denizli. Progress was steady, we plodded along mostly at 80 kph, the speed limits in Turkey being a silly 70 kph (43 mph) Denizli is deep inland and nothing much for miles in between the two cities so we were able to pick up the pace every now and then on the quiet stretches of road.

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Having only had the Transalp for a couple of days I was quite nervous, compared to most road bikes and especially cruisers the Transalp is so high up, this makes for great road visibility but I was worried about dropping it. This ride out to Pamukkale was in August and the daytime temperature was around 45c.

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I chose to ride in vest and shorts because I was just so damn sweaty with a jacket on. I wondered how the bike would be in this heat especially after climbing such a large hill towards Mugla but the temperature gauge never climbed any higher than a third of the way along.

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We stopped for drinks after three hours or so and then continued towards Denizli and Pamukkale, Ian rides an 1150 BMW GS in England so I presume the performance from my old 250 Virago would have been much the same for him. Once we arrived in the city of Denizli I had a few navigational problems (which is not uncommon) but soon we were heading the right way towards Pamukkale, it had taken some five hours to reach our destination and we were all in urgent need of food and water so a spot of lunch was in order before we had to walk up the white hills of Pamukkale.

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This is one of Turkeys many tourist attractions and as such it was 10 Lira (4 Pounds) entry charge per person, the white calcium formations are very strange to the touch, it feels very similar to the cuttle fish you put in your Budgies cage.

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Given the constant flow of water you would think it would be very slippery to walk on but is actually a little like sandpaper, when you take your shoes of to walk over Pamukkale it does an excellent job of removing corns and calluses.

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Some of the Calcium pools you were allowed to paddle or sit in, the water was quite warm and supposedly they have some kind of therapeutic benefit.

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The main pools up at the top of the hill that everyone takes photos of you were not allowed to paddle in, a guard blew his whistle and waived his arms every time someone came a little close.

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There was an orderly Que at the top by the main pools where everyone took it in turns to have their photo taken. In ancient Roman times this place was a health spar and on the top of Pamukkale hill are the ruins of Hieropolis, a large Roman city in its day.

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We had a couple of hours wandering around Pamukkale and Hieropolis before the return leg our our journey.

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I would have liked to have explored the ruins longer but we really had to be thinking about being back to Dalaman before dark, riding after dark in Turkey can be a little dangerous because of the other road users.

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Our return was a nice smooth uneventful run back to Dalaman, I calculated that the Transalp was returning around 50 mpg at a steady 80 kph with occasional bursts to 110 kph.

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The first addition to the Transalp will be some kind of luggage system, these are very expensive to buy here in Turkey but with a few photos from the internet and a couple of ”best guess” measurements I reckon something could be made localy.

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~ by travelswithmymotorbike on September 10, 2008.

4 Responses to “PAMUKKALE ROAD TRIP – TURKEY”

  1. What’s all this R1150GS stuff……I’ve got the R1100, last of the reliable Beemers in my opinion.(it has only broke down once !! )
    I’m still having Virago 250 withdrawal symptoms !!

    • Well Ian I am sure you told me you had the 1150…but if you don’t want to admit to it..I understand buddy !!

      The Virago, saw her a couple of weeks ago, the chap I sold it to has pranged it a few times and just riden it into the ground,such a shame, it was a nice looking bike if nothing else.

      Cheers

      Dave..

  2. What a beautiful and magical place that is, I must see this place one day, very good photographs.

    Stan

    • Hi Stan,

      It must be one of the wonders of the World, a very unique place.

      Cheers

      Dave..

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