Monthly Archives: December 2012

Olga and Apachie battle the forces of darkness and find caves

for a few days we stayed in konya; evenings and mornings with the lovely baha’i coupple Bulent and Filiz and ther incredibly energetic 3 and 4  year old boys. the were on a suggar free diet which ment that they where permanently super hyper. a good dose of sugar would have been wonderfull for giving them a little peek followed by a more mellow mentality. in the daytimes we would ride in to the middle of the city to link up with your new young sufi friends for adventure, hardcore tea drinking and mystical music. we went to visit caves and to sleep out in old houces in the surounding country. one night a bigger group developed and we went busking in a buisy street in the evening. we played soulfull sufi songs, i played rock and role, olive sang old folk songs, turkish songs. a croud gathered arround, at the end of our set a gentle ode to all glory was played by an increadibly luminos youth on an oud (lute), the croud gathered close and crouched down all around us and listed with great tendernes.

we had come to konya to visit the toomb of the mystical poet Rumi. every time we tryed to go something glorious stood in our way or destracted us. and never managed to arive in the holy spot. the sufi master had told us; “rumi said ‘dont look for me in a tomb'”. in konya we found many people joyfuseeking union with the Beloved, we found and hurd stories of beautifull sufi masters who expounded great truths, masters who both aided and hindered lovers journeys to the Beloved, and we deepend our connection with tea (our sufi friend Kevsar had said ‘without tea, there is no me’). all of our time in konya people had been telling us about capidocia. whilst we didn’t understand what capadocia was, everyone was adement we should go there and told us there where caves. it was 300km in the wrong direction but we let ourselves be convinced anyway.

after a final visit to our favret teehouce with the young shawl wairing sufi krew. we loveingly said good by and rode out of the city escorted by a gang of naughty biking boys, who had incredibly loud horns made of a air horns connected to a bike pump. they tried to ride us off the road but we were too strong and beat them off there bikes.

the road from konya was flat and long and buissy. the first evening we got a puncture, and then another at a petrol station, and then another in the same petrol station. the enthusiastic petroll attendantds gave us tea and then told us we could camp in the picnick arior and then cooked us some increadible eggs that we ate with them surrounded by maggazeens and engin oil in the petroil staion shop. the next day was long and flat and straight and unaventfull. towards late afternoon the top of an incredible looking volcano appeared out of the haze. we campped after having ridden 120km. the next day was hot. my bike was developing broken spokes. we rode out of the massive flat plain we had crossed, in to slightly more hilly reality. down a side track we found a village. we asked some men playing rumikub if there was a bike fixing man in the village, one of the men stood up and took us to his houce where he bodged my wheel back together with a hammer and gave us tipps on super fantastic puncture fixing techniques. it turned out that we where close to a 1500year old underground village. the man at the ticket ofice ghave us tea and let us in for free. into a hole we found a warren of tunnless and rooms winding down underground. it was a dwelling dug in to the softish rock by christians who needed places to hide from angry villans. emerging back in to an incredible outside sunset reality we climbed up a little cliff to see the sun setting behind an old volcano. this seemed to endeer us to a group of laffing women who sat on the edge of the little cliff. one of the women and her daughter befrened olive and within moments we had been given some mellon and were envited to stay in there houce for the night. they led us to their too roomed houce. olives hair was washed  and brushed by the womans two wonderfull daughters whilst i drew pictures with her 9 year old son. one of the daughters then taught us to dance turkish steps to banging tradtional tunes played on the tv. we all sat down for dinner and the man of the houce arrived home in hiss big ruggerd truck in which he had been driving mellons around. me and olive slept in the kitchen and the family slept in piles in the lving room.

after breakfast we mounted our trusty steads and rode off intent on reaching capidoca. the going was steady and slow, olive was developing a cold but trouped on regardless up and down the dry rizes and falls. we stopped for lunch by a caravansery; a old giant stone buildng where the cammels and traiders, the truck drivers of a tme passed, would rest enroute to far off places. as the sun was going down we arrived in the town of Nevsher and asked a group of kidds where capadocia was. they told us that we where in cappadocia. confused we desprately tryed to escape nevsheer as the darkness swepped in. lost and surrounded by confusion in the countryside a campsgight told us that we couldnt camp with them. neering desperation we rode down a steep hill around acorner and were met with a fully crazy sight. lit up in the night time in frount of us were a collection of giant and big pyramidic rock formations peppered with holes.

so this was the land of capadocia every one had been urging us to go to. we had hured roumor that one would be able to sleep in the caves and so with the help of a sweet man called mustafa (there are many sweet men called mustaf in turkey) we pushed our bikes up the steep hill to the cavey place. ariving up amoungst the towering pillars of rock a happy man appered out of one of the holey mounds with a massive smile on his face. he noteced our bikes and our bags and instantly invited us to stay in his cave houce cafe free of charge. up a ricketry staircase we entered his home, inside he gave us the grand tour; 7 floors of cave all couvered in turkish and persian rugs, insome places the rugs covered all the walls and the roofs also. he told us that he was the cave man and gleefully shreeked “yabadabadooo”.

sitting outside the cave, getting to grips with our reality we where suddenly surrounded by a gaggle of turkish hippies. they informed us that they had just occupied an old cave hostle. they took us with them to behind a friendly turkishmans tourist tat stall, where the rest of their gang was making dinner. in the semidarkness we sat and chatted and then food was produced, all fed furiously like a pack of lions then sat back with tea and ciggarettes. myslef and olvive retired to our cave dwelling and the cave man and to sleep…

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pando in turkland-movements, veg, interviews in konya

eatng breakfast in the dervish lodge the phone rand and was answered and passed to mee. on the other end was Ahmet, the baha’i man i had been trying to get in contact with. we managed to develop an understanding of where our guest houce was. within a few moments he appeared, an oldish man, graying, whild eyes, speedy movements. he bundled us in to his car with our stuff and leeving the bikes behind drove us across town to his houce where we met his two sisters; one, talkative and loveing and enthusiastic telling tails of canada, from where she was visiting after emigrating there 20 years ago, the other silent and mighty. we sat about and consumed delicious tea and delicious baclava and delicious rice and then where driven back to the guest houce where one bike was loaded in to the car. olive and bulent and bike whent back by car whislt i cycled furiusly trying not to louse sight of them. bike where stored in the houce after which all of us, including the sisters got in the car and where driven out to Ahmets gaurden houce, a pile of rooms surounded by a luchious guaren of frout trees and tomatoes and other ripe things. we shot stones from catapaults out of his window and then myslef and Ahmet wen to his friends bike fixing place to get some bits and pieces sorted on one othe bikes. a friend was met of a bus and then all sat about and ate etliekmek, a delicesy of Konya; long thin oven backed bread with mincemeat tomartoes spices and hurbs spread over the top. after a little digest the bike was collected and the others got into the car whilst i oncemore followed sweattely on the bike. we sat for a moment back at ahmets houce befor he took us off again. he had contacted a friend and was now takinmg us to an interview at a english language centre. we where met by a wonderfull perspiring man who asked usk questions like “do you like people?” and “what is your favorety animal?” and reguarly quoted Bruce Lee, explaining that bruce was his sufi master. he told us that he couldnt understand anything i said, but thought that olive vpice was pritty clear. a job was half offered and we where taken back by hahmet to his houce where a 19 dfay feast was about to begin. a 19day feast is a gathereing in the baha’i community that happens every 19 days(a baha’i mounth). these feests have 3 parts, a spiritual part of praying,meditation and somertimes singing, a administrative part, where the comunity hears news of the bahi comunity and plannes action, and then a feast part, of bulding comradship, love and connection, and of eating food. a sweet gathering commanced attended by a collection of the baha’is. friends where made and tails told. Amet (who told me he only slepped 2 hours a night because there was so much life to live) told a story of how he had been shot in his youth because of his connection to the baha’i faith, other less traumatic tails where also told.. the bahai friends left and all fell into slumber.
Ahmet and sisters where leeving the next day to drive 300 miles to visit another sibling, it was only the morning befor that they had returned to konya after visiting other family in another far away town. we where taken to another baha’i couple, bulent and filiz who had a stall at a vege market that day. we met them and a young spanish woman, who was also going to be staying with Bulent and Filiz. we found our selves at louse ends in the market sceen and left to find intrest and things in the centre of the city. we had mamaged to make contact with a local who seemed to be in to the sufi thing and arainged a meeting. various erronds where compleeted, we played some tunes in a book shop, where given an english translation of the Koran and some chocolate as a reward, we fixed problems on the bikes. despite confusion missunderstanding an lax timing we managed to connect with our young sufi contact. the small, supersweet, zen tea lady Kevsa apeared though a croud of torists flooding in to Rumis tomb. she took us to meet 2 other shawl wairing traveling shineyeyed ones; the fair and bright swiss joana and the delicet bulgarian shuggar monstar (self acclaimed) Elenor. we where now a crowd and worked our way though the greater crowed to a park by the houce of Shams (Rumis wild dervish teacher and beloved). all sat and buzzed with intrtest and excitement at oneand other. we were met by a bairfooted flute playing wonderer from istambull and a glorious and radient local called Mustafa. a boy was called and he returrend with tray after tray of tea whilst the gathering produced bits of bread, chees and delicious things and created a tasty meal. after food there was music and joyfull interaction. it began to get dark an myself olive and our mighty spanish friend had to leave to go back to the bahai coupple who where hosting us. back at the marked it got dark as wee helpped load up boxes of organic vege and oats. so me and olive and other clambered in to vans loaded up with organic produce and where driven back to Bulent and Filz’s houce for sleeping.

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