Travel Journal Overview: We’d made it to Goreme, a place to chill out and forget about visa woes. Parties ensued, and I relaxed for while. As it turned out, it was here trying to get away from it all, I’d find all the answers sitting right there.
After researching out our hostel ahead of time, we soon found ourselves marching up the street. At first glimpse it still looked like Goreme was a tourist hotspot, brightly painted restaurant signs offer all manner of dishes lined the streets. A big Tourist info office stood outside the bus stations, or rather the collection of bus companies. However one thing was missing…. tourists!! Ok a few roamed around the place, but nothing compared to the swarms around the road down to the valley. Could we have landed in that rare of places that means tour companies usually arrange day trips rather than overnights?!!
We arrived at the hostel, a swimming pool, free breakfast, single beds and friendly staff, perfect. Whats more there was an Irish lady there who had info on an elusive Visa!
Yes indeed Lorna was a near permanent resident, and it seemed partnered with Hamez the friendly owner of the hostel. It seemed she was on the way to Iran too. We sat for a while and chatted, this is when it came to light that she had alread called the Iranian Embassy in Ankara and spoken with the Visa head “Sadi”. It was allegedly only going to take 1 hour to issue the visa… something to do with Ireland being on the Iranians good side as they imported Beef from there. More to the point I had a contact name… And yes I did try to speak to Sadi, and yes he confirmed that I could get a Visa in only one day if I called him before hand. YES!!! It looked like the first hurdle was over!! Iran here I come, but never count your eggs till the chickens finished laying them eh?
Time to celebrate the first victory in the “visa rush”. So Reagan and I headed off to downtown Goreme for a night out. In truth Goreme was not so big, so the choice was limited. But we did settle down well in “Flintstones Bar”, yes it does sound cheesy, but it was a good place. Indeed the two long haired Turkish owners were fairly chilled. So Chilled that they left us in charge of the Bar for an hour as they left for a long waited Dinner after a day of fasting. We caused no damage I swear.
Next day Reagan was up for a tour of Goreme, by bike… mountain bike that is. 5 Euro later and we had two aging mountain bikes at our disposal for the day, along with a map of the surrounding area. 42km later on our 30km tour, plus one puncture later, and we were back in Goreme. I knew the next day would be sore.
And yes it was. my Ass was bruised… really bruised, so bruised I had that funny walk. We spent the days wondering around and enjoying the cave dwellings people have now converted into hotels, or sub hotels, and most nights we spent at Flintstones. Bar Reagan’s last night, this was when we surrendered to a Fez bus expedition to Turkish Night.
We were carted off to a fairly posh restaurant and fed a not so all you can eat meal, and for sure made work of the all you can drink. In my case lush turkish red wine, and shots of roxi, a fierce local fire water. Belly dancers came, and we all participated in strutting our stuff. Well at least the make contingent were subjected to it… funny that.
One of the Fez group was Muslim Turkish girl, and I took the opportunity to begin by soon to be entry into the world of Islam. Her German friends were quite taken back, as normally she would shy away from men. But thankfully my little reading and knowledge did well in her eyes. So much so we even managed to persuade here to come back to a bar with us in town, unfortunately it was not Flintstones, and unfortunately I started on the Vodka Redbulls now. Meaning the mixture in my stomach was effecting all judgment and I instantly forgot how to play pool, but somehow thought I was a great dancer.
Reagan was also having a very successfully night with Amy the Australian, that is until she mentioned she was gay.
Everyone left bar the few hardcore drinkers, and unfortunately that meant I was there too, hey no alcohol in Iran next week remember!! To say that I removed the contents of my stomach later that night was an understatement to say the least. But at least we gave Reagan a good send off.
So yes did not end up at that “rare’ type of Hostel, I did indeed end up at a Fez tour bus destination. Indeed the club 18-22ers arrived every Tuesday Thursday and Saturday pretty much between 7-8pm. But at least it meant I was excepted into the inner fold of the hotel management, and usually ended up having dinner with them.
I now concentrated on the Visa issues: Iran was a near done deal, Pakistan Embassy located and they also said it would be ready in a day, India would take one week to process. Better news again, there was a midnight bus from Goreme to Ankara every night for 16 Euro. And so began my visa runs to the capital…
Travel Resources: If your looking for information on how I was able to get Iranian, Pakistani and Indian visas in Turkey, you’ll find them in my Overland travel visa help section