Dateline: Cappadocia Region, Day 2 – The Better Tour

Cappadocia, Turkey
27 June 2009

Sleeping felt great. Waking up, not so much. But we had to get an early start on the day as we day yet another all day tour before we had to run to catch another overnight bus, joy! Shazia had left for Istanbul last night, so we made friends with Cecilie and Finn.

We’ve actually been “stalking” them since Istanbul where we both stayed at the Mavi Guesthouse. They booked a tour with Ali’s help as well, and we (unbeknownst to either party at the time) booked essentially the same tour all the way to Samos. The only difference was Cecilcia and Finn had an extra day in Cappadocia before their tour.

We started with some more rocks just outside of town, but today’s tour eventually took us down to Kaymaklı to see the Kaymaklı Underground City.

24.0 mm || 1/2000 || f/3.8 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Üçhisar, Nevşehir, Turkey

18.0 mm || 0.6 || f/3.5 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
Derinkuyu, Nevşehir, Turkey

18.0 mm || 1/6 || f/3.5 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
Derinkuyu, Nevşehir, Turkey

18.0 mm || 1/6 || f/3.5 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
Derinkuyu, Nevşehir, Turkey

18.0 mm || 1/6 || f/3.5 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
Derinkuyu, Nevşehir, Turkey

38.0 mm || 1/10 || f/4.2 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
Derinkuyu, Nevşehir, Turkey

18.0 mm || 1/10 || f/3.5 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
Derinkuyu, Nevşehir, Turkey

Being almost 50 meters down was a nice change of pace from the beating Turkish sun, although the cool relief did not last long.

65.0 mm || 1/1600 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Derinkuyu, Nevşehir, Turkey

We did a short (about 4 kilometers, or so) hike through Ihlara Valley and then stopped for a quick lunch over the river before finishing out our day. It wasn’t nearly as good at yesterdays buffet, but it filled the belly enough.

18.0 mm || 1/2000 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
, Aksaray, Turkey

24.0 mm || 1/8000 || f/3.8 || ISO800 || NIKON D70
, Aksaray, Turkey

18.0 mm || 1/6400 || f/3.5 || ISO800 || NIKON D70
, Aksaray, Turkey

18.0 mm || 1/8000 || f/3.5 || ISO800 || NIKON D70
, Aksaray, Turkey

Funny picture of the day: What a bunch of tourist look like photographing a mountain in the middle of nowhere.

18.0 mm || 1/8000 || f/3.5 || ISO800 || NIKON D70
, Aksaray, Turkey

38.0 mm || 1/8000 || f/4.2 || ISO800 || NIKON D70
, Aksaray, Turkey

70.0 mm || 1/8000 || f/4.5 || ISO800 || NIKON D70
, Aksaray, Turkey

We finally headed over to Selime Monastery to finish up the day.

18.0 mm || 1/8000 || f/3.5 || ISO800 || NIKON D70
, Aksaray, Turkey

18.0 mm || 1/640 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
, Aksaray, Turkey

18.0 mm || 1/15 || f/3.5 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
, Aksaray, Turkey

48.0 mm || 1/1000 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
, Aksaray, Turkey

18.0 mm || 1/2500 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
, Aksaray, Turkey

18.0 mm || 1/6400 || f/7.1 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
, Aksaray, Turkey

Getting back before our bus left had its moments of excitement. The bus was supposed to leave at 19:00 and our tour was supposed to get back by 18:30. However, we had a late start in the morning because they didn’t have enough seats and had to get a second bus for the tour. It was pushing 18:50 by time we got back to the hostel. Fortuneatly our bags were packed and ready to go. However, I needed to check my email to see if Ali had sent me any last minute information. Meanwhile, Charlie went to go take a shower after we decided that he was no longer allowed to ride next to me without taking one.

Ali actually ended up calling the Shoestring Cave and leaving a message. So I called him back. It was lucky I got a hold of him as there was a change of plans. It basically boils down to this: We were going to stay in Selcuk, which is about 25 minutes from Kusadasi, which is where we catch the ferry to Samos. The ferry leaves at 08:00 in the morning. Ali thought that he could get us a ride, but he couldn’t. So he’s going to have us stay at a place in Kusadasi instead so we can just walk to the ferry!

I wrote down all the contact information for our new hostel and was off running to the bus station with Charlie 45 seconds behind me. As it turned out, this bus didn’t leave on time and we had an extra several minutes to spare.

We took the short ten minute ride to Nevsehir, where it started raining buckets. As we arrived, the streets started looking like Venician canals. This was unfortunate for the sheer fact that none of us, save Cecilie, had any sort of rain gear. Finn used his backpack as a shield, I threw on my fleece zip-up, and Charlie just sucked it up.

Once we got on the bus, it was okay though. The AC was on, Charlie had take two showers, and we on our way to the cooler coast.


The Photo Book

I started working on the photo book I mentioned earlier and it’s coming together very nicely. The current plan is to offer it as a 40-page premium paper, 10″ x 8″ hard cover book with dust cover. Pricing will be around $35, not including shipping. I am considering a softcover, which would be about $10 cheaper.

The better news is that I will not require firm orders from anyone! I’m using a company called Blurb, which does print-on-demand. I also may personally sell ten signed limited-edition versions that would be 10% cheaper (yes, cheaper).

I’m also contemplating putting a real, live ISBN number on it. That would allow me to sell it in book stores if I wanted…not that I’m planning on that. It’s mostly just to add to the authenticity and make me one of the Big Boys™

As for a release date, I’m contemplating two different days: January 31 (which is my birthday) or May 8 (which when I graduate). There’s a lot of work that I still need to do, layout and content is only 66% complete. Then I need to have some people edit it and I also need to get a proof made to make sure everything looks good. One reason to wait until graduation is so I can put any last pictures I get in the Spring 2009 semester (maybe something from New York?).

Any any event, there’s about 50 pictures in the book right now with three full stories and lots of anecdotes. When I get closer to release, I’ll put up some proofs.

Finally, the tentative title is: Rain :: Volume II1

I’d love to hear any thoughts people have in the comments about release dates, hard vs. soft cover, the special edition, ISBN, etc.

1 A couple years ago, I ordered a couple of small booklets using photos from Seattle @ Night, that was “Rain”.


Canyonlands: 522.3 Miles

It had just rained the entire night non stop and just about everything was wet. We quickly rolled up the tent and shoved all our stuff into the lone cargo van. We then proceeded to the shelter for donuts and juice.

Nate Fihn had the rather ingenious idea of sleeping under the shelter. About an hour later we took off and headed towards California. We stopped at a rest stop, in the middle of nowhere, and Needles before finding Lake Buena Vista, just outside of Bakersfield, the methlab capitol of American. We had pasta for dinner, that turned out to be a rather tasteless adventure. Everybody slept outside, letting the tents dry out.

I awoke the next morning to the sound of birds repeating the same chirping signal over and over again. We ate breakfast and repacked out entire bags, putting everything we needed in our day pack, and items and food we didn’t need in our hiking bags. We left around noon and headed towards Kernville and Lake Isabella. Kernville is a very small town of 1,800 people. However, they have a very rich history, a facet I got to see when I went to the Kernville Museum. Many Western movies and even an episode of Home Improvement have been filmed their. The entire group had dinner at Chyene’s and some people watched the Final Four on TV. Some of the people went back to the bus and when they open the back emergency door, there were two people inside drinking beer. The intruders got away, however, it appeared as though they did not steal anything. Some people speculated that they might have "done it" on the bus. We spent the night in Sequoia National Park, which happened to be closed. We spent the night there anyway’s because Rob said that the even though the park was "closed," they couldn’t not let people stay because it was a National Park and completely open to the public. That night myself and a few others witnessed some oddly illuminated airplanes at approximately 9:31pm and 9:41pm. I’m planning on calling the FAA when I get back.

Updated picture links…may not be the same pictures as before though due to a renaming issue.


Canyonlands: Big Camp Fire / Hike Down

After solo time was over we pretty much immediately started making dinner. Our group had lasagna with meat sauce. I call it "crap in a box." I also helped Saul’s group make their dinner. After dinner, we hiked back down to where we met the girls earlier that day. We all sat in a big circle. As before, the details of the circle stay inside, however, there are some things I would like to log. To honor the circle, the log entry will be encrypted.

<– Begin encrypted section –> Passcode: Alpha-Charlie

Version: PGPfreeware 6.5.8

<-- End encrypted section -->

After camp fire, Rob told a few stories about Skinwalkers and the Anasazi. I went to bed early, planning on waking up early the next morning to hike out.

Thursday morning we did wake up early due to potential rainfall. We literally just put our stuff in our bags and ran down the mountain, no breakfast or anything. Although I did have some pudding from the night before. After everybody was off the mountain, we expunged our trash and pilled into the cars and headed southeast and then northeast to National Monument. We looked at the jewelry and had lunch. I bought a sterling silver cross and had a mini Navajo Taco. We booked towards Phoenix to avoid the somewhat solid form of precipitation in favor of the liquid version. We ate a pizza place where upon seeing the size of our group, one of the waiters took the Lords name in vain. We watched the NCAA Slam Dunk contest and all was good. We set up camp in a state park. It rained pretty much all night long and into the morning.

Friday morning we woke up to rain.