After two beautiful weeks in Dikencik and on the Turkish Riviera it was time to head back North to Istanbul to meet with my college buddy Lev and his girlfriend Deniz as well as prepare the arrival of our parents a week later. We crossed the mountain range to Denizli and world famous and beautiful Pamukkale were we spent a night with CS host Mustafa who works as a paraglider. We had a great evening at the paraglider’s starting range in the mountains with a beautiful view over the whole area and cooked a nice dinner. Took Dolmuş back to Denizli, not an easy place to hitchhike. Never waited this long or had drivers this “funny”. Were told it’s a more conservative (read backwards) area. Oh well, got lucky and progressed quickly soon enough and our faith in painless hitchhiking in Turkey had been restored with invites along the way. The funniest ride was the granddad who picked us up, but upon checking my gps/navigation app realised he went the wrong way. He apologised, left us at an intersection and after some rummaging around produced some apples and tangerines as a goodbye present. Big smiles. A truck stopped a few minutes later and took us up to the capital of china production in Turkey.
Eskişehir is probably the most liberal city in Turkey we’ve seen. Lot’s of university students and great nightlife. Next morning we hiked a few kilometres till we found a good spot on the highway and went almost non-stop to Istanbul in a truck again.