Monday, September 20, 2010

On the moon

Well, its now just half past nine – I know that because it says so on my phone. I think its Monday, but who really cares anymore? I'm sat in a Turkish type shed – chaise lange type thing. Basically. A load of cushions on the floor, gathered around a small table and next to the pool. The sun is shining and everyone is beginning to gather around for a lazy day.

I have been up since 5am, when 14 of us climbed aboard a minibus and drove into the countryside for a dawn balloon ride. After a coffee and biscuits for breakfast, we climbed aboard the balloon and floated up above the scenery. It was breathtaking – Some of the girls were very nervous beforehand, but once we were airborne we all loved it.

The views are un-be-li-ev-ab-le. The photos just cannot do this place justice. It is like a moonscape/alien planet. Large sandstone rock formations in hundreds of different mind blowing shapes. Large cylindrical columns, some quite phallic in shape, other like faces staring back at you, up to 30 or 40 metres high. We floated close above them and then up higher into the sky. There were about 50 balloons up there, all floating above, below and around each other. It was just an awesome sight. Have a look at the internet and do a search for Goreme, cappadocia and balloon flights, you will see what I mean. Or look at my picasa link and the photos will be there later. We heard the other balloon pilots (Ours was called Jesus – so we have now flown with Jesus!) talking about shooting up like rockets. After an hour or so, a couple of the group were feeling a little queasy but it was time to land, so we dropped height and landed quite softly. The following land rover pulled by us and the pilot cleverly hopped us all in the basket onto the trailer. Nice!

After we climbed out, we stood around chatting and were served cake and champagne, before being given our certificates of flight.

It was then back into the hostel for breakfast. I decided on an early morning run as it was still only just 8am. I ran out of town into a valley and up along paths, leading through caves and out into a valley with fruit trees and lizards climbing around. I climbed up about 20 metres on one side and screamed out -Heeeeeeeellllllllllloooooooooooooooooooo'. The echo was just amazing, loud clear and about 3-4 seconds after I had shouted. Once again, I cant describe this place. Words fail me. It is just like a different planet. If some kind of alien spider thing climbed out of one of the doors, high up in the sandstone columns, I wouldn’t be surprised. It is just unbelievable.

When I got back from my run it was beginning to get hot, so I jumped straight into the pool – but told off by the hotel receptionist geezer – Maybe next time I should take off my t shirt and trainers – Its OK they will dry quickly. After a quick shower and a breakfast of local fruit and cheese, with tomato's and cucumber, we are now all sat by the pool, as I described it at the beginning.

Today, it is a good day!!

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