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Turkish Wine Country

We woke up the next morning in Assos, and Claudia’s tooth was no better. She had woken up a number of times during the night in such pain that she was unable to sleep.  We had administered some painkillers, and over breakfast Scott, Diane, and I were discussing what the best next action was. We decided that it was worth getting in touch with insurance and finding a dentist. Just as we were about to leave to go try and find Internet in this one horse town, Claudia appeared, looking none too hot.

She nibbled on some bread, but didn’t eat much. I hung back with her while Scott and Diane went to go find the Internet. As we were discussing her swollen face, a man appeared. He introduced himself, and asked us about ourselves. Claudia did a good job of sucking up the pain and being cordial. Once we had explained AsiaWheeling, and to the owners of the hotel (who showed up half way through the conversation) that indeed there were still cowboys in the USA (though you needed to go outside the cities to find them), we asked our new acquaintance about his own life and profession.

Low and behold, the man was a dentist.  We asked, most humbly, if he might look into Claudia’s mouth. And so he did, spending some time poking around and examining the issue from all angles. In the end, he explained that all she needed was some antibiotics. We asked him what kind. “Azithromycin,” he said. I ran back to our room and sure enough we had them ready to go in the mobile pharmacy.

Claudia took her first one, and we headed out to find Scott and Diane to deliver the good news. All concerned were happy to hear that we had a solution that did not involve us all driving to an unscheduled city and Claudia going under the knife.

From there we drove up to an outcropping overlooking the sea.

The Mediterranean lay beautiful and blue beneath us as we followed the winding road down to the water.

Part way down the hill, we parked the Doblo, and headed out on foot to investigate the water more closely.

We cut through a resort and began exploring the rocky coastline.

Eventually, we decided to just strip down to our Exofficios and jump in.

The water was cool, crystal clear, and beautiful. We climbed out quite refreshed and headed back up to the car.

A little way down the road, we stopped at another beach-side restaurant for a delicious meal of fish, fresh bread and vinegary salad.

These tiny, eat-em-whole, deep fried Turkish fish were really becoming some of my favorite food of the entire trip.

We bought a bunch of giant bottles of water not far from the restaurant, and kept rolling.

I was driving through gorgeous Turkish semi-arid agricultural land; Scott and Claudia were snoozing; and Diane was reading to me aloud from the Wikipedia article about the Armenian genocide.

I could not have asked for more. Giant statues of Ataturk were everywhere, along with huge patriotic Turkish flags.

As the sun was setting, we pulled into the town of Çesme. It turned out we had arrived at some kind of tourist peak time for the city, which boded poorly for our ability to find a hotel. Even the filthy flophouse we found was holding out, trying to sell its last room for US$75. A normal, none too fancy hotel that we wandered into was asking for over US$1,000 for a night. This was maniacal and hilarious.

Luckily we had an ace up the sleeve.  One we had hid in the Gulf and pulled out more than a few times.  We decided it was high time to pilot the Hotel Doblo. But first we needed to eat. Alp directed us via phone to his favorite Pide Place, Dost Pide.

Pide is a kind of Turkish baked flatbread. It can be filled with cheese, or meat, or both.

With bellies full and the sun long down, it was time now to sleep.

We drove outside the city and up to the surrounding hills. When we found an empty clearing of talc soil, we folded down all the seats, locked our bikes and bags to a rim of the car, and crawled into the womb of the Doblo.

It was no Previa, believe you me. But sleep we did.


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