On my second day in the Cappadocia region I wanted to hike around some of the valleys, observe the rock formations close up and get some good exercise. After only an hour of walking around, my day was kind of hijacked by Faruk, the owner of a cafe in the park who passed by me on a motorbike. He stopped and asked where I was going and asked if I wanted a ride. I thought, “sure, why not!” thinking I’d give him a little tip for taking me to the Red Valley and then be on my way. That little ride turned into five hours of Faruk showing me different places, giving me more and more of his homemade wine, and basically refusing to let me go off on my own. It was a bit frustrating, although not quite as creepy as it might sound written out here. I finally split from Faruk when his car ran out of gas on the way to the Love Valley, although at this point it was nearly sunset so I didn’t get to do the hiking I’d wanted to do.
I spent a few days camping in Samovodene, just north of Veliko Tarnovo at the lovely Veliko Tarnovo Camping site. There are loads of hiking and rock climbing spots in the area and I spent a few hours trekking to the Holy Trinity monastery, which was unfortunately closed the day I went, I assume because of independence day celebrations.