Rod McLaughlin


Magellan and me (27 apr 21)

I was about to brag about my one-day Antalya-Korkuteli over 1100m climbing, when I remembered this is the 500th anniversary of the death of Ferdinand Magellan.

When I last biked through Korketeli, from the west, I didn't know about the mountain road, and took the unpleasant E87 into Antalya. This time, I biked from Antalya to Bahtili, then turned west on the road to the Saklikent ski resort - past Doyran and Bilelyeri, onto the Güzle Köyü Yolu, avoiding the left turn for Saklikent, following the signs for Korkuteli. There is a sign on a pass at 950m, but it's misleading, because the highest point is in fact over 1100m. There is hardly any traffic. There are two springs where you can fill water bottles on this road. 

This is just what I needed. I gave up rock climbing, having realised I no longer enjoy it, and joined a gym. But it's been locked down for over a week, and I was losing all that fitness I'd built up. 

At various points, I considered camping, because I had enough with me, but I was in the zone, and kept going, despite the increasing discomfort in all points which touch the bike. I got to a point where I was looking down on agricultural land, consulted Google maps, and realised I was only 23Km from Korkuteli, where I'd stayed in October, at the Gümüş han hotel. I could either camp, or continue. I continued, and got to the hotel just before nightfall. The restaurant was open, though there's no beer, due to the proximity of a mosque, but the supermarket next door must be just over 1Km from it, as they do sell alcohol. 

If we avoid mentioning the negative consequences of the Age of Discovery, Mellan's achievements, and that of his survivors, are mind-boggling. They underestimated the size of the Pacific, so - what the hell? - let's just keep sailing. Ninety days later, they were eating their shoes, then they found the Marianas, just in time. Magellan died fighting the locals at Cebu in the Philippines. Three years after departing Spain, Elcano and 18 other survivors returned, having completed the first circumnavigation of the globe - by accident.

The upcoming manned expedition to Mars is lightweight by comparison. It's as if Magellan had sent robot ships to check out conditions on all the points on his voyage in advance.

Now I've discovered that I have another big day tomorrow. Turkey is going into full Covid lockdown on the 29th, so that gives me one day to get back. I was planning to camp for two nights up in the hills, but this would run the risk of getting caught and fined, so I have to do it in one day. However, I am riding from 1000m to 0m, rather than 0m to 1000m, so it should be quite a bit easier than yesterday. And I have one day off, doing nothing in the Gümüş han hotel. 



Back
Portland London