The end of the ride…the adventure’s over – our final post

IMG_0453 Finally we reach the end. We’ve had our adventures and made loads of friends, especially in Iran, and over the last 12 months we’ve learned so much about the world, about different societies, cultures, languages, history and about how all these disparate people deal with life in the varied regions through which we’ve cycled. Mongolia, Pakistan and Iran were highlights but everywhere was interesting in it’s own way.

We’ve had time to reflect upon the things we’ve seen, to bore people with our experiences (they did make the mistake of asking) and increasingly to spend more and more time following the valiant attempts of the Iranian people to get the freedom that they all wish for and so deserve. ‘Where is their vote?’

We’re starting to crave bacon, sausages, different clothes, a little bit of consumerism and we miss our friends and family. We’re not really sure where home is so we’re off to England and then Canada before heading off to Dubai to teach there for two years.

The route guides should be good for a few years of cycling so feel free to make use of them, visa info changes constantly so make use of the Thorn Tree on Lonely Planet of you need more up to date info. Feel free to email us for information using the email link if you’re thinking about cycling anywhere along this route yourself and want advice. If you use the guides and they’re wrong then let us know and we’ll update them.

Thanks for reading and a huge thanks to all our friends who helped us while we’ve been away….Jules, Jo and Rob, you’re all absolute stars.

Simon Taylor and Isabelle Bedard        June 2009



Kelebekler Vadisi – Butterfly Valley - a Turkish paradise

We’re at the end of our journey and have reached our final destination for this cycle ride. We’d always intended to get to Butterfly Valley and now we’re here it’s absolutely magic.

It’s changed, there are new tree houses, people here have changed but the valley is still beautiful.

I first discovered this place about 18 years ago and have been coming back every year or two to relax and switch off from the world of work in the UK.

About 25 years ago a farmer from one of the local village perched high up on the cliffs, sold the orange and lemon tree covered valley to a private person who promptly chopped down all the trees ready to develop the valley for mass tourism.
The end of the valley was (and still is) a breeding site for thousands of butterflies and luckily the land was then bought by a co-operative of Turks with the sole idea of preventing it from being developed. They managed to get the land protected by law and each year one of the co-op runs a small eco friendly camp and restaurant in the valley for a few months in the summer. You can camp on the beach or stay in wooden ‘tree houses’ but no-one can build any permanent structures so nothing much changes, especially when huge storms destroy most of the wooden huts every winter.
With all the rain that Turkey has had this spring, the valley is lush and more beautiful than ever, the waterfalls at the end of the valley are poring with water and climbing up to the top waterfall has become even more exciting.

Here’s some more photos from in the valley and also from George House and some of the coastal paths above the valley: