16.08.2012 - 16.08.2012
I always try and hire a car at some point, during the summer months to try and explore the area I am in. It is not always easy to travel around whilst working here, so when I can I grab the opportunity and set off with dog in tow.
Being a newcomer to Adana, I have been asking around where are good places to go.
Karataş was one town that was mentioned, as it is on the sea.
So today, I chucked a bag in the car with swimwear etc and the dog, along with her bag, which consists of water, a bowl, wet wipes (In case) and an old towel.
I had checked out maps the night before, and had a rough idea of where I was heading. The problem driving in cities in Turkey isn’t so much that you could get lost, it is a definite forgone conclusion that you will get lost. Every city I have driven around in Turkey has been the same. The problem is ROAD SIGNS ! Or lack of.
Now I understand that of course the locals know where every road goes. But it seems that the Turkish City councils really do not expect out of towners to drive around their city. So the main problem lies with a road sign that sends you one way, and you sigh with relief and recognition of the name, and dutifully follow the sign. Except that at the next main junction suddenly the place you were going to has either disappeared or is strangely pointing back the way you have just come from.
The problem then is you have no time to try and rationalise it out. Turkish drivers are impatient and aggressive at the best of times, but try sitting at the lights a second longer than amber to try and find another sign, and suddenly you have Armageddon going off in your ear, as every car, bus and bike behind you lets you know the lights are changing.
Anyway karatas is actually signposted, just as you are leaving Adana..of course!
Fortunately having travelled on the bus nearly every day since being here, I had an idea where I was going. Find the Mosque, there will be the bridge, and I will be on the right side to leave Adana. Sure enough, the signpost is after these milestones.
So now I can begin to relax, and assure the dog, all is OK.
The road from Adana passes through the agricultural areas. There are miles of flat fields, growing either Maize or Cotton. As far as the eye can see the fields stretch ahead. The road, as is always the case here, once out of the city is quiet and not too many road works.
I passed many disused Manufacturing Factories, rusting and rotting away. The main Industry of this area was clothes manufacturing, hence the cotton fields, but these days so many have shut down as the industries have moved to China or other cheaper countries.
It is quite a sad sight and I pass stalls selling melons or sweet corn every 100 yards, and wonder if these guys are just trying to survive now the factories have gone.
There are a few women in the cotton fields and I feel for them in 40 plus degree heat.