Thursday, the last day of group activity, was busy. We began with a fast 45 km ride on quiet and mostly flat roads to the town of Koycegiz on the shore of a large lake. We stowed the bikes in the support bus and took a boat to a volcanic site where we tried a mud bath (yuk), viewed the famous Dalyan Rock Tombs from the water, and toured some ruins. Then back on the boat to Koycegiz for dinner beside the lake and a minivan back to our hotel in Akyaka.
Friday was departure day. The rest of the group was catching planes home or to Istanbul for a few days of visiting. I set off mid-morning with the panniers on my bike and received a send-off from the group. It was a pleasant hilly ride to Marmaris where I spent the afternoon before catching a 5:30 pm ferry to the Greek island of Rhodes.
I left with mixed feelings. I was sad to leave the group of friends I had enjoyed for the last 12 days, but I was looking forward to going to Greece and starting the solo part of my summer journey.
The ride in Turkey was harder than I expected. The rest of the group agreed. The distances were not big and we all had cycling experience, but none of us was prepared for such steep hills and such rough roads. However, no one complained and at the end of every day we all agreed that the day was a good ride. A good group to be with and lovely country to ride in.