Today, Ahmet and I went riding in Chavusin Village on our Cappadocia horseback riding vacation. Chavusin is not too far from Avanos. Before we even began the ride, I was able to experience more of the generosity of people in Turkey. Everywhere that we have traveled, people are always inviting us over for tea or Ayran, a yogurt drink that is very popular here. We have witnessed the Turkish people being very generous to each other as well. Granted, we are not traveling on the main tourist routes. We are seeing villages and natural setting where we are the only tourists. It is pretty neat.
Chavusin’s old rock homes and churches are carved into a large high, cliff. They are situated in what looks almost like a castle. We were able to ride up on top of these dwellings, stopping below the St. John the Baptist Church from the 7th century. Above us there were also these cubbyholes carved into the rocks. These are what the locals call pigeon houses. They paint the rocks around these indentations red to attract pigeons to these spaces. The locals collect the pigeon droppings and use them for fertilizer.
We took a break after riding to have some tasty Turkish tea and I did a little shopping. I purchased two really neat necklaces and had my first trial in the sport of bargaining. I am pretty sure that I paid way too much. I have heard that in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, they raise the prices for tourists by two and a half! I unfortunately was in a time crunch and didn’t feel like haggling too much, but will be sure to be a bit tougher on my next purchases.