The first day took me past a couple of large beautiful lakes and had some excellent twisties through some mountains on the way to the first lake. For the most part I had the roads to myself, especially in the mountains, which made it feel like I had a 400km long race track all to myself. Well, I didn't race per se, I had an adventure touring bike after all. But it did feel like a playground. Lake Egirdir, the first lake, I passed with it to my left, or its eastern side. The road took me initially round the bottom of it where I was at the same elevation as the lake but once on the eastern side I was high above it and had a spectacular view across to the other side. I like travelling like this. When I'm just visiting natural sites there is not a lot of study to do about the history of human settlements there. I don't have to do any reading. I just have to go there and look. I really enjoyed just taking in the calm vista. Before Lake Egirdir though came a fun twisty section of back roads through some hills on the way after an eastward turn off the D685 past Yenice toward Cerbelli.
There was even some road under construction around the southern section of the second lake, Beysehir. Presumably the Turkish sign said in no uncertain terms that I was not to go along the road and to take a detour... I went past it and soon enough the tarmac was gone and there were was all sorts of earth moving equipment grinding about. Funnily enough though there were a few locals picking their way along the what remained of the tarmac they hadn't yet dug up, and then in between the earth movers and trucks in the dirt when that ran out. I was behind a Camry so figured if they were going for it I could make it on my Tenere. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures as I wanted to look like I knew what I was doing and not get told to go back by someone, also fuel was getting low so I just wanted to focus on riding and getting to the next fuel station.
Another highlight of the day's riding was the western side of Lake Beysehir - it felt so remote and quiet here. I didn't see any cars for the whole 50+km section. This combined with the peaceful scenes looking across the lake and fun curvy road hugging the lake's edge made for a very relaxing ride. I was in the midst of this meditation when unfortunately a tiny squirrel must have been scared by me riding by and ran across the road in front of me. It tried to run back but I still hit it. I felt so bad for killing the poor thing, I can only hope one of its predators found it and enjoyed the easy meal.
All in all a great first day's riding in Turkey. I think you could have a very enjoyable few days in this area - much the same impression as I had after riding the Izu Skyline in Japan. Basically every single road has something nice to offer a motorcyclist. I also wrote a silly poem about day 1 which you can see in the photos, obviously it had been a while since my last bike tour and it went to my head a bit ;-)