All posts by Martin Drury

Martin Drury is a traveller, photographer, carer, hiker, cyclist, sailor, adventurer and cartographer based in Canberra, Australia. He has travelled to Papua New Guinea, SE Asia, the South Pacific including Samoa and diving in the Soloman Islands, trekked in Nepal, and sailed the Coral Sea. He also had the enviable role of being the cartographer for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (1989-1995).

Central Anatolian Trek, or Büyük Anadolu Tür 2014

We were really pleased to receive this article from Mac about the Evliya Çelebi Way 2014 ride and to hear that other riders joined along the way to complete the journey. Hopefully we will have more stories from Mac and Donna this year about their forthcoming horse-riding adventures.
Tracey Benson

Picture of Evliya Çelebi Way Guidebook
Cover of Evliya Çelebi Way Guidebook

Central Anatolian Trek, or Büyük Anadolu Tür 2014, Completed Successfully!
Gerald Maclean (Mac)

Donna and I reported on the early days of the 2014 ride from Avanos across the Konya plain to join up with the Evliya Çelebi Way in Kutahya, and we’re delighted to report that the ride was successfully completed (almost on schedule). Caroline Finkel left the riders once they reached Kutahya, but Tim Grace arrived from Australia to join the group on the final leg of the journey, which picked up the Evliya Çelebi Way.

Image of 2014 Evliya Riders
Almost there! Riders completing the 2014 Central Anatolian Trek Jean, Tim Grace, Inci Mehmet, Jude, Susan and Ann.

What’s Next?
Plans are underway to develop a series of equestrian extensions to the existing Evliya Çelebi Way in the Bursa-Inegol area. Tugrul Avci has met with Caroline Finkel to discuss proposals being put before the local provincial mayors to open up routes suitable for horses and walkers that would extend the ECW to take in the villages of Cumalikizik and Oylat.

Picture of Cumalikizik
Cumalikizik, source–cumalikizik-koyu-turu-58.html
Image of Oylat
Oylat, source

Cumalikizik has recently been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This unspoilt village in the foothills of Mount Uludag provides an amazing example of early Ottoman village design and architecture; just as it was in Evliya’s day.  Oylat is an ancient hot-spring ticked into a ravine which people continue to visit in pursuit of the beneficial effects of the mineral baths.

In addition to offering new possibilities for walkers trekking the ECW, the new route will provide new equestrian possibilities since the Cumalikizik-Oylat extensions would make for short-term riding expeditions of one to three days in the saddle. These shorter rides should suit anyone who cannot find the time to ride the Evliya Çelebi Way for the full two weeks from Kutahya to Iznik (or Yalova).

There are also hopes that the new equestrian route will be suitable for further development as a course for use in Equestrian Endurance Trials.  If all goes according to plan, there will be an initial horseback expedition to find the best ways in May.

Meanwhile, the ECW remains open for trekking and spring will soon be bringing the flowers in profusion! Despite the troubles hundreds of miles away to the south, this will be a great year to visit Turkey since tourist bookings are down, making deals available. The exchange rate makes Turkey excellent value. Equestrian enthusiasts should know that the horses used on the Evliya rides are in fine form at the Akhal Teke Ranch in Avanos, and there are spaces available on most of the scheduled rides (see: )


10 Tips for catching an autorickshaw in Bangalore

Catching an autorickshaw for the first time can be quite scary, but is a cost effective alternative to taxis and is great fun if you are prepared for a lot of noise, traffic chaos and the challenge of trying to communicate with local drivers with very limited English. Here are a few tips that may help to make your first autorickshaw journey a pleasant experience:

Autorickshaw © Martin Drury 2014
  1. Make a mud map. Just on a piece of scrap paper make a rough map of the destination, you can hand this over to the driver. It doesn’t matter too much if he doesn’t hand it back or you loose it.
  2. Record the destination address accurately, make sure that you include the suburb or area name. If the driver doesn’t know the area that well they can always pull over and ask for further directions from a local shop keeper when they get there.
  3. Record the phone number of your destination. If possible write down the phone number of the destination so that if the driver gets lost you can ring up and ask for directions.
  4. Record major landmarks. On your mud map record any major landmarks or major cross streets close to your destination if you happen to know of any
  5. Ask a local, who uses autorickshaws on a regular basis, what they would expect to pay to go to your destination. This gives you a rough idea of what to expect as a fair deal.
  6. Agree a price beforehand, or insist that they use the meter. Autorickshaws are equipped with a meter but are not always used. If you have a rough idea of a fair price, or of what you are prepared to pay you can agree on a price before you accept the ride. However an agreed price will usually be more than the metered price, unless you are an exceptional negotiator. If you are after the cheapest option insist that they use the meter.
  7. Track the route. If you have a smart phone it is useful to track your progress to maake sure that you are heading in the right direction.
  8. Do not hand over your phone. Unless you really trust the driver, it is best not to hand over your phone as you may not get it back.
  9. Flag down a driver rather than picking one from the queue, if you choose an autorickshaw from the roadside queue (the equivalent of a taxi rank) it seems that you are charged an extra fee for the time that they spend waiting in the queue.
  10. Keep your stuff secure, hang on tight to your personal belongings as it is easy for a passing motorcyclist or pedestrian to reach in and grap what they want.

Hang on and enjoy the ride!

Notre Dame, Paris – A Photo Essay

These pictures were taken during a stroll around Notre Dame in September 2013.

Flowers around Alam Jiwa, Ubud, Bali – A Photo Essay

We had an overnight stay in Ubud, Bali where I had the opportunity to take these flower shots, enjoy.

Other posts about Bali:

365 Places: Alam Jiwa

The Soul of Nature: Alam Jiwa

Candi Dasa – East Coast of Bali

365 Places: Sanur’s Balinese Restaurant

North Bali – A Photo Essay

365 Places: Bali

365 Places: Nyuh Kuning

365 Places: Sanur Beachfront

Tasman National Park, A Photo Essay

These photos are from a visit to the Tasman National Park, Tasmania, on a very hot day back in late January 2008.

See other posts on Tasmania:

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania – A Photo Essay

Dubrovnik, Croatia – A Photo Essay

We visited Dubrovnik as part of a ‘Sailing’ Croatia cruise from Split to Dobrovnik and return in October 2013. Although the cruise was promoted as a sailing cruise, the sails were not raised once over the nine day. We did however visit some beautiful seaside ports and villages along the way, including this one:

Please have a look at our other posts on Croatia:

Mljet Croatia – A Photo Essay

365 Places: Korčula


As the Fog Lifts on Canberra – A Photo Essay

These pictures were taken on a beautiful autumn morning in Canberra around Lake Burley Griffin and Black Mountain just as the early fog was lifting on the city.

Our Sawty Sortie – A Photo Essay

My wife Tracey and I have identified Sawtell New South Wales (affectionately known by the locals as Sawty), as a potential site for us to spend some time in future years . Here is a selection of shots of this stunning coastline taken on a recent sortie (short return trip).

Other posts featuring Sawtell:

365 Places: Sawtell

365 Places: Cafe TREEO

Korora Sunrise, The Second Coming – A Photo Essay

Another beautiful sunrise this morning at Korora Beach, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales.

See our other posts about Korora:

365 Places: Sunrise over the Pacific

Sunrise at Korora – A Photo Essay

365 Places: Korora Beach

Sunrise at Korora – A Photo Essay

This morning we woke to this glorious sunrise at Korora Beach, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales.

For further information on Korora Beach see Tracey Benson’s post 365 Places: Korora Beach.

More beautiful Korora sunrise images: Korora Sunrise, The Second Coming – A Photo Essay,

and 365 Places: Sunrise over the Pacific.