We decided to cheat and prior to arriving in Turkey, my travel buddy and I arranged (with Nomad Cave) a free shuttle bus pick-up service from the airport, to the hostel. We arrived on time and found no Turkish man awaiting our arrival, so rather then freaking out, we waited for 30 mins, before deciding it would probably be a good idea to call the hostel and find out why we were stranded at the airport. We rang, they answered and they told us there was a 'delay' and 'problems on the motorway' but miraculously, not long after our phone call, shuttle bus number seven rolled in front of us, and out clambered a mustached man with my travel buddies' name scrawled in pencil on a separate piece of paper and sellotaped to the machine printed list of other names...
We hopped on and away we went. We arrived at Nomad mid-morning. There weren't many other people around, so I believe that is why we were lucky enough to have all attention on us. Someone (who disappeared shortly after and wasn't to be seen again) greeted us and took us upstairs to check-in, we were handed keys, (we were lucky there) a towel each (again lucky) a small piece of soap (very lucky) and were left to it...Now the reason why I say we were lucky is because we later discovered that not everybody in our 8-people shared dorm, had the privilege of being given a key to the room, nor had they been given soap or towels. It did mean that usually we would come back to the hostel in the evening to find the hostel owner waiting for us, to tell us that 'so-and-so' desperately needed to get into the room, So-and-so would be angry because she'd been locked out the room when she needed to get something, and all in all it was very annoying for us, especially as Gerome is a very hike-friendly, tour-friendly, lots-to-see friendly place to be in. Because of the lack-of-key situation, it also meant that more often then not, our room was in fact never locked with the door wide open. Just about anybody could waltz on in and with no lockers available, walk on out with your backpack in tow.
Although I believe there were bedrooms upstairs, our 8 people and other mixed dorms where on the bottom floor. Open the door of the bedroom and you were greeted with an open courtyard and the main road. The courtyard was gateless and thus never ever locked, our room was rarely locked, and had Gerome not been a safe place to be in, it would have been a case of bye bye luggage. Furthermore, we had not realized that the two toilets, shower rooms and sinks where also in this courtyard, facing the main open road. Now i've slept in beds with cockroaches in them before, but it was equally unpleasant washing my face and picking spots out in the open, after some hairy Argentinian stranger had rid his body hair at the same sink (and left the hair littered around the sides) and having to dash practically naked from the shower rooms to our bedroom under the watchful eye of just about everyone.
There was also a fundamental lack of soap availability at the sinks. The toilet paper often ran out and we had to resort to emergency packed rolls, and the shower room water ran cold the later in the day it got. We soon found out it was better to shower earlier on in the day.
Breakfast although available from 7am, was often still being cooked at 8am, but that wasn't a major issue for us. What was however, was the lack of helpfulness from our good friend-and hotel owner - Lord Grumpypants.
Grumpypants was happy to help you out when you asked him questions. I say happy meaning, he would get the job partly done. If you said 'I need a bus to Keyseri' he would look at you like you'd asked him to arm wrestle a bear naked, before calling a company and giving you a price. If you said you needed to go on such a such tour, he would look at you as if you'd asked him to arm wrestle a bear naked, before making all the arrangements. However, being clever and having explored the possibilities already available, we already had an idea of how and what we needed to be doing to be getting where we wanted. It was out of laziness and convenience we would asked Lord Grumpyton for his help. So it surprised us when we asked him for a bus to Keyseri and we were given a time and a price that didn't sound right to us. Grumpington insisted that his was the only bus to Keyseri and there was no other way, or time, or price to get there other wise...a quick 10 minute walk to the bus station at the end of the road however, provided a near endless option of times and prices that was more similar to what we had been expecting.
Not only this rather frequent incident (where his grumpyship would only willingly help you out providing you would be using his contacts and no-one elses) but the hotel owner simply would not help you, and in fact almost scolded you if you got into a spot of bother. During our stay we met a backpacker who really unfortunately for her - got into a real sticky situation with a Turkish male who, because of not understanding what was going on, and because of the awkwardness of saying no to someone and because of not knowing how to run away or knowing anyone else in town to help, got tricked into having dinner with a stranger and paying the bill which came to 130TL (our dinner, although not massive but filling) usually just us around 8TL) She returned that evening to Nomad upset and broke, and thought it would be a good idea to tell the owner so that we could warn other lone female backpackers and prevent it happening again. Grumpypants instead of listening or offering any kind of support, freaked out that she had gone to someone else to book a balloon ride ticket (not part of conversation) and told her that it was all her fault, and then tried to sell her a turkish night out (''The same experience as you've just had, but for 70TL I could have saved you money, do you want a Turkish night?'')
All in all, for a place like Gerome, where there are caves hotels falling out of your ears, and many other happy backpackers, Nomad Cave Hotel has some thinking to do.
- Also Known As:
- Nomad Cave Hotel Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
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