10-18-2012, 08:24 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: East Anglia
6000 miles to Cappadocia
The road was amazing. We had been on long motorways for almost a week and the predictable sweeping roads from Kaynarca to Akcakoca on the Black sea coast of Turkey were a fantastic change of pace. It was a dual carriageway but really nice radius bends with a good surface. We switched from one bend to the other seamlessly. Al was out front about 200 metres ahead, he disappeared over a crest a hill in a quick left hander and I saw no brake lights so I took it as my queue to accelerate. I crested the brow of the hill to be met with about 2 football pitches worth of shiny, black, hot liquid tar. I screamed inside my helmet, this was going to hurt!
I just caught sight of Al, legs stuck out to the side skidding left and right ahead of me. I stood the bike up as much as I could and can remember thinking "donít panic, keep off the brakes, donít turn and stop screaming". I was heading towards the central reservation at pace; there was no way I was getting away with this one.
The story of how I ended up in Turkey on this trip with Al starts about 2 years ago. He came along on a Morocco trip that I was on and as he lives in Norwich, East Anglia which is quite close to me we stayed in touch. There is a ride report here.
That was written by a good friend of mine, Si who I seem to have lost contact with recently. There were then a few shorter trips around Wales and the like before me and Al went on a trip to Tunisia last year. Ride report here
Even before we were back from Tunisia we were already planning this year's trip to Turkey. The plan had been initially to try and get to Lake Van in Eastern Turkey and back in 21 days; however the distances involved soon put paid to that plan so a trip to see the ghost chimneys of Cappadocia seemed like a good end destination. 6000 miles would be easy:)
I am a serving soldier in the British Army so the maximum time I can get off is 3 weeks, also because I need to work right through the summer months I get to take my leave at the beginning of September each year which fits in nicely with the days getting cooler in the countries I like travelling in. Al is a commercial diver so works long shift patterns so 3 weeks off for him is never a problem with some forward planning.
You would think that people with the type of jobs me and Al have would spend hours meticulously planning a trip, working out all the different permutations of route, deciding which one we wanted to do. Then getting a complex plan together and sticking to it throughout the journey. Well we are nothing like that. Al did not even have a bike 3 days before we left. As usual he got off a plane from work, went on EvilBay found a bike he fancied, bought it, loaded it up and came to my work and said "right where we going".
The few things we had decided were that we wanted to see Colditz Castle, we wanted to spend a couple of nights drinking in Istanbul and the end destination was Goreme in Cappadocia. Everything else we would work out on the way.
The bikes were fairly regular, I had a BMW F800GS that I had had from new for a couple of years and Al had just picked up a KTM LC4 Adventure which was a few years old and itself has some travelling history having done the Trans American route from South to North with a Swedish guy a few years earlier.
Day 1 Thetford to Kent, UK
So on Aug 31 we met up at my work in Thetford late afternoon to head off to Folkestone for the train over to Calais. We had booked the train for 3 am the next morning to give us a full days riding and make some big distance on Day 1.
Nothing to report really on the trip down, just the usual pre trip nerves about where, when, how etc. We found a camp site on Dunn's Street Farm in Kent and quickly set up for an early heads down. I decided to go for the full expensive tent set up but my mate in his infinite wisdom could not be bothered as the stars were shining brightly with not a cloud to be seen. Well at 1:30 in the morning when I was woken to the sound of thunder and lightning and rain hammering the top of my tent I did laugh)))