First off many thanks to strommer. He's a champ and has been doing some parts research and shopping for me in Ankara. Alas, my service needs are all sorted locally in Van for when I return from Iran. Off to Iran tomorrow.
Here is the next installment:
I got up bright and early and found my hotel deserted. I gathered my stuff and let myself out. My hotel looked a little better in daylight.
I fueled up and quizzed the gas station attendant about the road conditions. I was a little worried about the road after yesterday’s downpour. The attendant said the road is fine. After seeing the Mountains ahead I just hoped for a dry day.
A short time later I came across the first small road slip.
The road was getting slightly worse but nothing too bad.
Shortly after taking this pictures I entered a construction area with the now familiar mud bath.After a few kilometers the road was closed completely. Not sure if it was because of the construction work or because of a mud slide. I turned to the right and kept following the road, keeping a close eye on the Zumo to make sure I was headed roughly in the right direction. When I came to a fork on the road I wasn”t sure where to go and decided to wait for another car. The boys on the back of a furniture truck told me to follow them when I shouted my destination. A few more kilometers on the driver of a van coming the other direction told us the road was blocked. So we turned around and followed him. The detour of the detour we were now following soon turned into mud and huge puddles of water. I kept my distance as I didn’t want to get stuck behind one of the cars in case they got stuck. At the same time I didn’t want to lose them because I had no clue where to go. We all made it though and once we joined the main road it was all tarmac from now on, with a few cows, goats, and sheep standing around.
Coming down the pass I had an amazing view of the artificial lakes that form part of the GAP project in Anatolia.
I stopped for a well deserved lunch near the lake.
As I left Katha another downpour started and I went for cover in a gas station. I got an invitation for tea although I didn’t by any gas (too expensive). When it cleared I left and just made it to the next gas station for another tea. Gas was still too expensive though. After the rain stopped I went back to Katha for cheaper gas but it turned out that unleaded was sold out almost everywhere and thus the high price at the few stations that had any left. So, no choice but to pay TL 3.12, the most I have paid yet.
I made it to Nemrut Dagi just in time for sunset. Perfect! It is a pretty amazing site were a megalomaniac king built huge statues around an artificial peak with a burial site underneath.
Nice parking job, if I say so myself. It was a lot steeper than it looks in the picture
On the way down I ran into three Austrian GS/Transalp riders plus adopted puppy. We all decided to stay at the same place right next to the gate. It had warm water, heating and dinner. What else do you need?