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Old 05-07-2009, 11:49 AM   #46
SpitfireTriple
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rellik
This great stuff! I too would like to see some larger versions of some of those pics. I love that bike too, I wish we could get them here.
Just click on them. Boarder06 has set them up to be click-to-expand.
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:06 PM   #47
Dickyb
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Oh Bugger. I live near Kas and missed you. Yep, the weather was crap but the sun has got his hat on now. Have a safe trip onwards.

Cheers,

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Old 05-07-2009, 03:16 PM   #48
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Right on, Steffen!

I was hoping that you would post here, as well as your site.Gorgeous photos, as always.

You really endured some weather at the beginning. Looks like an amazing trip. I yield; your Tenere is far cooler than my KLR. I echo the "Wish we could get them in the US" sentiments.

Jeff King and Jeri are going to rent my house starting in June, so I should be good to go once that happens. Still dealing with homeowner's minutiae.

Did you do your Tenere break-in on the road? Had it been broken in before you got it?

Great to see you out in the world. Much better than NPX in August, eh?
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bouldergeek screwed with this post 05-07-2009 at 04:49 PM
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:51 PM   #49
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Stunning pics Keep 'em coming!
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:15 PM   #50
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Kizkalesi to Kadirli


Once again I got rolling at the crack of 10:30. I was actually up bright and early and went for a stroll on the beach at 7. I was joined for breakfast by the hotel owner and his friend and we just talked for a long time. The owner had a lot of interesting anecdotes to tell. Traveling is all about meeting people and I am always willing to stop for an interesting conversation. It turns out that this is, after Rarotonga, the second time that former German president Richard von Weizaecker and I share the same taste in hotels in far away places. He always seems to follow up with a thank you letter. I just stay at the places about 30 years later when they are a little rough around the edges.
When I left the sun was shining and I decided to store the waterproof Goretex layer away. My first destination of the day was Yilankale, an Armenian hilltop castle. It was fast going on a four lane tollway and the castle could be seen a few kilometers after the turnoff. I parked the bike and spent some time expploring.


My next destination was the Roman/Byzantine city of Anzarbus. I could see some dark clouds in the distance but was hoping they”d be moving out of my way. I arrived at the ancient city gate and was blown away by the view through it. Ruins scattered in fields as far as the eye could see and a hilltop castle. I parked the bike at the side of the road and went to the gate to take pictures. As soon as I got my camera out the flood gates opened. I took refuge under the gate. I was soon joined by a local farmer and a short time later by another farmer. Although I don’t speak any Turkish and they didn’t speak anything but, we managed to carry on a conversation. We did agree that Atatuerk was a great man, that Germany and Turkey have a good and close relationship, that there is too much rain, which is not good for the crops, and that the castle is beautiful. I kept raining harder and harder and the wind kept shifting and the three of us had to move to different spots under the gate to keep dry. The rain developed into a thunderstorm with lightning striking all around us. After every lightning strike one of the farmers looked to the sky and prayed (I kept hearing Allah again and again). At one point we were huddled into a tiny hole. After about three hours of this we were joined by two totally drenched kids on a bicycle. Obviously the word about my bike had gotten around and they came to check it out. They asked for my name and introduced themselves in English. Each of them laughing at the other’s attempt to speak English, which wasn’t actually that bad. Unfortunately, that is all they could say. When the rain let up little bit I ran to my bike (which was now in the middle of a lake) and fetched my Goretex layer. The problem now was that I had all these people around me and I didn’t want to strip to my skivvies in front of them to put my rainproofs on. After waiting for a while to see if they leave I decided to go for it. I motioned what I was about to do and they seemed OK with it. With my rainproofs on I just wanted to drive to their village for some tea and a room for the night to have another chance to see the ruins the next morning but the farmer motioned that I better move on because the rain wasn’t going to stop anytime soon. I decided to follow his advice and after a hearty handshake I drove off.
Ancient city gate

The only picture I could take of the castle before the rain started.

Near Anzarbus

Dark clouds everywhere

In the next village some of the lots were completely flooded and a crowd had gathered, looking at the damage and scratching their heads. Parts of the road to Kadirli were under about a foot of water. I followed a car to see how deep it was and then I just went for it. About 30 Ks on I reached Kadirli. The road into town was flooded as well and cars were trying to get through, pedestrians running through the rain, not looking were they were going, an ambulance trying to speed through and the sun had just set. I drove around trying to find a place to stay. I saw two dodgy looking hotels and after 20 minutes I pulled the old standby and waved two teenagers on a pimped out 125 over and asked for a hotel. They motioned to follow them and lead me to the same two dodgy hotels. OK, so this will have to do. I picked the slightly better looking one and walked up the stairs. My first question was about parking the bike and he motioned “on the street”. When I shook my head he motioned to follow him and lead me around the corner to a gated backyard. Much better! With the bike safely tucked away we went through the lengthy check in, which involved all the information from my passport, plus my father’s and mother’s name, which is standard here. Since I don’t speak Turkish this was a bit difficult but to my surprise he had a translation program on the computer and we pulled it off. I got the deluxe room with heating blankets and satellite TV, Al Jazeera being the only English channel. I went out for dinner and when I went into a Doner Kebap shop I was greeted in German. The owner prepared a very tasty 2 TL dinner for me and we talked for a while. It turned out that there actually is a nicer hotel in town. Should have had my Doner first. Ah well, just one night. What could possibly go wrong?
My slice of heaven for a night
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:36 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bouldergeek
You really endured some weather at the beginning. Looks like an amazing trip. I yield; your Tenere is far cooler than my KLR. I echo the "Wish we could get them in the US" sentiments.
As long as it got two wheels it's fine. As I said I won't pass judgment on the Ten until I'm home.

Quote:
Jeff King and Jeri are going to rent my house starting in June, so I should be good to go once that happens. Still dealing with homeowner's minutiae.
Great! Looks like the place to have a party with Shaun's under age college friends when I am in Denver in fall. What could possibly happen?

Quote:
Did you do your Tenere break-in on the road? Had it been broken in before you got it?
I farkled it and had the 1k service done before I left. Next is at 10k.

Quote:
Great to see you out in the world. Much better than NPX in August, eh?
Well, more interesting scenery but trying to get the espresso machine to function a while longer and reading ADVRider in your office wasn't too bad either ;-)
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Old 05-11-2009, 06:43 PM   #52
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Whoa!

Quote:
Great! Looks like the place to have a party with Shaun's under age college friends when I am in Denver in fall. What could possibly happen?
Hey now. Can't let Michael thinking the house will be a wreck when he gets back. Should be a great Summer! And I'll do my best to keep it nice and wholesome.

BTW Loving your photos. Michael got me on this thread and it's just amazing. I've seen several parts of the Middle East, but certainly not Iran and well unfortunately not on a motorcycle.

Would love to say hi when you're in town. Definitely drop a line when you get here.
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:00 AM   #53
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great report & pics.

Katara pass is an experience. FYI Katara translates to "Curse".
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:31 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Stravoxylo
great report & pics.

Katara pass is an experience. FYI Katara translates to "Curse".
I should brush up on my Greek would have kept me out of trouble twice already :-)
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:34 AM   #55
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BTW Loving your photos. Michael got me on this thread and it's just amazing.
Thanks

Quote:
Would love to say hi when you're in town. Definitely drop a line when you get here.
Will do, hopefully will be a short trip, just doing medical. I don't think I will do another fire fighting class...
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:23 AM   #56
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I just re-read the section through Thessaloniki. Those scoundrels... they actually took the 1 euro from you? They usually wave motorcycles through. Next time, fumble with your gloves and jacket while getting your money. Unless a supervisor is observing, after about 4 seconds they'll wave you through.

enjoying your pics through Turkey & the rest of the ride!!!
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:12 PM   #57
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Kadirli to Nemrut Dagi

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?
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:20 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stravoxylo
I just re-read the section through Thessaloniki. Those scoundrels... they actually took the 1 euro from you? They usually wave motorcycles through. Next time, fumble with your gloves and jacket while getting your money. Unless a supervisor is observing, after about 4 seconds they'll wave you through.

enjoying your pics through Turkey & the rest of the ride!!!
Damn! I was so proud of myself being all ready and not holding up traffic. Good to know for next time though.
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Old 05-12-2009, 02:22 PM   #59
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Nemrut Dagi to Tatvan


In the morning I went for a spin to Arsameia the former capital of the king that built Nemrut Dagi. To get there I went down a switchback mountain road. It was a ton of gravel on badly deteriorated asphalt. So I took it easy and slow. Arsamenia has some amazingly well preserved reliefs

and offers nice views of the surrounding area

including the hilltop Yeni Kale, a Mamluk castle

I came down the road in the background

How nice is that

Or that?

I took the road East and arrived just in time for my ferry. I got lucky and the ferry was nearly empty which made it pretty easy to turn around and point in the right direction on arrival. My Zumo was a hit with the locals and they followed the ferry's progress on the map.

I had a lot more territory to cover until Tatvan and rainclouds kept hovering above me. I took a picture of dead mule no 2 and 3 of the day

I also came a across a very fancy turk TUV station in the middle of nowhere. Thanks Germany for exporting more bureaucracy and rules to the rest of the world.

Seljuk bridge on the way.

with cool kids nearby

and another hydro power dam

I considered briefly to pay Batman a visit

A rainbow greeted me on arrival in Tatvan

After some searching I found a hotel with safe parking just across from the military barracks. When I looked out the window of my room I thought the house next door was on fire but it turned out they just had turned on the furnace. It sure looked like they were burning some old tires
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:10 PM   #60
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Tatvan to Van


I set out early in the morning for the Armenian church of Altinsac. I programmed the Zumo to lead me to the village nearby. I zipped past some stunning landscapes

Zumo send me down a dirt road. When I reached a village after 3km I asked for directions and whether I could get there, being doubtful seeing the mountains in front of me. One older gentlemen mimicked that it was possible to walk but that there was no road and that I should go the long way around. I confirmed which way to go with the help of the Zumo, which was again a great hit with the gathered crowd. I followed the new route, which again took me down a dirt road for about 15km to the village of Altinsac, where I asked for directions to the church, which was a further 3km. I parked my bike at the start of a single track below the church.

and walked up to Altinsac Kilisesi




I spent a considerable time exploring and just admiring the view across the lake. The church is completely unprotected and some signs of vandalism and graffiti can be seen.
Eventually I pressed on and made my way to the docks for the Akdemar ferries.

I ferried over with a group of teenagers on a school trip. Just as all the teenager in the world they tried to act very cool. One of them giving his best Titanic impression

There clearly was some dating going on between the boys and the girls. Some shy and some not so shy.
Akdemar island:

Because, as I now realised, it was a Sunday the place was very crowded with school classes singing and dancing and families having a picknick. There was a lot of litter everywhere despite the provided trash bins. However, some of the school kids walked around with trash bag picking up the litter. Maybe there is hope and the next generation will take better care of the environment.

Akdemar Kilisesi

Akdemar Kilisesi

Akdemar Kilisesi: Frescoes

Akdemar Kilisesi

Akdemar Kilisesi: Stone carvings

Its all about timing. This is looking at Altinsac,where I was in the morning

I drove the last 40km to Van in heavy traffic as everyone else was going home too.
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