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Old 09-15-2010, 11:17 AM   #1
SpecialAgentNancy OP
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Turkey two week tour, the female perspective

So we got through the Bulgarian/Turkish border pretty quickly hoping that the speeding ticket Luke got in June didn't cause problems....

Made some friends on Moto-Park.com (a Turkish rider forum) and Volkan opened his home to us to stay our first night in Turkey.


His wife made us an amazing meal of eggplant and beef in a delicious sauce.



And he's got a new baby girl who didn't like the heat as much as we didn't

So after a sweat drenched night on the Asian side near the water we set off in the early morning



Oh but WAIT, I forgot the 'white knuckle ride' part...

Luke's got the GPS, I don't. Heck I don't even have a reliable map of Istanbul and frankly it was after many emails that he convinced me to ride through it at all.

Remember I was here a year ago and saw how these people drive. Now this not a driver bashing post, rather I'm impressed with how these people can drive bumper to bumper at 100km+

Se we stopped about 50km from Istanbul to rest and since I was ready to go before Luke and he likes to ride faster than me he suggested I take off and he would catch up.

10km passed, no Luke
another 10km, still no Luke

slowed down to 80km (now 40KM from Istanbul and getting nervous) still no Luke

stopped on the side of the freeway, waited while draining the battery (left the lights on because now it's dark) still no Luke.

Another 10KM, no Luke.

Now I'm freaking out. No Luke. No GPS. Alone on the road to death.

Stopped again, got him on the cell and just then a cop car with the lights flashing pulls up, then another, then a 3rd and finally #4. None of them speak English.

I'm about 10KM before the toll plaza, I tell Luke I'll wait for him there.

Cops don't like that, again a couple cars trying to get me to go through and wait on the other side, just then Luke pulls up behind me.

I guess I went faster than he gave me credit, he was convinced he passed me.

Get's better!

Pay the toll, hit reserve. Told Luke. OK
Another 10KM, still not exiting the freeway for gas, remind Luke, reserve. OK

Run out of gas at a major fork in the road and he's not looking behind to see me pull over...I'm starting to panic, then he sees me and turns right and a car nearly made him a hood ornament.

So there we are on the side of the road with a glass jar and a rubber tube trying to get gas from his bike to mine. Well it all ended OK, we finally made it to Volkan's house before midnight, or heck it might have been after.


Welcome to Turkey. 2 more weeks of touring. Ride report coming soon so stay tuned.
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:33 AM   #2
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Nice narative..no bike or outside pics ?
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:30 PM   #3
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http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=620469

and a pic for you of the next day in cappadocia

I'll merge my treads tomorrow.
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:35 PM   #4
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I'm in
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:37 AM   #5
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Cappadocia

We left the muggy Asian side of Istanbul early Sunday morning, today we have 700km to Cappadocia but not before a parting gift from the police.

Yes, you guessed it, a 270TL speeding ticket.

After a long grueling day of riding we arrived just in time to hear the "dig in" call over the loud speaker from the center of town.


And the beautiful moon



Panorama camping overlooks the main valley of Cappdocia



We met an Italian couple traveling by motorcycle as well.


The next morning we woke up at 4am and did the obligatory hot air balloon ride over the valley.




I asked this funny guy to take a photo and he purposefully turned it on himself.


Going up...



My first time and I loved it, we weren't the only ones....


Unesco moved everyone out around the 1950's and this particular village had a landslide


That's our shadow


These guys threw me on top of the stuffed bag but the photo didn't turn out. :(


Next it was time for Menemen and our bill arrived in this cute little box.


Then we did a little single track riding around the valley


These weird shapes form because the softer rock underneath erodes away.


Discovered Gosleme



Here is my tent and Big Red overlooking the valley, they don't call it Panorama camping for nothing!


And they have a fresh water pool that was wonderfully cold!


The exhaustion finally set in and I took a nap.


And no visit would be complete without the dreaded rug shop


On the way out found this beautiful church





And you hate watering your lawn????



Next stop Mt. Nemrut....
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:56 AM   #6
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Turkey

LOVE Turkey.

Are they not the nicest and most hospitable people in the world? (except for the driving)

For all the others, if you visit Turkey, be careful about complimenting them...they will give that item to you. When I first visited I complemented my friend's brother on his sweater and it was practically forced on me.


...and the food is wonderful.
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:52 AM   #7
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Mt Nemrut

You are absolutely right. I stopped in a gas station and asked if they had Internet, they brought out their personal laptop and insisted I use it and wouldn't accept any money.

Turkish Hopitality is the best in the world!

Our next top was Mt. Nemrut, another long hot day of 40 degree riding. During one long straight road we found ourselves engulfed by a herd of goats and sheep.



and one donkey.

The GPS suggested a 'short cut' that turned out to be a lovely dirt road through some remote villages in the hills.



Stopped for lunch (harder and harder to find with Ramadan and nearing the Syrian border) where I had a wonderful soup.



We stopped at a gas station and when we got back on the bikes, Luke's side cases hit mine and knocked me over where finally the metal frame holding on my side cases bent to the point of no return....so we found a metal shop and used their drill to fix them once and for all.



We found another beautiful camp spot not 30KM from Mt Nemrut



And Luke's pain in the butt tent, mine is much easier which probably explains why I'm always ready to go before him in the morning.


with a fresh water pool again.



Got some nice bruises to be proud of by now.


Had an amazing meal of 'baby cow' (I'm pertty sure it was goat)


And this awesome potato, pepper dish.


Woke up early the next morning and since everyone was asleep and my friends call me "the hobbit" because I eat like a line-backer foraged in the trees for fresh figs.



Mt. Nemrut where I didn't think to bring walking shoes so after about 1/4 of the way went the rest barefoot.



This is my favorite one. I love watching hawks or other such majestic birds hunting or just sitting up high waiting for a tasty morsel.


Sunrise over the gravel pyramid


Back for 2nd breakfast!



Waiting for the Ferry to cross the man made lake created by the Ataturk dam by a truck full of cows.


Big Red and a baby cow on the front of the ferry.


They really do pack the cars in so tight that even as thin as I am I could not fit between the cars so I was on the platform at the back.


Hey the munchkin doesn't know how to swim....no problem, just make floaties out of empty pop bottles.


So after a couple hours of mid-day riding in 40 degree heat (did I say that I wanted to do this in September?!?!?!?!) and I actually fell off my bike and so the station attendant cut a watermelon



Felt kinda bad eating while they couldn't...


Visited the Ruiz monastary near Mardin



Just had to pose like a Grecian statue in this alcove, although I felt anything but beautiful!


Beautiful wooden doors


The inner courtyard


They had prickly pear!



Now this is a bit of a sidetrack but these door handles are the noisiest, squeeky, annoying door handles I've ever used in the world. Automatic built in security system...just TRY and go to the bathroom without waking up the whole house.




Next stop the "Grand" hotel of Mardin. $100 US a night for this crap.


Now I would imagine that you men out there would expect a woman to prefer a hotel but it was quite the opposite, I always wanted to camp especially after getting ripped off like this.

And the pool that we were not allowed to swim in because they were serving dinner around the pool.



From now on, anything with the word "grand" in it is off limits!
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:16 PM   #8
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Hasankeyif, Diyarbakir, Lake Van and the 2nd highest pass in Turkey

Woke up to some incredible heat and got a smart idea, soak the gear in cold water, a sort of do-it-yourself A/C coupled with the throttle things were bearable for about 30 minutes.

On to Hasankeyif the site of a 12th century bridge over the Tigris river.












Now as I enter less touristic places I'm beginning to learn there are two types of village boys.

The harmless, curious and friendly ones like these


And the dangerous, bored ones that like to throw stones or bricks.

(no photo, I try to get past these as fast as possible)

Made a stop in Diyarbakir to see the impressive city walls and have lunch. This nice man opened his restaurant to feed us.


The first of many many kebab's on this trip


I found out I am a magnet for Turkish boys


Thank Allah there are many many roadside natural fresh water springs.

My feet were so puffy I was sure they were someone else's.


Great photo of Luke and as you can tell by his expression, it's quite cold



Road along the Trigris for quite a while.


Now I learned on this trip that it's so hot in Turkey in August that the roads actually melt, sort of the consistency of crunchy peanut butter but less tasty I'm sure. The track on the right is melted.


Getting lost in small villages is de riguer



And this is a common theme, everytime we arrive in a small town or village everyone comes out to help



This cutie pie (yes I'm single) spoke English and helped us select the mountain pass we wanted to take.


And there is the moon again following the sun



The plan was to take the highest mountain pass on our way to Lake Van but we were cautioned that it was very difficult so we opted for the easier one being at the end of a long day of riding



The rock formations were stunning


KM's and KM's of dirt roads winding through the highest peaks in Turkey, truly magical


Stopped off for a break at a bee farm




Realizing we would not make it to Lake Van we decided to guerrilla camp down in this valley


My bath, an irrigation stream


The campsite


Our breakfast the next day, fig jam, of course we didn't intend for it to become that but things do shape change on motorcycles


Putting on my make up....you CAN see my eyes through the helmet.


And the ride the next day was just as glorious




Neat Roman bridge


And finally Lake Van
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:39 PM   #9
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Great Journey!

A great ancient land. Amazing people. Some really great riders too.
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:44 PM   #10
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Except that during Ramadan we didn't meet many....
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:45 PM   #11
Dickyb
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Well Europe was well represented in the form of two Germans and a wobbly Brit who seem to be either following your tracks, or pathfinding. We did the trip 21-26 August.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...ghlight=dickyb

Only saw two other riders, apart from RTWDoug, the whole time.

Great RR. Looking forward to the rest.

Cheers,

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Old 09-16-2010, 10:51 PM   #12
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:12 AM   #13
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Excellent so far ..... thanks for sharing
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:34 AM   #14
ahimsa
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Great RR and beautiful sceneries! thanks :)
Turkey goes on my list.
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:50 AM   #15
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Very nice and the food looks simply delicious.
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