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Old 06-25-2011, 08:37 PM   #916
achesley
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Have been in a sand storm in S. Cal. back in the '60's on a '63 Triumph 650. Not fun even though it was for only about 6 hours. And glad you made it though.
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Old 06-26-2011, 03:48 AM   #917
Ed Teach
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtwdoug View Post
any of y'all ridden in a sandstorm?
Yes, kind of it, near Merzouga two months ago. Not funny even riding on road


Hope you can fix your electrical problems soon mate.
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Old 06-26-2011, 05:54 AM   #918
rtwdoug OP
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Location: Alabamski Oblast, Redneckistan
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The road to Ankara was hot & mostly flat. Pretty boring.


I stopped at a small parking area for a break, & this donkey wandered up, looking for a meal. I didn’t have anything but some hard candy, but he seemed to like that.






I got to Andi’s house that afternoon, was good to be able to take a break for a few days, but I knew the visa fetching was going to be a pain. I have to get 6 visas here.
Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan (with extra stamp for Pamirs) Kyrgistan, & Kazakhstan. I had already given Andi the applications, & he had sent them to the various embassies, hoping to make the process move faster.
Tuesday morning, a driver picked me up, & off we went. First to UZ, as they had already approved it, & just had to be picked up. They were in a basement of an old building, & it cost 140 usd! Ouch!
Then we went outside of the city, to a big hill full of fancy embassies. Up here was the AZ, Kaz, & Tajik. Kaz wanted to keep my passport for 3-4 days, but finally relented, as I needed to get other visas. But, I had to fill out all the papers again. AZ was only open from 9-12, so had to return the next morning. AZ also made me fill out the papers again. Anyhow, it was all very confusing & hectic, but by Friday afternoon at 430, I had all 6 visas, & ready to hit the road.
Took 4 days. Probably a record, but don’t think it would have happened without help from Andi!
The easiest/nicest were the Tajiks, took a few minutes, & costs 35 usd. Biggest pita was azeri, they kept dickin around, & costs 131 usd. I think TM was 50, Kaz was 50, & Kyrg was 30.
Ome of the embassies were palaces, some were small shitty places in town. I have them all on the gps, in case anyone needs to go to them.

Turkmen embassy. They are very paranoid.


This is the Qatar embassy. Its bigger than the actual country I think


This is for Palestine, if I remember right. Not really a ‘country’ but they have a fancy building.
And my ride for the day.


Embassies on the hill
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Old 06-26-2011, 05:55 AM   #919
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While in town, I went to the HD shop, & changed my oil. Really nice guys.






Andi’s friend Birot has a repair shop, & we went there for a cookout. Andi’s MZ is getting new tranny bearings


Was an international gathering, a bunch of turks, Austrians, & me.


Birot helped me make a camera mount for the bike.



This mosque has a store in the basement. They are not allowed to sell beer tho



I met this pretty girl at the local bike gear store. I bought a pair of padded riding shorts. They have helped a lot.


Andi’s apartment maintenance guy has this Chinese bike with extra lights, sirens, & 500 pounds of chrome doodads on it. He is some sort of Turkish hillbilly from the country. I thought he was pretty annoying, I dunno how Andi puts up with him.
As Poly would say, he struts ‘like a rooster on a shitpile’
We have the same guys back home, only they usually ride Harleys.


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Old 06-26-2011, 06:02 AM   #920
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We met Ozgur & Malinka, who have read my stories, & invited us for dinner. Really nice couple, wish I could have spent more time with them. Next year, I hope I will.



One of Andis friend had broken his shoulder in a bike wreck. They were sort of like a matched pair.



Saturday morning, I headed to the coast, then to points east. The road was pretty good, but along the coast, the road is all new & perfect. I went this way last year also.
A beachfront room for 40 bucks is always nice.



One town decided to make the trash dump where most towns would have a beach…..





I’d think having a rather large woman riding sideways on a scooter would be detrimental to the handling.


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Old 06-26-2011, 06:05 AM   #921
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I got to Trabzon, & met up with my friends Cem & Rushden, Actually, Cem new I was coming, & came to meet me on the road as he was watching my spot tracker, & saw I was close. Cem had just ordered a bike from Istanbul, and I hope he has it by now, & is riding the shit out of it!



They invited me to go south to see a monestary last year, but I didn’t have time. This year they invited me again, so I said ok, although I have seen a lot of monestaries.
I was glad I went tho!
South, it got greener, & bigger mountains



We stopped to have fresh trout from the river. Many fisheries along the road







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Old 06-26-2011, 06:07 AM   #922
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Finally, we see the monastery. WOW!




Was a bit wet up here


We parked, & had to hike up a goat path









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Old 06-26-2011, 06:11 AM   #923
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Inside, the paintings were in good shape, for the age. And there were 3 layers of paintings, going back 1000 years or so


The top shows Jonah finding out that the whale, was in fact, a swallower.


The guy in the middle was a guard, very friendly, & told us of the history



Heres a guy getting eaten by lions. No flash was allowed, hence the dark pics inside.




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Old 06-26-2011, 06:14 AM   #924
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:19 AM   #925
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I asked if it was one of those rare ‘midget monasteries’ but they said no, the small door was so people had to bow to enter.


There was this cable winch to bring supplies. Would sure be fun to slide down it!
(ok, getting off at the bottom may not be so much fun)





Then back down the trail…..





We stopped for tea, because that’s what you do in Turkey.


The next day, there was a guy sellin colored chicks at the market.
No really. These are actual peeping baby chickens, in fun colors for the whole family to enjoy!
Why? How? I dunno.



A lady bought a few, & he carefully placed them in a plastic bag. I hope she didn’t have far to go!

I stayed in the same cheap hotel as last year meaning I got to ride in ‘Schindlers Lift’ again!


The next morning, off to Georgia!
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:17 AM   #926
Southpawman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtwdoug View Post
Inside, the paintings were in good shape, for the age. And there were 3 layers of paintings, going back 1000 years or so

I really dig the fact that the dude on the dude's t-shirt is doing The Shocker!
Awesome ride report, Doug! Cheers from Lower Alabama!
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:40 AM   #927
bmwhacker
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Wow.....
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:56 AM   #928
swamp
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Laugh

Quote:
Originally Posted by doug
the small door was so people had to bow to enter
ha !

thats a good idea..
time to change out the doors in the garage
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:43 PM   #929
tserts
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Some further reading on Panagia Sumela, the monastery is very important to the Pontian Greeks, even years after its destruction. Last year the Turkish government issued a written permission for the monastery to have a liturgy on the 15th of August, one of the holiest days in the Greek Orthodox church, the day of holy Mary (the monastery is dedicated to her). It was the first religious use of the monastery after 88 years (the Ecumenical Patriarch lead the liturgy) and thousands of Greeks attended. It was emotional even for people like me who are not religious.

Here is a video:
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:33 PM   #930
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...the monastery is very important to the Pontian Greeks, even years after its destruction. Here is a video:
Wow, thanks for sharing that. It was very moving, even if we didn't understand the words.
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