Log entry; 6
Odometer: 2355 km - 3067 km
Leaving Ankara after the night spent in the 1000 star hotel, crossing inland Turkey and driving through the North Anatolian mountains
Waking up in the morning with the sun and the smell of gasoline is exactly what a biker needs for a good day. I feel it was such a luck not finding the camping last night and sleeping on the roof of the gas station. Although last night we parted from a bottle of whiskey, shared it with the guys working at the gas station, in return they throw a little dinner party from us. Nothing really fancy, just whatever they eat normally with some picked fruits from the bushes around. Since there was no shower facility around the station we got the right adventure smell by the morning which I don't mind at all.
After the morning tea (for free of course) we decided to go and look around in Ankara. The city is nothing like Istanbul. I haven't felt any magical connection between me and her like I felt in Istanbul. The city is built on many small hills, similar to Rome with fairly small traffic in the morning and pretty chilled temperature.
After an hour we decided to skip any further sightseeing and head towards Iran. Our destination for the day is Sivas, the city on the Anatolian mountain range. The road to Sivas was pretty busy. Lots of trucks use this highway on the way to Iran. About halfway to Sivas we encountered continuous roadworks which caused immense amount of dust. I was actually pretty happy about it, imagined myself racing on a Dakar, overtaking big trucks in dust clouds, it was fun. Especially when we reached the mountains and this "struggle" according to Dad is took place on a curvy, hilly road over 2000 meters high.
We arrived to Sivas early afternoon and started to look for some accommodation. After about half an hour we decided to move further up the mountains as we couldn't find anything apart from hotels. Oh god, why don't we use Lonely Planet. The landscape after Sivas became even more hilly. Some of the peaks around here are way over 3000 meters and we are riding over 2000 meters above the sea level. We can feel this high elevation on our own skin, as the sun goes down the temperature is started to drop and we ended up digging out our winter jackets to solve the rather nippy situation.
About 250 kilometers after Sivas we have arrived to Erzincan. Luckily we found an English speaking local on a pushbike just outside of the city who told us to go pass the city and we will find a creek where we can set up our tent. Sounds great we thought and headed right out of the city. The guy was right about the creek. It was a great looking little creek and guess what, there was a camping as well. I think we were the first visitors this year but nevertheless the owner and his son was very friendly. They offered us to stay there for free, eat for free and drink for free. The owner, Kazim Akpolat turned out to be a returned migrant who spent many years in Germany and visited Hungary many times. God, feels like everybody in this country has some sort of connection to my beloved Hungary.
Elevation around Erzincan
Mr Kazim's camping
Mondial 250 mct
It turned out that Mr Kazim's son is an enthusiast biker. He was telling us stories about his adventures around Anatolia, and in the middle, mountainous regions of Turkey. He offered his Mondial 250 mct for a test drive but as the local alcohol, got in our heads and the long day ahead us tomorrow we decided to decline his offer and get some rest.