Odometer: 3067 km - 3575 km

Last day riding in Turkey through lots of military check points. Meeting with two pairs of cyclist and a constant rain and hail storm in the afternoon. 


After a lovely and rather wet night -we had to consume some amount of vodka and whiskey for medical reasons- we had to say good bye to our lovely hosts and head towards Iran. The way to Erzurum is more and more started to resemble my imagined picture of the Middle East. 


The villages we pass looked poorer as we advanced towards East. Flat and dried out prairie replaced the nice hilly area and the temperature rose.

We planned the first oil change for today; it has been 3000 kilometers passed since we left Hungary. First we thought we made a mistake not doing it in Erzincan as it seemed like we will even have problem finding a gas station, let alone a shop to buy motor oil.


As we are getting closer to Iran and Iraq, military checkpoints started to pop up. Not just a simple checkpoint we experienced earlier with a few police officers and the regular free tea. These checkpoints were serious with armored vehicles and tanks pointing their barrels towards the road.

Finally after one of this checkpoint we spotted a small garage with a fairly big stock of motor oils, they even had matching oil filters which really surprised us. After changing the oil, the owner –as we already very used to- invited us for a tea and let his staff wash our bikes in the main time. He even gave us free shoe shine for our boots. I will really miss this Turkish hospitality and only hope Iran will be just as Turkey.

Today we met two couples, both of them on a bicycle trip. First an Australia couple travelling from London to Sydney and another French couple on the way to Beijing from Paris. We only talked to them briefly, asked whether they need anything as there wasn’t a single village for the past 100 something kilometers. As we passed them about 25-30 kilometers we spotted a sheep farm and decided to take some pictures when two huge Kangal dog started to run at us. We barely could drive away from them. Kangal is a large bodied Turkish breed, almost the size of our bikes. Dear reader, please excuse us for not taking a picture of these beasts. Nevertheless I can’t stop thinking about those couples; I hope they passed the dogs safely.

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A lovely Australia couple on the way to Sydney from London
As the afternoon caught up with us Mother Nature decided to make us work for our goal, reaching the Iranian border.

First the wind started to blow with very strong side gusts and then the raining begins. It was so abrupt that by the time we got on our raingear I felt the wetness on my underwear. Oh well, my first shower since Istanbul so I can’t really complain.

The raining sometimes late afternoon turned into a hailstorm. Without any building or shed or any kind of protection we had to get keep going with the small pieces of ices playing an orchestra on our helmets. 


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Trucks waiting to cross over to Iran

About 8- 10 kilometers before reaching the border, trucks and semi trailers started to appear in long lines. First only one lane and then later on in two and three lanes with the drivers having their dinner next to their 18 wheelers.

By this time Little Ararat or Mount Sis was dominating the horizon.  Turkey’s 6th highest mountain looked gracefully as the sun disappeared behind it.

Surprisingly we found a very decent hotel on the Turkish side of the border. For about 5 dollars we finally had the privilege to sleep in a bed, dry up our clothes and take a hot shower. It doesn’t sound very challenging not to sleep in a bed for a week or don’t shower for 3 days, we done triple the amount of that in our previous trips but after a few hundred kilometers in a cold rain and hailstorm I really think we deserve some luxury.

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Little Ararat (Mt. Sis) from our hotel window
 


Comments

Thanks for sharing your story with us and its a really nice story. Turkey is a beautiful country and its very entertaining too. I haven't go there in my whole life but i have heard a lot of times about it that its a very good country to visit and there are so many entertaining places in that country.

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    Picture
    Aurel Jr. and Sr.

    The Riders:

    Aurel Maracsko and his son Aurel Maracsko jr. 

    We are a father and son duo who loves riding motorcycles. Aurel Jr. or Tom is an enthusiast enduro rider and Aurel Sr. is more of the adventure rider. 

    Me, a combination of Tom Sawyer and the Little Prince, adventurer, dreamer and a crazily enthusiast rider. Jules Verne was the ultimate hero of my childhood, his foresight's of the future and exotic adventures fascinated me to a level which still influences me today. I believe the constant thirst for exploration and the need for learning is the key engine for every adult just as for every child.


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