6000 miles to Cappadocia

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by mdw403, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. mdw403

    mdw403 Mike

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    Thanks Bigboy.

    David me and Al will no doubt go back in the near future to get to lake van, your more than welcome to accompany us:D
    #21
  2. bigboyxl

    bigboyxl Been here awhile

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    when you are saying near future what exactly do you mean? :evil
    great report, please don't stop.
    btw, as one of my friends said about the oil leakage in LC4 Adventure: if you see the leakage - that means you've got oil in engine :wink:
    #22
  3. mdw403

    mdw403 Mike

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    You are right about the Oil Bigboy, Al seems to have these oil problems whatever bike he rides.

    We have not decided where is next but i think we will both get some time off in April next year.:evil
    #23
  4. mdw403

    mdw403 Mike

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    Day 9 Istanbul to Izmit, Turkey

    My prediction came right this morning. I woke up at 11 o clock with a head like thunder. Al was asleep across the room in his bed. We were meant to be checking out by now. I went down stairs to see if they would mind us staying in the room an extra hour or so and predictably Mahmud said "no problem". Just another example of the amazing Turkish hospitality that we had found in Istanbul.

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    Al lost in an alcohol cloud

    Once we were up I thought it only prudent to go grab our fourth kebab in 24 hours and a few teas to settle the uncontrollable shakes I was experiencing.

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    We got over to Ahmets' at around 2 o clock to find the bike still in bits. This was not a problem as we planned a short day today just to get out of the city and find a camp spot. I sat talking to Ahmet for a while and asked about the rally direction roll that had been put up around the walls and it turns out he rode the 2008 Paris Dakar that never was. The Rally was deemed to dangerous in the form it was previous to 2008, so there was a rally called the Central Europe Rally held in Hungary and Romania and he had ridden in it. He sticks to mechanics now and has been on several as a professional tinkerer of KTM's.

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    We found the whole experience of Istanbul to be a pleasant one, there were no hawkers overly harassing you to buy their tat, there were no waiters continuously trying to drag you into their overpriced tourist restaurants, everyone had a smile for you and were more than happy to chat with no thought as to how they were going to get a few quid out of your wallet. I have a new favourite country already and we have not seen a fraction of it yet.

    We left Istanbul at around 3:30 with the plan of riding for an hour before finding somewhere to camp. Yet again I had forgotten about the traffic around this area. It took us an hour just to get to the real Europe/Asia bridge crossing. Just before the bridge we did come across a GSer on the side of the road broken down. I pulled over to see if he needed help, but he said his mate was close behind and would be ok. He did not seem in a mood to chat so we left him to it. I hope he got back ok:)

    As usual I am snapping away with the camera around my neck, when it suddenly dawns on me how far we had ridden and how far we planned still to ride. I think it is an incredible thing that we all do, or aspire to do. It is amazing what you can achieve if you put your mind to it.

    After about 3 hours in the saddle we were just a few miles down the road from Istanbul, in a place called Izmit. Al signalled me to pull off and find a camp for the night. It turned out to be my favourite camp of the trip. I rode up a small track and came across a field off to the right. It was actually more like a grassy hill than a field but feeling confident in my ability and my GS I blasted up the hill. It must have been about 300m long and even with the road tyres on I still made it up quite easily.

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    Looking down the hill we had to come up
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    Getting off at the top was a different matter though, there was a wood at the top of the hill and as I reached it I realized this was still real steep. It was getting dark and I saw a nice flexible bendy sapling so aimed the nose at it. I braked right next to it and the BM came to a stop and nestled gently against it, job done. No need for the stand tonight.

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    We found a levelish bit of ground inside the wood and it was tents up as normal.

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    We then sat in the dark and looked down over the port of Izmit. As normal we did not talk very much to each other but the tension from earlier on in the trip had completely gone. The break in Istanbul had come at a perfect time for us. It let us relax and mellow into the ride and of course, this is what it is all about, silence, a spectacular view, the knowledge that the trip was only really just beginning and we still had numerous places and people to visit and see.

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    The view from the camp

    How could life be any better?
    #24
  5. lost@sea

    lost@sea n00b

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    well done shads for going through with the report, It is making for a great read. It seems like you might even beat my effort and finish it before are next trip.

    keep it coming and now I am home, I will be badgering you.
    #25
  6. redbaron@

    redbaron@ Advrider

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    Location:
    Ankara, Turkiye
    Yes, yes...

    :freaky:freaky

    Keep it coming, I wonder to see your Cappadocia pictures and stories :)
    #26
  7. mdw403

    mdw403 Mike

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    Welcome home Al, This here report writing is harder than it looks:D
    #27
  8. mdw403

    mdw403 Mike

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    Thanks Red, love your country mate:freaky
    #28
  9. mdw403

    mdw403 Mike

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    Day 10 Izmit to Cide, Turkey

    The trip really slowed its pace today, speeds dropped from 80mph on mainly motorways to 50 - 60 mph on the 010 which is the Black sea coast road. I was really starting to enjoy the trip, the beautiful scenery, seeing the locals drying their fields of olives or tending the countless number of bee hives. To a man they waved at us if they saw us coming.

    We had just come off a single track road and onto a nice fast sweeping dual carriage way, still only sitting at 50 - 60 mph enjoying life.

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    The road was amazing. We had been on long motorways for almost a week and the predictable sweeping roads from Kaynarca to Akcakoca on the Black sea coast of Turkey were a fantastic change of pace. It was a dual carriageway but really nice radius bends with a good surface. We switched from one bend to the other seamlessly. Al was out front about 200 metres ahead, he disappeared over a crest of a hill in a quick left hander and I saw no brake lights so I took it as my queue to accelerate. I crested the brow of the hill to be met with about 2 football pitches worth of shiny, black, hot liquid tar. I screamed inside my helmet, this was going to hurt!
    I just caught sight of Al, legs stuck out to the side skidding left and right ahead of me. I stood the bike up as much as I could and can remember thinking "don’t panic, keep off the brakes, don’t turn and stop screaming". I was heading towards the central reservation at pace; there was no way I was getting away with this one.

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    I had completely come off the throttle but I felt like I was not slowing at all. There was a shallow ditch running inbetween the 2 carriageways so I decided to leave the road and try and turn into the ditch. I must have slowed more than I thought as I hit the ditch, either that or the suspension on the F8 is much better than I think because it hopped nicely into the ditch and did not throw me off in the process. I had about 50 metres of dirt to negotiate before I popped out of the bottom of the tar slick. So after bringing the bike to a stop I nervously turned the ABS off and slowly rode out of the ditch.

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    Al had not even stopped, he is usually of the opinion if you have a near miss just slow it down a bit but keep going so as not to dwell on it. I had to stop for a few seconds just to draw breath and look to the sky to thank whoever was looking after me that day.

    I can tell how much it shook me up as I did not take one photo of the tar, and I take photos of everything usually.

    We continued along the 010 and as we passed through Eregli we noticed a tyre shop so we stopped to see if we could get Al's tyres done. Of course they said they could change them and before we knew it the tyres were off. I had a wander off to try and find us some food.

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    As I stood in a bakers/coffee shop a bloke came over, tapped me on the shoulder and said "its OK", whilst pointing to a big bag of buns. "You come with me". Being very British in my ways I was a little bit suspicious but got in his car as everyone in here knows we are always looking for interaction with the local population.

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    I then realised it was one of the mechanics from the garage and that he had bought lunch for me and Al as well as the rest of the guys in the garage. We sat for half an hour eating bread and drinking Turkish tea and although we speak no Turkish and they spoke no English we had a great chat about the trip and their town. I absolutely love this country.

    We thanked them for their hospitality and left to continue riding NE. We did not get into 5th gear all afternoon. We took our time absorbing the scenery and enjoying being on a bike in an incredible country.

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    We did come across what looked like a refugee camp, no idea what it was all about but it was not the type of place I wanted to be hanging about.

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    During one of the fuel stops we came across an amazing fruit stall, I have never seen a stall with quite as much colour going on as this one.

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    All trip we had been looking forward to camping on a beach on the black sea coast but that was proving quite difficult to achieve. Nowhere seemed quite right so in the end we drove 20 minutes into the hills around Cide and found a quarry that seemed quite promising. The track up was really steep but my confidence was high and I just blasted up it with no problems at all. There was a nice flat piece of ground up at the top of the quarry.

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    Another successful end to an enjoyable day.
    #29
  10. bigboyxl

    bigboyxl Been here awhile

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    looks like you enjoyed day 10 quite a lot :)
    and once again - awesome trip!
    #30
  11. shooty13cris

    shooty13cris n00b

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    Hey, i'm from Romania and i need to say that you were on the wrong road ! From Sibiu to Pitesti is not TRANSALPINA, it's just Olt Valley, an usual road ! You missed two of the greatest roads in Europe, you crossed between TRANSALPINA and TRANSFAGARASAN :) Transalpina is road 67C, from Sebes to Novaci , and Transfagarasan is road 7C crossing Fagaras Mountains ! By the way, great ride !!!
    #31
  12. mdw403

    mdw403 Mike

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    HaHa really shooty!!

    No wonder we were disappointed:rofl

    If you read back to the day we were going for the Transalpina and the meeting with Fanni who was the guy on the old John Deere, he convinced us that the way i wanted to go which is the road you are talking about the 67C from Sebes to Novaci was rubbish and we should go Sibiu to Pitesti.

    Never mind, it just means i have to come back to Romania now:wings:wings:wings
    #32
  13. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

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    #33
  14. mdw403

    mdw403 Mike

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    Thanks Dicky, they were amazing, even in Istanbul which truly shocked me.
    #34
  15. mdw403

    mdw403 Mike

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    Day 11 Cide to Goreme, Turkey

    We were heading to Goreme today, Al had seen some pictures of the ghost chimneys and made it one of his must see's on the trip.

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    The view from Al's tent this morning

    As we were coming down the steep rocky track that had been so easy to scale last night I must have touched the front brake as the front end tucked up underneath me and threw me over the handlebars. I smashed the screen off and whacked my left leg against a rock.

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    Ouch

    Al helped me lift the bike upright and I managed to get back to the road with no further issues. My leg was a bit sore but as usual the pain had knocked my confidence. I could not forget about falling and for the next few hours I rode like a complete novice, I was wobbling around corners and not looking where I was meant to be looking so I started cutting corners and drifting. It did not help that it started to piss down with rain and when the shiny surface gets wet it also gets slippery.

    If I had a low point on the trip then this would have been it.

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    Another Kebab and the best one yet.

    The roads were still good and the scenery was spectacular. I tried to take a few pictures but they don’t give any sense or feeling of what we were actually seeing. This part of the trip really reminded me of Nevada or northern Arizona, gorgeous mountain roads with amazing valleys and peaks. I just wish the rain would bugger off.

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    We eventually did speed up and I started to get some confidence back. These roads seemed to be less travelled than the coast roads and had a covering of fixed gravel on top. This was a lot grippier than the shiny surface.

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    We covered about 350 miles today and got to Goreme for about 4pm. We went straight to Dilek Campsite which is in the town centre with hot showers, a swimming pool, WiFi and seemed nice and quiet.

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    Dilek Campsite

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    The View from the tent

    Looking over the bikes, we realised they needed some serious maintenance and set aside a few hours in the morning to give them the TLC they deserved.

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    Then it was out for a wander around the town and another kebab or 2.
    #35
  16. bigboyxl

    bigboyxl Been here awhile

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    maaaan, I'm really enjoying your trip!! :clap
    #36
  17. mdw403

    mdw403 Mike

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    Well i move just west of Berlin next year Bigboy, we can definatley include you in our next plans if you fancy it. We need someone to come along next time to write the report:D:D:D
    #37
  18. mdw403

    mdw403 Mike

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    Day 12 Goreme, Turkey

    I was up early this morning, not because of the need to go sightseeing or because I wanted to get on with the bike maintenance but because a twatting dog was barking next to my head at 5 o clock! I think it would have been an early start anyway as there was a few hot air balloons overhead.

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    Al wanted to go off roading on some of the tracks around the town today but my knee was giving me pains similar to someone sticking a sharp pencil in the back of my leg so standing on the pegs of a bike was not going to be possible for me. He was a bit unhappy with me I think but I was more gutted as he was.

    We decided on a Turkish breakfast in a local restaurant which consisted of ham, cheese, fresh bread, jelly and an omelette. Very nice. Yet again a random waiter came over and spoke with us for 20 minutes about Goreme. His name was Adnan; he was Iranian and had been exiled from his country. He spoke great English and it turned out he had been in Manchester for a couple of years studying Interior Design but when money became a bit tight he came back to his family in Turkey in the hope they could save enough money in a few years to emigrate to Australia. He gave us a few local knowledge tips about what to see and do and left us to enjoy the food.

    We went back to the campsite to start sorting the bikes out, clean the tar off, and check all the fluids. I had to tighten the back brake up and try and sort some wind protection because of the missing screen.

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    The missing screen

    Al was removing the fuel tank to tighten the headbolts that had been removed to fix his oil leak. Maintenance done we locked our kit away, dressed light and headed out on the bikes to see what we could find.

    First stop was Kale Girisi which is locally known as a castle, but having been born and bred right next to Caerphilly Castle in Wales I fail to see how this tiny monument warrants that title. See if you can see my issue, one of these photos is taken from my bedroom window in Wales the other is Kiri Castle.

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    It was pretty impressive mind, even if the scale was a little smaller than I think a castle should be. We walked to the top of the ramparts and could see this was the highest point around and therefore gave some spectacular views.

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    The view from the top

    We did talk some bloke into taking a picture of us right on the top next to the flag and for some reason his girlfriend wanted to get in the photo with us.

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    From there we rode down to a viewing point overlooking the chimneys, There was loads of tourists with several bus tours arriving the same time as we did. I don’t suppose I should complain about this though as those that came from Istanbul would have sat on a bus for up to 10 hours to see what we were visiting. We sat for about half hour watching the large parties of people and drinking a cold can of coke and noticed not one of them spent any money in the local stalls, not even to buy a drink.

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    Just a small selection of the views

    Al's afternoon was taken up off roading around some of the tracks that local companies take quad bike tours. He came back with a big grin on his face. I had been bored lying by the pool getting some sun with a cold bottle of Efes lager, so was particularly annoyed when he told me had fallen off. You see Al does not fall off very much so when he does it is usually a big one. He even forgot to take a photo for the ride report. I should say Al did get fully kitted up for his off roading, he just never took any photos:ddog:ddog:ddog

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    After a nasty experience in Morocco Al feels the need to be physically abused by hairy men. Some of you may have heard it called a Hamam. It is an activity where you get naked with another bloke in a steam room and they batter shit out of you with big sticks……. Or that’s what it looks like in my brain anyway. Al was determined to get me in there and had been working on me for days trying to persuade me. The only way I was going in was if he found me a nice blonde female masochist called Kristina who just happened to work in a Hamam in Goreme. It was never going to happen, so Al left me in a pub while he went off to be violated by the local pain giver. I have to say he looked quite relaxed when he returned but so was I, I had drunk 4 bottles of Efes for half the price of his massage.

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    The view from my pub

    We had both OD’d on Kebab since getting to Turkey so I had the chicken pizza and Al went for some Turkish stew on a sizzling platter, why is it whenever you got out for food, whoever you are with gets a much nicer looking plate of food than you.

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    We went back to the campsite for an early night as we wanted to make a quick getaway in the morning. However there were 2 tents pitched so close to Alan's tent that the material was touching. Andreas, Paul and his girlfriend whose name escapes me had been to a 3 day rave at Lake Van and were in town to support their mate, who was a DJ and playing at Bar-Bera, a local club. They did invite us to join them but as we wanted to leave early kindly declined and sloped off for some kip. If I had realised what was to come I would have gone partying til the early hours.
    #38
  19. bigboyxl

    bigboyxl Been here awhile

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    ohh really? that's cool, because I got only cca. 300 km to Berlin
    count on me ;)
    #39
  20. Duke63

    Duke63 n00b

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    Great photos and journey.

    Turkey sounds great.
    #40