DickyB's Turkish Delights

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Dickyb, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,063
    Location:
    Kas-Antalya,Turkey
    ............................After a great weekend at Adrian's it was time to take the bike out of the rubbish bins, reassemble it and head south for Bulgaria where we would take a break at Debbie and Andy's place in Idilevo before the final haul to Turkey and home



    [​IMG]





    Somewhere along the Danube we came across this chap staring out from the rock face:eek1




    [​IMG]





    which tickled the Mrs :wink:





    [​IMG]






    Further along the Danube we crossed into Serbia and spent a pleasurable 80kms at 45 degrees to the horizontal as we battled a blustery side wind. Didn't dare take a photo in case my camera blew away. Lovely countryside though. I'll go back one day, when the wind has died down a bit:thumb




    Joined the queue at the BG border




    [​IMG]





    and realised the Bulgars were all watching Wimbledon on the telly:huh





    [​IMG]





    We'd booked a hotel in Backofbeyondograd and immaculate it was too. Once we'd checked in the owner ensured I knew how to lock the front door, wished us a good night and buggered offski :dunno Trusting lot these Bulgars :wink:



    Anyway, the Mrs' stomach was rumbling so I decided to take her out for a slap up meal before I got a slap :fishie

    I filled myself on cocktail sticks




    [​IMG]





    while the Mrs washed down her meat balls and salad with a cheeky Pinot Grigio from the fridge :slurp




    [​IMG]






    I had a sip and belatedly remembered that me and white wine don't mix :yikes





    [​IMG]





    The following day we arrived at Idilevo and said hi to RTWDoug's dog Harley who was taking herself for her evening stroll :raabia





    [​IMG]






    Home for the next few days was to be at Debbie and Andy's fine place to the right of Harley's wet nose.



    At Doug's place I had a quick chat with Terry Brown while he was carrying out some personal hygiene :wink:




    [​IMG]





    and waved him off as he went to explore Georgia and goodness knows where else :wave





    [​IMG]





    Tucked away in Doug's garage, all shiny and bright, was the other Harley.






    [​IMG]






    The one I'd last seen him on in Tatvan, Turkey a few years ago :clap




    [​IMG]






    Pretty changeable whether up in BG this summer though. :huh




    [​IMG]





    Still time for a decent trail ride once the sky had brightened though :ricky




    [​IMG]





    [​IMG]





    [​IMG]






    [​IMG]





    All too soon it was town to pack up and depart The next two days passed by in a blur of motorways, ferries and melting roads :dllama



    [​IMG]




    Couldn't wait to see the pups when we got back. They COULD wait to see me :ken





    [​IMG]





    Thoughts? Well glad to know that the fortified churches are in the good hands of busty, jolly matriarchs who have taken it upon themselves to preserve these wonderful buildings. Glad to know too that the painted monasteries and wooden churches of Maramures and Bucovina contribute to the local economies as well as the spiritual needs of the coach loads of religious tourists bussed in daily, most of which spend a few bob at the local road side stalls. Glad to have met some lovely local friendly folk who forced me to bin a load of pre-conceived stereotypes and give myself a mental kicking for believing any of the popular press. Don't know about a short trip around Eastern Europe, I feel I've just returned from the road to Damascus. Bless you all :pope:pope


    Cheers,


    DickyB
  2. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,063
    Location:
    Kas-Antalya,Turkey
    Nattering to Terry Brown, Adrian Silindean and Doug Wothke had left Georgia on my mind. If these widely traveled folk were singing its praises I'd better tootle off and have a look see. House sitters were found:clap, Cluj the Dalmatian pup repacked and the bike pointed north east for the 2000km ride to Georgia:pynd




    [​IMG]





    The route to Georgia




    [​IMG]




    passing Lake Eğirdir




    [​IMG]




    and overnighting in Konya. Turkish cities aren't my favorite places on the planet but we managed to find a gaffe in the town centre overlooking a couple of important religious places. Can't say I'm overly crazy about lavish ornaments to imaginary sky folk when 100m from the marble and glitter old men and stray dogs compete for scraps. Still, they make for nice photies. Apparently the green dome is really important:dllama



    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]





    Past Konya there is a straight stretch of road for 160kms to Aksaray. On numerous previous occasions along this road the boredom and heat had nearly convinced me to pour sugar in my tank, admit defeat and take the bus home. This time I wanted to see the salt lake (Töz Gülü) along the way, so we did:wink:








    [​IMG]




    .............
  3. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,063
    Location:
    Kas-Antalya,Turkey
    .......In the nearby village the cutest little donkey was waiting for some baby donkey food.



    [​IMG]




    A low guttural growl warned me who was looking after baby donk. Billy Big Dog and his little sis :hide



    [​IMG]




    A couple of Kangals. The scary collar being there to protect the neck when attacked by a similarly sized rival. :turkish


    Anyway, hint taken and back to the long lonely highway:ricky




    [​IMG]




    ...................................
  4. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,063
    Location:
    Kas-Antalya,Turkey
    ...........Day 4 saw us in the Georgian valleys of Turkey or , more particularly, on the road between Erzerum and Artvin



    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]




    Eventually arriving at the border north of Posof in the early evening.



    [​IMG]




    ..................................
  5. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,063
    Location:
    Kas-Antalya,Turkey
    .........Entry into Georgia was straightforward and even pleasant with a giggly bunch of Georges and Georginas on duty wishing us a pleasant stay in their country:freaky. We hovered in the south for a couple of days to acclimatise to the erratic driving and wandering cows then set off for Tusheti in the far northeast corner via the 2900 Abano Pass:super. We picked a day that promised good weather and headed off on the four hour 100km ride :dunno. It's a tough road two up:wink: Started off easy enough though




    [​IMG]




    Plenty of water crossings to keep Juliet's boots clean




    [​IMG]





    Two hours into the ride saw us above the deciduous treeline




    [​IMG]




    The road behind




    [​IMG]




    the road ahead




    [​IMG]





    Finally we reached the Abano pass:clap




    [​IMG]




    Mist swirled up from the valley engulfing us periodically. Tourists in T shirts shivered in the chilly moisture laden breeze. Me? Still sweating from vertigo:sick

    Then it was downhill for about 800m and onwards to Omalo. Through verdant valleys dotted with tiny hamlets



    [​IMG]



    until we reached our goal:clap



    [​IMG]




    Omalo is open for business from mid April to mid October. After that time the pass is closed, the road unmaintained and a handful of old folk left behind to tend their cattle over winter. We had the good fortune to speak to a charming local girl who was back in the area to visit her aunt after an absence of 14 years. She gave us a potted history of the place. The remains of the fortress and towers dominate the village



    [​IMG]





    [​IMG]




    All too soon it was time to head back down the road. Back at the Abano Pass we bumped into Ivan from Murmansk on his KTM:freaky



    [​IMG]




    A quick chat and a photo was all we could manage before we had to bugger off if we wanted to get back to town before dark:cry



    200kms and bouncing around on a pogo stick for ten hours failed to wipe the smile of Juliet's face :feelgood



    [​IMG]





    ..............................
  6. JohnnyTh

    JohnnyTh Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    260
    Location:
    Norway
    Thanx for the reports.

    I so wana go back to Kas!
  7. Corona

    Corona Dreaming of Dreaming

    Joined:
    May 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    110
    Location:
    Berkshire, United Kingdom
    Great photos again DickyB! Was thinking of you and missing my GS when I was in Cesme two weeks ago for a wedding. Hope all is well.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
  8. sasho

    sasho Dual Personality

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,854
    Location:
    MT/Bulgaria
    Do you guys travel 2 up on that Yammie? Do you mind reiterating what kind of bike it is again? Thx!!
  9. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,063
    Location:
    Kas-Antalya,Turkey
    Yep sasho, we go everywhere two up, three up if you count the pooch. It is a 2004 Yamaha XT660R with 75000kms on the clock. Great bikes :super


    [​IMG]



    Cheers,

    Dickyb
  10. sasho

    sasho Dual Personality

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,854
    Location:
    MT/Bulgaria
    Daymn!!:eek1
    You've been busy :D

    Thanks for sharing the info and for the great pics and stories!!
  11. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    25,960
    Location:
    Burbank CA

    :rofl


    still here and enjoying every bit of it.

    thanks for the latest update.
  12. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,063
    Location:
    Kas-Antalya,Turkey
    ........After experiencing the dizzy heights of the Abano pass we moved from the grim town of Telavi to Sighnaghi in the region of Kakheti, the wine producing area of Georgia. Sighnaghi was without doubt the prettiest town we saw in Georgia probably because most of it was new, or at least renovated. There was a certain Tuscan charm about the place



    [​IMG]



    Even as the heavens opened:cry




    [​IMG]





    From there we tootled off to have a gander at the area of Davit Gareja on the border with Azerbaijan:huh. Dave's Garage comprises of about 15 old monasteries spread over a large remote area. Only one of them, Lavra, is still a working monastery. The ride there was sublime:wink:



    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]




    As was Lavra itself:thumb



    [​IMG]





    [​IMG]





    [​IMG]





    [​IMG]




    ........................
  13. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,225
    Location:
    north vancouver bc
    wow.
    beautiful.
    thank you.
  14. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,063
    Location:
    Kas-Antalya,Turkey
    Thanks sasho, yamalama and NSFW for your interest and kind words. Hi Corona, whatever happened to the Triumph you had when you came visiting? Next stop Mt Kazbegi........
  15. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,063
    Location:
    Kas-Antalya,Turkey
    ........The next stop was Kazbegi on the Georgia Military Highway which leads into Russia. Two hours into the ride things went a bit flat:cry



    [​IMG]




    I was sure glad I'd brought my spanners, could have done with packing my tyre levers too though:asshat. Whipped the wheel off and flagged down a local bus. Ten minutes later got dropped off at a tyre repair blokes place. Sadly tyre repair bloke had left his son in charge though without passing on his tyre repairing skills. There was an array of home made tyre levers around the place but young lad wasn't going to let me use them. Fortunately, a passer buy blessed with huge tyre repairing skills dropped by to lend a hand. Two hours after leaving her I returned to Juliet who had spent her enforced rest trying to prevent idiotic Georgia drivers from flattening a starving stray with their blacked out Beemers:jerko




    Up the Highway we went past some strange creation:eek1




    [​IMG]





    and along miles of challenging road(works) eventually ending up in Kazbegi as the sun was setting. Throwing caution, and the budget, to the wind we treated ourselves to a room at the Rooms Hotel and awaited the dawn in order to see




    [​IMG]




    the tiny church of Tsminda Sameba in the shadows of Mt Kazbegi.




    .........................
  16. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,063
    Location:
    Kas-Antalya,Turkey
    ..............Juliet spent a fitful night tossing and turning as her imagination tortured her with frightful images of what may have befallen her four legged friend at the roadside. Lacking any titbits she'd managed to rustle up a few wild berries for the poor mite. First thing in the morning it was off to the shops for pasta, sausage and meat and then a two hour ride wondering. And there he was:clap



    [​IMG]




    Well at least with a full tummy he may be able to get some sleep, build up a bit of strength and have a day off from scavenging. Hopefully........
  17. tee bee

    tee bee Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    200
    Location:
    in the fens uk, mostly
    Great trip dad :)

    I know how Juliette feels,i usually carry an easy to reach packet of biscuits.....i really feel for the stray dogs........
  18. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,063
    Location:
    Kas-Antalya,Turkey
    .........Much of the trip planning was determined by the weather forecast and therefore we zig-zagged across Georgia. With rain forecast for a week in the mountainous north we headed south to the flatlands and the cave monastery complex of Vardzia



    [​IMG]




    The original fortification built by King Giorgi 111 in the 12th century mushroomed over the years into a virtual holy city housing over 2000 monks in dwellings carved from rock and ranging over 13 floors:eek1



    [​IMG]




    Vardzia suffered a major earthquake in 1283 which shook away the outer walls of many of the caves:cry




    [​IMG]




    At the heart of the complex is the Church of the Assumption decorated with frescoes painted between 1184 and 1186. A rather imposing chap in black wasn't allowing photos of the interior



    [​IMG]




    The church was well hung though




    [​IMG]




    Back in the car park a couple of Russian behemoths had parked up:eek1




    [​IMG]




    The pilots of which took the Micky out of our little Yamaha. We smiled wryly and moved on past Porky the Pig



    [​IMG]




    high plains



    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]




    chilling winds



    [​IMG]



    to



    [​IMG]




    ...................
  19. davesupreme

    davesupreme grand poobah

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    5,256
    Location:
    palm harbor, fla
    you always have some great pics!....
  20. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,063
    Location:
    Kas-Antalya,Turkey
    Thanks davespreme for your interest. Jotting down these notes and posting some photos helps me keep a record of our travels and encourages me to try and improve my photography. Always nice to have feedback.

    Cheers,

    Dickyb