DickyB's Turkish Delights

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

  1. FestinaLente

    FestinaLente Daydreamer

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    Hello DickyB, I've been reading your reports for a few days and finally I registered to this site. Everything about this topic is really great man! All the photos, 4-legged and 2-legged friends, bikes, roads, trails, adventures, landscapes, everything! :) I read it in 3 days and it really affected my performance in work hours in a bad way :lol3 You are living in the part of Turkey that I love most, and also especially when you bought the bike that I am planning to buy in a few months (CRF) I felt a special connection to the topic heehe :nod

    I live and work in Ankara, the capital, but we have a summer house in Antalya, near Kumluca. (It's on the Lycian Road, coastal side of Kumluca and very close to the Gelidonya Lighthouse near Adrasan). Actually I think that you went that region at one point, when you were riding to Gagai. The village of our summer house is called Karaöz, surrounded with mountains on 3 side, and sea with one side. You go there from either a sea side road (Lycian Road), or a mountain road from Mavikent. All of the roads are great for riding. If you reach there, pass the place and continue on the Lycian Road following the coast line, there is a place called 'Melanippe' (Korsan Koyu in Turkish, which means Pirate's Retreat or Pirate's Cove) and I think you should see that place. Crystal clear and perfectly still water even when the sea is raging. Melanippe used to be one of the 9 or 10 safe havens for Cilician Pirates in Eastern Med Sea, and there are ruins everywhere, hidden in forest. If you pass Melanippe and continue further, there will be a fork in the road, following the trail on the left going up the mountain, you'll reach to the lighthouse, a great place to chill out. If you don't turn to the trail that climbs the lighthouse and continue on the road directly after Melanippe, you'll reach Adrasan (Çavuşköy)

    Ah, good old days, I used to travel like a mountain goat on my BWs 100 scooter there :rofl But long summer holidays ended after I graduated from the university last year, and now business life is killing my soul :1drink
    By the way, I want to thank Yamaha engineers for building such a scooter, it was damn bulletproof, rock solid :D

    So, here are two photo of the lighthouse;
    One of the islands there has a fresh water source on it :jkam

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    And this is the road and the sign to the lighthouse. But I'm not sure if this sign is when coming from the Karaöz direction or Adrasan direction.

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    This is the light house from the sea side; you see the tip of Cape Gelidonya here.

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    Here, I found a photo taken at Gelidonya lighthouse by an award winning sky/star photographer Tunc Tezel :)

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    On the map;

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    And here are some photos of Karaöz;

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    In this angle of view below, Melanippe, Gelidonya lighthouse and Adrasan are on the left direction, Finike and Kas are on the right direction (2 hours of riding distance)

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    The road to Gelidonya and Adrasan is hidden in the forest there, on the mountain seen in distance below;

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    And this is Melanippe, and Karaöz behind. I couldn't find a photo taken from the sea looking to the cove, but it's a really interesting and peaceful place (except Sundays, people swarm that place on Sundays :)) The roads are also great there. A hideout for great 'mangal's, lots of efes and great chillout, surrounded with rocks, ruins, Pinus Brutia, and crickets chanting.

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    If you give the names of the places that I mention here to your local fellas there, I'm sure that they know these places so you can ride together to travel if you guys want. Also, people in Karaöz are great :) Since the place is on Lycian road there are many tourists passing by, and also there are people from different European countries moved and living there, you will usually find someone who speaks English and help you guys with the directions :1drink

    In addition to these, there is a road from Karaöz to a place called 'Tozluk' there. Tozluk is a place on the top of the mountain right next to Karaöz, and it is used as both a forest fire watch post above the area, a radio and gsm signal station, and as a take off point for paragliders. It has been a long time since I last climbed there, but I remember that people were able to go there with 4x4s, so I guess you can ride there too. I couldn't find lots of photos taken from that place, but I know that it would be a great adventure going there. Here's a photo, this will give the idea I guess;

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    And as I finish my post, here is a map of Antalya in August as a bonus :rofl

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    I will be there in Adrasan on 12th of October, so if you guys have a chance to ride to the region I told you about, I would be glad to grab some beers :freaky
    I hope I can get my CRF250L one day and ride the hell out of Turkish Med :1drink

    By the way, I can send you the directions to these places if you want.

    Cheers man, keep up the great reports, looking forward to reading them! :clap
  2. davesupreme

    davesupreme grand poobah

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    the pleasure is mine, sir.....
  3. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

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    Hi FestinaLente,

    Great to hear from you and thank you for the great photos, especially the one of Antalya in August which I will no doubt steal from you and use somewhere:wink:

    I'm mostly familiar with Kumluca and Adrasan by driving through the former on the way to Antalya and seeing signs for the latter from the main road. It is definitely an area that I will have to explore more:super

    Not sure what I'm doing on the 12th, we've got some building work going on at the house, but if I'm free it would be great to meet up:D

    Good luck with the CRF, you'll love it:clap


    Cheers,


    DickyB
  4. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

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    .................Dominating the skyline of Tbilisi is a statue of Mother Georgia. She was obviously pleased to see me:huh



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    Though perhaps less so when viewed from a different angle:wink:



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    Tbilisi is home to a quarter of Georgia's population of 4.5 million, and you would be forgiven for assuming that most of these goodly folks sole intention was to run you off the highways that run through the centre of the city funelling all traffic from east to west and most from north to south of the country, creating for a short stretch a Caucasian road of hell:eek1 Never been so apprehensiveness in my life:p3rry


    Weapon of choice for the young flash lads?



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    and the older generation are well catered for too




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    Anyway, we survived and eventually found the accommodation recommended by the Lonely Planet guidebook we were toting:eek2


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    Her indoors was having none of it and had already drafted a strongly worded letter to the editors of LP before we fooked off to find somewhere where the walls were joined together with mortar as opposed to old posters!


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

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

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    ..................Tbilisi,



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    a wonderful mixture of new




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    and old. With long, tree lined avenues of buildings worn by the passage of time and the seasons



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    and open doorways enticing the curious to venture in



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    Behind the crumbling facades examples of folk maximising, and personalising their space




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    Though life is undoubtedly tough for those surviving on a pension of less than 150 Euros a month.



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    .........................
  6. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

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    Great stuff, DickyB
    thanks.
  7. Padmei

    Padmei enamoured

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    Excellent as usual Dicky
  8. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

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    Thanks Padmei. Welcome:thumb
  9. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

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    .............Tbilisi, full of ace places to visit. Museums, art galleries, ice cream parlours, boulevards and an amusement park for the kiddies:clap



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    After three days it was time to check the weather forecast and plan for our next move. We still wanted to see Svanetti up in the north west but the outlook was grim so south east to Armenia it was. First I needed to get my inner tube repaired. Walked over to a no nonsense type of place staffed by no nonsense types of blokes adjacent to a bustling bus depot. Battered taxis were having a few pounds of atmosphere injected into their racing slicks in exchange for loose change. Armed private security guards clad in SWAT suits paid close attention to the local populace as their armoured cash delivery truck had a flat fixed. A beefy hand, attached to a gruff voice, grabbed my tube and worked it's magic. A couple of minutes later my tube was fixed for no charge. Like I said, no nonsense! Nice lads :wave




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    With Georgia still on my mind it was time to see what Armenia had to offer




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    .................
  10. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

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    ..............The first thing Armenia had to offer was compulsory insurance. 30 quid for ten days. No idea if this was reasonable or not, just paid it. The second thing was hospitality.:freaky

    An hour or so from the border I felt a rear wheel bearing go:cry. I pulled up at the side of the road, told the Mrs we'd need to push and started pushing. Lo and flippin' behold! 200m down the road was a hotel. We wheeled the bike in, booked a room and I took the back wheel off. Hotel owner bloke rolled his sleeves up and got stuck in:clap



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    Yep, a toasted bearing:eek1




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    The boss got on the phone, then wandered off. Not speaking Russian I was clueless as to what had been said and what the future might hold. 30 mins later proprietor chap greeted a taxi at the front gate and beckoned me over. It turned out that the call he'd made had been to friend 20kms away asking him to stop whatever he'd been doing on a Sunday afternoon, pop to his workshop, grab a couple of bearings, flag down a taxi and have them sent to the hotel. Now if I would be kind enough to hand over ten quid in Armenian currency the taxi driver would be happy and the shiny new bearings would be mine:wink: Half an hour later the wheel was back on, the Mrs happy and the beer began to flow and didn't stop until the early hours. Lovely folk, Armenians:feelgood
  11. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

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    Well rested, well lubricated and with bearings bearing up it was time to head for Yerevan, the capital of Armenia



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    passing some interesting structures along the way




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    A cross made of crosses, how bizarre :eek1



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    Popped into what I thought was a petrol station, turned out to be for LPG Here in Turkey LPG is fed into a car's tank using a hose the diameter of a baby's arm and all sorts of quick release, secure sealing wizardy. Armenian folk use a pipe akin to what you would blow your tyres up with. The stench of gas was everywhere:huh. They also have blast walls between filling points



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    Good job, really :kboom


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  12. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

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    .................On the way into Yerevan we hit traffic, lots of it. Seeing a short cut I rode across some waste ground and back on to the main road only to be pulled over by a chap with a rather fetching cap:wink:



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    He and his oppo went through the usual nonsense demanding 90 quid for my misdemeanor. Having ascertained they didn't speak English, I gave them a mouthful:wink:, rummaged around and came up with 20 quid and the option of taking it or leaving it. They took it, we left:pynd to find our hotel with it's stunning view of Mt Ararat and Little Ararat, allegedly




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    Downtown Yerevan was a revelation, wide avenues and impressive buildings



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    and a definite cafe culture with beautiful young woman catching up on gossip over a cappuccino before perhaps buying something for the little one



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    or the old man




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    Mind you, the weather forecast looks favorable:D




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    ..................
  13. taranaki

    taranaki Comfortably Numb

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    I'm envious. I'd like to end up in Turkey when I can retire in about 14 months. Your report thread makes it look very appealing indeed. Keep it comin'!
  14. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

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    ....Thanks Taranaki:thumb Armenia has a mum too:wink: Mother Armenia, a hefty lass fashioned from hammered copper who keeps an eye on the eternal flame and her feet firmly planted on the War Museum on which she stands.



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    After paying our respects we headed out of town to Khor Virap Monastery at the foot of a cloud covered Mt Ararat



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    Khor Virap is Armeny speak for "deep well" and it was here that the pagan King Trdat 111 imprisoned Gregory the Illuminator in a well for 12 years. Local women secretly fed Greg which was fortunate because he was then able to cure King Trdat of the madness which befell him The king converted to Christianity and St Greg became the first Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church and set about building churches on top of pagan temples and teaching the faith :pope



    These churches are beautiful in form, well to me anyway:wink:



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  15. Rich B

    Rich B Long timer Supporter

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    Since I have spent several days in Antalya, I can see why you chose this area. Nice place, really is
  16. IvanRUS

    IvanRUS Been here awhile

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    Hi David!
    Here's a photo of me - Georgia, Abano Pass:wave

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  17. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

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    Hey Ivan, great to hear from you and thanks for the photo Can I pinch it and send it to the kids? We rarely get photos of us together:wink: Hope you had a great trip and that you will post more pics on Advrider.

    All the best from sunny Turkey:freaky

    Cheers,

    David
  18. IvanRUS

    IvanRUS Been here awhile

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    Ok!
    Turkey is great!

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  19. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

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    ..........Then it was off, over the hills and far away (as Planty may have sung)




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    to Noravank, or New Monastery, founded by Bishop Hovhannes in 1105 dramatically situated at the end of a long valley



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    Climbing the narrow outside steps of Surp Astvatsatin Church




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    enables a good view of the dome inside




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    Wiser folk than me say the church is reminiscent of towerlike burial structures created in the early years of Christianity. The smaller Surp Karapet Church



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    is the original shrine built by the miracle-working Bishop Hovhannes. Noravank once contained a piece of the True Cross stained with the blood of Christ, acquired from a mysterious stranger, allegedly :eek1



    A stunning place to visit in a beautiful setting. However, we couldn't dally if we wanted to get to the north western area of Svaneti in Georgia..........
  20. Dickyb

    Dickyb Bewildered Adventurer

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    ...........Not wishing to take part in any more chariot races through Tbilisi we decided to leave Yerevan and skirt along the southern edges of Armenia and cross into Georgia at Bavra with the days end hopefully seeing us in Bakuriani near Borjomi:wink:


    The roads were wonderful



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    Never seen so many eagles and birds of prey. They were parked on rocks, overhead pylons and fences though inevitably when we parked up to snap them the pesky blighters flew off:pynd



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    The day went on and just got better:clap



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    Bellies rumbled, time for a snack. Little bloke waved his paws about




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    Good job he's partial to TUC biscuits




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    Mid afternoon saw us in Akhalkalali in Georgia I'd stopped at a junction and asked a couple of guys in my best Russian if we were on the road to Bakuriani. "да" they replied. Juliet asked how much further to go. Sucking a bit of atmosphere through my teeth I settled on the number 2 and added hours on the end. The road started well enough though:wink:




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    but soon turned to corrugated nonsense. "Wont last long, luv!" I optimistically opined as she bounced around behind me. After half an hour and no respite I asked a couple of local lads if we were heading the right way. One of them started waving his arms about and gesticulating. Half an hour later the penny dropped. He'd been trying to tell me that I was a knob and should turn round and find the main road. Feeling particularly knobbish I carried on reckoning we must be more than half way by now. Two hours later we were at 2500m and the Mrs was at her wits end:ddog



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    "Ok Marco bloody Polo, you'd better tell me where we are or you I'm going to shove this wedding ring.................." she ranted:cry



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    Three hours later we arrived at our destination battered, bruised but still talking, albeit barely:pain ............



    A couple of beers soon relaxed us and we were best mates again:clap. We wanted to get up north to Ushguli in the Svaneti region of Georgia which apparently looks like this (photo knicked off the interweb)



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    The weather forecast wasn't promising but we decided to give it a go. After a night in Kutaisi we headed towards Ushguli with the aim of reaching Mestia. The day started grim:cry




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    and got much worse




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    Three days of thunder storms and torrential rain up in the mountains had caused major flooding. Soaking wet through we returned down the road to Lentekhi. Stopping at some dilapidated government offices I went about searching for somewhere to stay. No one spoke English and I had exhausted my limited Russian by getting us well and truly lost a couple of days previously. Wandering over to break the news to Juliet I heard a sweet voice whisper "Bonjour, je peux vous aider?" Sweet voice belonged to a sweeter French teacher who the locals had phoned up on seeing our dilemma. Lovely folk, those Georgians :raabia French teacher got on the blower and called Maia. Maia is a local lass who works for the local health authority looking after unfortunate folk for the princely sum of 180 Euros a month. She also looks after her husband, who is recovering from a stroke, and her mother in law. Not having enough folk to look after she also takes in lost souls on motorbikes in inclement weather. Maia lives in a rambling old Georgian house



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    with basic facilities




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    but my word, the girl can cook




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    Maia looked after us for two days while we waited for the weather to change, it didn't. If you are ever in Lentekhi look her up. A woman with a heart as big as her smile :sweeti




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