RTW on a H.A.T. In the slow lane.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gperkins, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Ahh cameras are one of my many weaknesses DavidM1. You may remember that we met our eldest son way back in George town, Malaysia. On his suggestion I bought a Fuji XT-2 and a couple of lens's 10-24 F4, 16-55 F2.8 & 35 F2 prime after I killed our little pocket Panasonic by allowing it to get wet. He brought these with him to George Town. I love this Fuji system and I will now stick with it. It has many manual controls, focus, aperature, shutter speed, ISO, just great for someone like me that is both a luddite and whom initially learned to use old school SLR's with full manual control. Of course there is a digital menu, which I use to a point. Fuji glass is as good as any and better than most. Being APS-C the camera body's are maybe 30% smaller than full DSLR of course making it easier to carry around. I swore I wouldn't do it again, but I now have 6 lens and I agonise over which to take on the road. For now I've settled for the 10-24, 16-55 and 23 F2 prime. I'd like to cut down to just 2 lens's, especially after last year when I carried 4 lenses. I'm waiting to see the pending 16-80 F4 zoom which should be available later in the year. It may tempt me to get both that and the 16 F1.4 :-) My dearest you can have any shoes that take your fancy......oh thats right Katrina is not into the shoe thing, ooooh I'm a lucky boy. :nod :rogue Darcy our son now has my old SLR's along with hundreds of other cameras, yep he's got the bug.
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  2. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    Wow. I'm impressed by the colour saturation and sharpness of your pics. Maybe I just need to add an ND filter and play with the white balance on my old DSLR. I only took a compact last year and was pleased with the ease of use and pocketability. I'm into downsizing in a lot areas at the moment (bike, camera, camping equipment).

    Thanks for the detailed reply - good info. Sorry for sidetracking the thread a bit.
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  3. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Not at all DavidM1 the photography for me at least is a big part of the journey. So far as the colour, Fuji colour is renowned for it's "richness" for want of a better word. I do very little manipulation of the photos, a: I can't be arsed, b: I don't have the software, c: I already spend far too much time on the poota & d: to be perfectly honest, in most cases I am perfectly happy with the results and in most cases i'm are not at all impressed with the overly manipulated shots that seem to be de-rigueur now days. All I see is a heavily manipulated photo, nothing like how I rememberd the scene.

    We too are also down sizing where ever we can, but camera gear is one area I'm prepared to bend that rule. I just know I'd be longing for better kit if I went back to a little pocket camera. Although it must be said i was pretty damn happy with the results I was getting from the 110 Panasonic.
  4. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Just for a little variation we ventured out to see the Varda viaduct. Sounds Roman once again now doesn't it. Well you'd be wrong. This time we've got a rail bridge, built by the Germans around 1907-12 as part of the Istanbul to Bagdhad rail line. Of course we all know the people from Deuschland are pretty adept at knocking up pieces of engineering, but who knew they can also make it elegent to the point of being down right pretty. The world it's full of surprises thats for sure. :wink:

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    We looked from this angle.

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    The long view.

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    Through the window.

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    From slightly above and whad-ya know, but a choo choo should oblige and come along just at the right moment.

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    The short tunnels adjacent to the bridge. Some by now might be going, "hang on a minute, I've seen that bridge" and you just might be right. We never saw Bond though. Oh here's a little spoiler, there were no rail tunnels each side of the bridge that we could see, bloody Hollywood lied again!

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  5. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    We'd been in Tarsus a day already, then it occured to me as I was looking out the window of our 70 Turkish Lire ($12 US) a night room, "hmm theres something going on with that mosque across the road, best we check it out". Indeed there was, only about 15 years ago the local authorities wanted to put in some services and their digging equipment quickly pushed through to an unknown cavity below. Seems those Romans had been at it again 2,000 years prior, Turns out that there was a whole other world under that mosque and much more besides. But that will probably remain a mystery because a good chunk of the city of Tarsus sits above it all.

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    View from our room.

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    Turns out that the mosque is essentially sitting on a bridge that crosses over an old river bed.

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    Here is the other side.

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    Not more than 50 metres to the right is a hamam or more commonly known as a Turkish bath. I'd love to try one out, but wasn't prepared to venture aross on my own. I'm sure there is a protocol and I reckon I'd break every rule in the book, potentially causing a minor international incident.
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  6. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    That's great, the walkway is nicely done, one of the best. And I've seen a few.

    Edit: which has made me think - I hope you've got Gobekli Tepe on your to-do list.
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  7. markinthailand

    markinthailand Been here awhile

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  8. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Yep, on the list DavidM1, along with a heap of other places. How we will fit it all in I'm not too sure, we'll give it our best shot though.
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  9. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    :lol3
  10. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    As you look at a map of the Mediterranian sea you'll see that there is a little peninsula of Turkey that juts down along the far NE Med coast, that was where we were headed to now. The small coastal town of Cevlik where you will find the Titus tunnel, the largest man made tunnel ever built in the world. It was commenced by emporer Vespasianus, continued by his son Titus and completed by emporer Antonius Pius in the first centurary AD. It's about 1400 metres long and was constructed to divert flood waters from encroaching on the town and silting up the harbour. Ok, thats got the facts bit out of the way.

    Man this thing is something to see, just don't come and see it on the last day before the Ramadan. When everyone and their dog is out and about enjoying themselves before the locals hunker down for the fasting month of Ramadan. It had to happen somewhere for us two and it just happened to be here, never mind.

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    That cut away up on the right side wall is for modern irrigation today for the small surrounding fields.

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    I was hoping to catch the shaft of light with no people present. I had no chance, they are selfie mad here and it makes no difference how long you patiently wait the locals don't give a flying fig for the guy with the camera.

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    All this rubble and rocks have clearly been washed into the tunnel, that I guess gives some indication as to how much water must pass through here from time to time.

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    Inscription to the first two builders Vespasianus and his son Titus.

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    Mt Kilic in the distance and just a few short kilometres beyond is Syria.

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    As people relaxed on the beach it was difficult to contemplate the misery, death and destruction less than 30 kilometres away. I doubt this boy with the kite has any idea. Putting it all into context and trying to make sense of it, just messed with your head.
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  11. KneeDrachen

    KneeDrachen Long timer

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    Been binge reading this thread for a few days now.

    I noticed the Triumph 1200 was not on your list as a possible contender? Any particular reason(s) why?

    Also, you've made mention of your lower speed for travel and exploration. What do you think of the AT on the highways at the times you do need to cover a good amount of distance in a short period of time? Any concern running tube tires with a good amount of weight on the bike with rider/pillion/luggage?
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  12. RICK IN BALI

    RICK IN BALI Adventurer

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    fOR 9 YEARS IN iNDONESIA AND AT THE RIPE OLD AGE OF 70 (71 IN JUNE) I started with 2 Sony braodcat cameras nex a Sony VG20 ,I btill have, A Sony A6000, Still Have and they all stay at home. I use a GOPRO hero 4 silver for chest mount, a Hero 5 on flexy tripod for hand held on bike, and my Samsung S7 edge for video walking around (coupled up to a Zhiyun smooth 3 or 4 ) Also have a small Sony WX 360 (i think) for a good zoom. Lots of little cameras all fit under seat of the NMax so a little extravigant but it works. No mor lugging my DSLRS and crap around. I think I will top it all off with the Hero 7 back soon for the stabilization then I think (READ "THINK") that will do as I am running out of space AND time!!!.
    Really enjoying you RR. I wouldn't have the patience for all the crap u r going thu withh Immagration and customs. Anyway enjoy your trip. Cheers from Indonesia.
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  13. RICK IN BALI

    RICK IN BALI Adventurer

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  14. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Hi KneeDrachen, pleased to have you on board. You ask about the 1200 Triumph. For me it's all about the weight. I have no idea of the weight of that bike, but I just know it would be way too much. You probably realise I was giving the Triumph 800 a lot of serious consideration, that was untill of course Honda announced the AT. I would not like to contemplate for one moment trying to get a bike bigger and heavier than the AT up a road like the Mustang Valley in Nepal. Set up as we are we still miss a lot of roads and tracks, places I would like to visit. But it's just too damn difficult on this bike two up. Also Katrina is genuinely becoming quite adverse to "shitty goat tracks". I joke about that a little, but it is true and I can't really blame her for that. Sitting back there she has absolutely no control of the bike as we bounce up some of these pathways, just faith that we'll get through and if I do come a gutser, hopefully it won't hurt too much.

    So far as the AT on the Hwy, it chomps up the miles no problems whats so ever. But as the countries, miles and years roll by, we really are going slower and slower. Rarely do we get above 90 klm/hr. Sure sometimes, but this type of ride just does not warrant going at speed.

    So far as the tubes go, tubes are my preference. I have no problems with tubes what so ever. Now your've got to understand the following from my perspective and what we are doing. But I just don't get this tube debate. A dirt capable bike in my world needs tubes. If the bike had tubeless rims, commonsense would dictate you's still have to carry spare tubes. No plug was ever going to fix the flat we had up on the Tajik plateau. I'll admit to a mistake on that tube replacement. Thinking about it later I should have cut a patch out of the destroyed tube and placed that between the tyre and the replacement tube, so as to try and stop the new tube from hemoraging through the split in the tyre. I'm not up on the different weight carrying capacity's tubed v's tubeless, but I'm quite sure that our current set up is within limit. I could be wrong here, but I think a lot of people have never changed a tyre, thus would prefer tubeless.

    I reckon one of Honda's reasons for stepping the next AT up to a 1150 is to make room for a middle weight AT, say 650. I could well be wrong about that, but if they are going down that road I would hope that they could shave some serious weight off.

    The bike market has changed little since we set out nearly three years ago, so I really don't see a better mount for us two up. But if I was solo or we were to ride two bikes. I'm really starting to think the best choice for me would be the Yamaha WR250R. I've actually been thinking about it a lot lately. Decent tanks are available, unlike the CRF250 Honda Rallye, it has long service intervals all the rest is just a comfy seat and the usual add ons. A bike like this would get you into so many other places, that the small price you pay for those big transit days really make it worth while. Hmm, I can see a project coming up! :hmmmmm

    Anyway enough waffling on, like I said pleased to have you on board. I see your in the US. I guess you realise now we've been there a few times and really enjoy it. All things being equal the plan is to get the bike across to that part of the world by the end of next year. Perhaps our paths will cross and we can share a beer. :drink
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  15. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Hi RICK IN BALI, your've just got to go with what works for you thats for sure. When we had our little group go through Myanmar. Simon's topbox was full of 2 x DSLR's and a heap of lens. His back ground and motivation was unique in so much he was a Univerisity lecturer in visual arts, specialising in photography. So obviously it was a sacrifice he was prepared to make on his and Alex's year around the world. But for me, hell no. I agree with you on the small pocket cameras though. They have really come a long way. I was really quite impressed with the little Panasonic we had. I have no back up camera as many people do, so I may get something pocketable down the road.

    Hearing that others enjoy our little ramble around the world gives us a lot of motivation to keep up with the RR. It does take some effort thats for sure. I'd do it all the same as I've always kept a diary of our travels. I just see this as an interactive diary, one where you meet like minded people from time to time and that for Katrina and I has been on of the highlights of the journey.
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  16. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Now we wind the clock back to the Hitittes, we are talking 1700 - 1200 BC. Yep, a long time ago. It was on a hillside in what is the modern village of Yesemek that they had a quarry from which the Hittites rough carved out various standard forms. They being Lions, Mountain gods, Sphynx's, Bear/Men (head of a bear, body of a man) and others. These semi carved blocks of a type of basalt, weighing upwards of 10 tonnes were then taken away to their various final resting places within the Hititte territories, much of central Turkey. Where they were finnished off by local craftsmen in a likeness of their own choosing I guess. The Hititte's were a challenge to the Egyptions, so they had some clout in the ancient world.

    The quarry was discovered mid 1800's, but still today you can freely walk amongst many stone blocks in their semi finnished form. Either left on the hillside as they were found or lined up in rough rows near to the entrance. Have seen many doco's of Easter Isl it reminded me of a mini version of the statues of that unusual place.

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    Lion to the left, sphynx to the right I believe.

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    Sphynx

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    Crouching lion, I should have had Katrina standing next to this one to give a sense of scale. It was the biggest piece we saw, maybe 10 tonne's I have no idea.

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    Mountain gods.

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    Having left Yesemek and making our way to Gaziantep we were running parallel to the Syrian boarder, perhas 10 kilometres or so away. Every little while we would see camps on the roadside, clearly Syrian refugees. This was perhaps the largest we saw.

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    Initially I was reluctant to stop anywhere near the camp. Not out of fear for safety, no not at all, just out of respect for dignity for the unfortunate people. But I thought if I am going to try and capture, even just a fraction of this moment in time then I need to get up closer.

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    We summised that the refugees were earning a little income from the surrounding farms. We actually saw women on their hands and knees plucking small weeds out of freshly sown broad acre farms. They wouldn't be doing that for free I am sure.

    Ok, this was yesterday and I've essentially caught up with a couple of days decent wifi. I'll try to stay current from here on in, but who know, thats in the lap of the gods. I doubt there is a Greek or Roman god for decent wifi, but I'm prepared to bet there is a Hindu one.
  17. Balanda

    Balanda No, I don't believe I will

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    Really enjoy the historical insights you provide in this ride report . Thanks for writing it up.
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  18. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Glad to see Balanda, I can at least say with some confidence that there are 3 of us not completely bored witless by our current postings, eh DavidM1. "The ancient archetecture anoraks club".
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  19. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    We call ourselves "Megaraks" on the Megalithic Portal.

    Those are nice photos of the carvings at Yesemek - the Hittite sites are some of my favourites. Looking forward to any other ancient sites you'll be visiting - that region is so rich with them.

    I'm impressed that you visited Hatay. It was suggested by a friend in Istanbul that I shouldn't go there, as per the UK Foreign Office website. I think my travel insurance wouldn't cover me there. But always better to assess the situation yourself when you're in those types of areas, local advice is more meaningful.

    Cheers.
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  20. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    You know that feeling that you get when you arrive somewhere with really high expectations. Your've done all the reading, been told by many just how amazing this place of interest is but when you get there, it's kinda, "what on earth is all the fuss about, sheesh"!

    Well, the Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Gaziantep is not one of those places. Oh no, not even close. Zeugma sits on the west bank of the river Euphrates or more correctly used to. Now of course it's been long abandoned, not least because in more recent times the Euphrates has been dammed and flooded, placing most of the old town under water. Prior to damming the old Roman town was long neglected, except by treasure hunters for those in the know had been pilfering mosaics from this site for quite some time. But by the early 90's the authorities finally stepped in and began some serious excavations and preservations and more recently stepped up their efforts prior to most of the site being flooded. That didn't stop all the priceless artefacts from being rescued though. Some to this day still remain underwater, perhaps never to be seen by human eyes again. So here is a montage of just some of the amazing mosaics of Zeugma.

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    That Achilles by the way, one of the few that I can remember.

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    After the fall of the Roman empire came the Byzantines. Here are a couple of examples of their mosaics. Niave would be a kind description I would have thought. Oh these were recovered from a very early church
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    Although it may not look it, but this one was equisite. Sadly there were others similar, but the thieves got to them before the archaeoligists. I've got many more photos. Click the photo, that will take you to our Flikr acc to get a better view, then double click the photo there to enlarge it.

    Then it was a few short kilometres out to the site, along side the now flooded Euphrates river valley. Once again we weren't expecting to see conservation in progress and to be able walk around the site unhinded, incredible.

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    I'm quite sure that a lot of those bare floor areas are where mosaics have been lifted from.

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    Just to keep a bit of a bike theme going, these two youg ladies wanted to get a selfie with the crazy lady on the big motorbike. The carzy lady obligiged. :lol3