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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    Ah, we'll probably go nowhere that you havn't already been DavidM1, Titus tunnel excepted I guess. Those government warnings, I really do wonder about them. Some buearacrat sitting in his/her cushy office writing up a report having seen something on TV. Seems we are going into the red zone. :pynd We didn't even give a though about our travel insurance. Megaraks eh. :jack
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  2. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    No, you're seeing a lot more than I did when I visited Mount Nemrut and Urfa for just 3 nights in '04 on my R80GS, from Cappadocia in a day, 352 miles. And I stupidly rushed back to the western fleshpots without really studying where I was. Urfa to Alanya in one hit, 498 miles.

    Slow riding is the way to go. I'm loving your report and photography.
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  3. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Thanks DavidM1, today was another killer of a day. But I'm now shattered, wifi is shite and it's 7pm and the restaurants open in another 1/2 hour or so and I could eat a horse, who knows it may even be on the menu. What am I saying, kebap (b) again, only decision is chicken or lamb. So the update will have to wait.
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  4. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Love my Tranny Super Supporter

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    I'm really interested in your views of Eastern Turkey

    One day I hold hope MrsKiwi and I will make it back to Turkey to travel. Probably in a car rather than on a bike.
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  5. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Give us by months end, when we are on our way to the Balkans and I'll give a summation on Turkey and more specific eastern Turkey MrKiwi.
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  6. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    The discovery of Gobekli Tepe in 1960 was an unassuming event, it was quickly dismissed at the time as a medievel graveyard. Then in 1994 the German archaeoligist, Kalaus Schmidt realised that there was a whole lot more going on than a mistaken medievel graveyard. He started digging and he and his team have not stopped to this day. It's now been established that Gobekli Tepe is 11500 years old. Six thousand years older than Stonehenge. It's beem confirmed as the oldest known place of worship. There was no written language, no pottery, no tools other than hard flint. These were stone age people, hunters and gatherers that had hardly started to farm even. To say it was a surprise was quite an understatement at the time. There has been no evidence whats so ever of human settlement, which leads the boffins to believe that it is a place of worship. Also it's prominent position on top of a hill would indicate the same.

    First we toured the excelent Sanliurfa museum so as to better understand Gobekli Tepe which is just a few short kilometres out of town.

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    Oldest known surviving statue of a human likeness anywhere in the world.

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    I'm afraid because of both the glass cabinet and the poor light it was difficult to capture the razor like flint fashioned from this stone.

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    These clay pyramid tubes had me stumped until I saw the next display.

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    They are pushed into a clay or mud brick wall for decoration.

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    Much later iron work, including axes.

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    Kids toy carts.

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    Then it was out to the site of Gobekli Tepe. Tepe by the way it's Turkish for hill, you'll see the word everwhere, particular on place names, towns etc.

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    The larger standing stones are up to 16 ft high and weigh as much as 10 tonne's

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    Under this covered area there are 4 stone circle features so far excavated, there are 2 others outside of this area that have been studied. But magnetic imaging has revealed at least another 17 within the small confines of this hill top. I guess there is a lot more work yet to do. This discovery literally forced the re-writing of the history books.
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  7. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    The origins of Dara it seems have been lost in time. It's known that Darius and Alexander the Great fought battles here and it sat on the eastern extremity of the Roman empire, after which it came into the the Byzantine relm. It was during this period that it was greatly expanded and fortified so as to protect against the Persians. One of the many engineering feats was to divert the river Cordes via under ground channels through the town and water was stored in at least two giant sisterns or subterranian man made caverns. It was these that were of greatest interest to us.

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    First of the two cisterns, the cavernous size blew me away.

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    That is the entrance, believe it or not. It truly is underground.

    The following is the second of the two cisterns. Check out Katrina to give some idea of the scale.
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    From western Europe to central Asia you will see red poppy's everwhere. This is typical of many fields.

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    These would have to be the largest we've seen. The bulb once the petals drop the one on the right, is this what the opium is extracted from, does anyone know? Maybe this is the wrong variety of poppy, I really have no idea.
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  8. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    I doubt that these are opium poppies, although I'm not entirely sure. I saw some opium ones growing near Afyon once and they were a pale lilac/white colour.

    Edit: Here are some photos of the cultivated ones round Afyon - http://benhilmi.blogspot.com/2011/11/afyonkarahisarn-hashas-tarlas.html
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  9. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Your quite possibly right DavidM1, they do brighten up an otherwise boring field of wheat. I'm sure the farmers think quite differently though.
  10. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Love my Tranny Super Supporter

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  11. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    :lol3...................................Wikipedia is banned in Turkey, so I'm still none the wiser. Sorry MrKiwi I guess you may have not known about naughty Wikipedia. :jjen
  12. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Love my Tranny Super Supporter

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    oh. .

    try this

    Opium (poppy tears, with the scientific name: Lachryma papaveris) is the dried latexobtained from the opium poppy (scientific name: Papaver somniferum).[5] Approximately 12 percent of the opium latex is made up of the analgesic alkaloid morphine, which is processed chemically to produce heroin and other synthetic opioids for medicinal use and for illegal drug trade. The latex also contains the closely related opiates codeine and thebaine, and non-analgesic alkaloids such as papaverine and noscapine. The traditional, labor-intensive method of obtaining the latex is to scratch ("score") the immature seed pods (fruits) by hand; the latex leaks out and dries to a sticky yellowish residue that is later scraped off and dehydrated. The word "meconium" (derived from the Greek for "opium-like", but now used to refer to infant stools) historically referred to related, weaker preparations made from other parts of the opium poppy or different species of poppies.[6]
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  13. RICK IN BALI

    RICK IN BALI Adventurer

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    In Aus you can buy the wreck back from the Insurance company. Done it a couple of times with cars. (are we allowed to use the word cars on this site???)
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  14. RICK IN BALI

    RICK IN BALI Adventurer

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    There's a lot of beggers in Bali as well. Some are genuine but others run by gangs and they even rent the kids for the day. Sounds bazzar but it is true. Some police round them up and ship them back to their villages but next day they're back.
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  15. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Yeah I've heard of these beggar scams all over. Unfortunately it really clouds your mind when you give a little money over. The worst we saw was in St Petersburg, Russia back in 99 from memory. There the beggars have to pay a cut of their takings to the local mafia, don't pay then you don't beg, incredible. There is one beggar on every block of the main drag, Nevsky precinct. They were all men in the 30's or 40's and missing limbs. It seemed quite apparent that they we victims of the Russia - Afghan war.

    That one there in Osh though was just a poor family with mum sitting blythly to the side pretending that her little urchins were angles. Of course she was as much a part of the pick pocketing as they were.
  16. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    How is the security there? Many document checks? They checked my driving licence at 4 checkpoints last year (but never my passport), they knew exactly where I'd been from their tablet computer.
  17. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Today would take us as far east that we will go in Turkey. Having left Mardin we would skim the Syrian boarder by taking the D400 for about 50 klms, then swing north to pick up the Mor Gabriel monastery. We were told by friends a couple of weeks back, that our safety in the Kurdish dominant area of Turkey would most certainly be assured. It's just that there is less to see there and it becomes incredibly tedius stopping at all the police and military check points. Making travel through there very frustrating. For those that are unaware the Kurdish people that dominate the confluence of Turkey, Syria, Iran & Iraq have been fighting at both a political and a military level with all four countries for a very long time for their own independent nation of Kurdistan. Due to the recent upheavals in Iraq, they have a degree of independence in that country, Syria they are in conflict with the Assad regime. In both Turkey and Iran they have achieved little. Here in Turkey lives are lost on nearly a weekly basis, both Turkish military and Kurdish separtists.

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    As far as we could see, all along the boarder there is at least a continuous barbed wire fence on the Turkish side and a concrete wall on the Syrian side. Where the boarder gets real close to the road, there are in fact two concrete walls, of course there are the obligatory watch towers. The ones we saw appeared to be no longer manned though.

    Then it was onto the Mor Gabriel Monastery the oldest surviving Syriac monastery in the world, dating back to 397 AD. Apparently it has been continuously occupied all that time and St Gabriel is buried on the grounds there somewhere. Thats about as much as I know. Our quick visit just further reinforced my already fixed views on religion. Wealth, money and power and it sure was on display here. We saw one old grey bearded man in flowing robes, of course there would be more there somewhere. In any case he sure was living in some fancy digs. I saw it as an oppurtunity to try and better my architectural photographic skills.

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    We stopped in the little town on Hasankeyf for an icecream seeing as the temps are now well into the 20's. Until I did a quick scan of the map I had no idea that we were sat beside the Tigris river. We have now witnessed and crossed the two great rivers that have sustained life for countless centuries in this part of the world the Euphrates and the Tigris.
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  18. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    All over Turkey DavidM1 there are either police or military check points. Since the atempted coup a couple of years ago they have ramped up security, no doubt about it. Throw in the Kurdish situation and the chaos across the boarder in Syria and it's no wonder that security is an issue. We've been stopped only twice and on both ocassions I simply say, "sorry sir I can only speak English" which of course is true and imediately I am waved through with a smile and neither time did I have to present any papers. Actually the last time this happened, the guy whom pulled me over really did single me out from a bunch of other vehicles. It struck me that he was on a mission to nail the guy on the big bike, me! But as soon as he realised I was not local, but a foreign toursit he did as I said above, but commically his mate a few metres away with the machine gun just broke out in laughter. Realising that his mate, the one that pulled me over wasn't going to get me, what ever that would have been.

    You'd be well aware that all along the highways there are overhead surveylence cameras, so i have no doubt that it would be a simple process to track our where abouts. That along with the registration procedures in the cheap hotels. That though is really no different to anywhere in Europe, that is presenting either your passport or identity papers. Being from Australia where an accomodation establishment, be it a hostel, hotel, motel or caravan park only wants your money and doesn't give two hoots about your identity, it's a bit of a culture shock to be always handing over your identity. But we've been in this part of the world a lot so are well used to it. Still doesn't mean we like it. When we tell people that we do not have identity papers in Australia a lot of people are really surprised.

    In any case at no time have we felt our safety compromised. People are always curtious and polite, including our brief interactions with the police & military. To my knowlege there is no history of the PKK or Kurdish separists using foreign nationals as pawns in their fight for an independent Kurdish state.
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  19. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    So we've been as far east as we shall go in Turkey, swung a little to the north past Batman, the city not the comic book hero, to take in the Malabadi bridge. This bridge as it stands today has the widest span of any stone bridge in the world at 40 metres and it was built back in 1147. Not a bad feat at all I would have thought.

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    It's quite unique in so much, the approaches from both ends have a 45 deg kink, so as to more easily span the Batman river.

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    Then it was onto Diyarbakir to check out the defensive walls. These when completed were the 2nd longest in the world, only the Great Wall of China is longer. No matter how I tried I coudn't get any decent shots of the walls.

    It's worth adding that we saw by far and away the greatest concentration of military, both in Diyarbakir and as we approached the city from the east. To be honest it wasn't a good feeling. We didn't feel unsafe at all, but the vibe in the place was a little unsettling. So one night was enough and we were on our way out of there.

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    I've not seen these circular protrusions anywhere else before. From what I can see it assists in keying the stones togeter. Then again I could be completely wrong.

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    The walls date back to the middle to late 4th centuary AD and have been continually added to over the years.

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    Selling shoes in one of the many gates.

    Next stop on the road to ruins is the world heratige listed Nemrut mountain. These monoliths go back about a centuary before Christ. They are atop My Nemrut at about 2200 metres, thats aprox 7000 ft. They were a pretty damn determined lot, thats for sure.

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    The heads have fallen off of there respective bodies and are now lined up in front. All the usual suspects, Zeus, Hercules and others. Including a likeness of king Anthiochus, king of the Commogene's at the time. Yep, I'd never heard of them either.

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    Each block weighs between 6 and 10 tonnes.

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    Don't let the snow fool you, it was bloody hot up there today, pushing low 30's C I suppose.

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    Final piece of history is the Roman Cendere bridge, built aprox 200 AD and was still in regular use until just 5 years ago. I wonder how many bridges being built today will still be in use around the year 3800AD?

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    Thats the new bridge in the background.

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  20. KneeDrachen

    KneeDrachen Long timer

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    Amazing how empty the sites are in your post...
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