Todays ride truly turned out to be an adventure, covering 475km’s, climbing to 1978m over spectacular mountain ranges and yet again more Turk’s going out of their way to assist.
After leaving town this morning aiming to see an underground city dating back to the 6th century and housing 30,000 people our plan was foiled due to the a Turkish holiday for the end of Ramadan which closed the display until 1:30pm. Oh well, time for a coffee and push on.
We made our way around some sizeable mountains, climbing and dropping as the road constantly changed direction. One particular mountain pushed through the clouds and was heavily covered in snow. This was odd to see as later in the day we would be riding in temps greater than 34dgeC.
One of the other changes we are staring to see is Gypsy camps popping up at various locations near the road side, something we had not seen prior.
We arrived at a typical road side fuel stop where we filled up and took time out for a rest and Turkish coffee when we bumped into a Turkish chap riding a GS BMW who was more than happy to chat (although he could not speak a word of English). Steve took the opportunity to asked where can he buy a new rear tyre for his bike as it is getting heavily warn.
This question lead to us being escorted for the next 298km’s to the a City and along the way stopping for Cai (tea). Unfortunately on our escorted journey Steve’s bike suffered a puncture in the rear tyre which we noticed early when we pulled into a petrol station to meet up with our Turkish escorts friends. No problem as we soon had the puncture plugged and we were back on the road and heading to our destination with our Turkish escort.
We arrived in Malatya at 6:30pm at the motor bike shop our escort was taking us to. After several phone calls the Manager of the shop drove up and checked out the bike, made additional calls and said he could not help. He then drove off. This lead to several other phone calls and we now have a tyre ordered, which is at another bike shop 100km’s away that we will travel to and collect on Sunday! Sounds complicated, well it was. Our Turkish escort finally left us at approaching 8.00pm and had a 30km trip back from where we had been to get home! What do you say to people who help so willingly. Turks are great people.
The day finished with us getting a hotel room near by the bike shop and spending time having dinner at a truly local Kebab restaurant where we were clearly the only foreigners that had eaten there recently. Lovely.