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At the border post between Georgia and Turkey, the process made us to break the Russian Gang. No other choice than separating us from Maika and Christoph. Both sidecars started a ride, on their own without their UAZ friend from the last 1000 kilometres, on the D100 – the dual carriageway going towards North. On this main road, many trucks and shipping vans were accompanying us. On 500kms, we rode on a 5-km wide concrete road. The urban life took the power over nature. Between the buildings, there were many minarets and sometimes bridges spanning small streams going to the Black Sea. On the right hand side, the Black Sea, on the left hand side, the green hills with the first peaks of the Pontic mountains.
In the countryside, we crossed hills and wide fields The scenery was beautiful and surrounded by cereal fields. It was the harvest season. At dawn, the farmers were starting to work.
The farms were unequally equipped. We saw old tractors while, just a few kilometres further, there were high-tech tractors from Europe.
At some point, after the exact same scenery since hundreds of kilometres, the cliffs of Capadoccia appeared with their ochre and cream colours.
The road was winding between the huge rocks, the valley, and was going up to the summit of the Uçhisar city to offer a beautiful viewpoint over the region.
It was pretty hot that day. At sunset time, we continued the road between the volcanos and the bundles of straw to reach the lake of Narligöl. To reach this lake located in the heart of a crater, we took a paved road. Used to see this kind of road surface in historic town-centres, we were surprised to see it on a small road in the middle of the Turkish countryside.
Again the golden colours of the end of this day were warm and bringing even more magic to this place.
The next step was the Egirdir lake. After a night by its edge, we rode alongside it with the mountains in the background lighted by the warm sunrise. The road continued between the mountains up to the first hill with a steep slope. We reached the archeological site of Sagalassos. At the bottom of it, in Aglasun city, we saw an epic manoeuvre from a nanny. Riding a tractor, she went fast down the hill going to the city. She braked a bit late and almost hit a car, trying to park next to us. But, luckily, no damage!
Once arrived by the Mediterranean coast, it was vert hot. So we changed our daily routine. The new planning was an early riding session, a bathing break during the hottest hours of the day, the last kilometres at the end of the afternoon before to find a wild camping spot.
So when we went discovering, the Valley of Butterflies, we started to ride at 6am with only a chocolate biscuit for breakfast. To reach the village over the valley, we left the main road to use the path going along the coast. An irregular asphalt road going up the mountain. With the numerous bends, the rider and the co-pilot were enjoying by turns the beautiful show offered by the Mediterranean Sea at the sunrise.
The visit of the seaside city of Oludeniz was also the moment we crossed the step of the 30,000 kilometers of the trip. It was also the step for a mechanical service. We purchased the engine oil at the Shell petrol station at the entrance of the city. The show of the torque wrench and spanners started a 7am in a small shaded street nearby the hotel. The day finished by the traditional valves clearance control and lubrication of the shafts before riding them to the Gemiler beach.
For joining the Ephese archeological site, we took for the first time in in Turkey, a motorway with tolls. But once we arrived at the gate, nothing restrained us to go through without paying. When we arrived at the city of Selcuk, we tried to get more details about that. We learned we had to buy a wireless card for paying tolls and we can buy them at the national post office. So we went to the closest to solve this issue and to avoid paying any penalties.
Our trip in Turkey ended by crossing the Gallipoli peninsula. After one last night on its beach, we left at dawn. Facing the sun, the shadow of Marie and Julien’s sidecar traced a path between the sunflower fields. Then, the flowers were replaced by olive trees once we arrived at the Strait of Dardanelles, crossed the previous day with a ferry. It was the beginning of the weekend and many sailors were enjoying the wind pushing towards the Mediterranean Sea, while we were going at the opposite direction, towards the Greek border.