Bad luck in a good countryJune 30, 2007
After 10 days in Göreme I got slightly annoyed with the bank cause my card still hadn’t arrived. And it was already the 19th, I called them in May!
Everyone was great though, especially the guys from the Silk road restaurant who let me sleep and eat there and took me to a wedding. I worked for them a little and also for cafe Savak where they had a proper coffee machine ahhhhh…. so good! And I helped out the boys at the Flinstones cafebar in exchange for a pint or two. So everything worked out rather well. But after 10 days I decided to leave anyway, card or no card ’cause I started running out of time. It was already not possible to reach Iran on my bike anymore so I got a lift with one of these little tour busses to mount Nemrut.
Kylie send me some cash through western union (thanks Kylie!) and off we went.
About an hour into the trip the driver gets a phone call… the postoffice. My card FINALLY had arrived! So he turned around the whole bus to collect it.
I was only gonna get the transport but on the way we visited a caravansaray, the best ice cream in the world (or so they think but I know better) and in the morning they even took me up Nemrut, where there is a whole lot of big heads laying about, to see the sunrise. Freezing!! Who’s idea was it anyway to go and see the sunrise on the longest day of the year… But yes, it was pretty. And it meant I could start cycling early that day. I guess I hadn’t had enough sleep cause coming down the mountain, for the first time ever, I came off my bike. Not my fault, the road turned from asphalt to gravel without warning me…. I looked around hoping no one had seen me. But two young girls came running down the mountain giggling. Ah well.
I stayed in Diabakir, between the Eufrat and the Tigris, for two nights. It was very very hot! About 45degrees. I stayed with Nace, who I’d met on a ferry crossing earlier on. And his girlfriend Anika from Germany. They met when they both studied in Czech. One day Anika was walking the dog when a car pulled up. ‘how much?’ the man asked. ‘O no’ Anika replied, ‘this is my dog. He’s not for sale…’ Only after she realised he wasnt asking for the dog…
untill now I’ve always refused when people offer me a ride, But because of time starting to run out I decided not to refuse anymore (if it didn’t seem to dodgy, like the truck driver that stopped and first thing he says is ‘kiss, kiss?’
One morning a family on the side of the road called me over for breakfast and they offered me a lift. So according to my new rule I didn’t refuse. Bad Idea. Because my bike got tied to the roof and with about 100km/h she went flying… I just heard this big crash and thought my trip was finished. not a nice feeling.
But miraculously, after some welding and hammering bits and pieces in place at a bike shop in Tatvan she seems to have survived! Although I havent cycled too much since that either… I guess the good thing about that is I’ve probably avoided a few of them evil dogs and bandits I’ve heard other cyclist talking about…
In Tatvan I discovered there’s a 2nd mount Nemrut, this one is a volcano with 5 crater lakes inside. I went to check it out and found myself playing tavla and having a BBQ next to a hot lake with four elderly Kurdish men. A beautiful spot to camp just a bit windy!
A few days ago I cycled along lake Van enjoying the scenery when all of the sudden I felt really ill. I sat down on the side of the road contemplating what to do when a man came up asking for cigarettes.. and then for money… Phuh! I’m a dying young woman! what ever happened to chivalry! Hmph.
Not much later I catched a ride to the next town and crashed at the first place I came across which happened to be an internet cafe.
I could hardly move and had a bit of a fever, but after about 5 hours on the couch there I thought it be a good idea to find a hotel. The boy at the internet cafe told me it wouldn’t be a problem to stay there all night, he would stay with me. He seemed very friendly… a little too friendly.
So I ended up in a hotel which was fairly expensive to my standard but nice since I had my own toilet, where I spend most the night. I did sleep a little too, but only a little since people kept knocking on my door between 10 and 1 o’clock. And I didn’t think they wanted to check if I’m ok…
So the next day, still feeling severely dodgy, I got out of there. Took a dolmus to Doubayazit where I’ve been staying for a few days in the shadow of mount Ararat. For the first time today I could fart without wetting my pants so I must be getting better.
Here I’ve met a couple of other cyclists, one of them told me he’d been up the mountain with a guide. I met his guide too, Burhan. He has taken me too his family home where his grandma, mum and sisters have been taking care of me. They insisted a freezing cold shower is the best medicine… I didn’t agree but I couldn’t get out of it. And I am actually feeling a little better.
Burhan is getting a tour group from Iran tomorrow to climb the mountain. He told me if I feel alright I can tag along… Normally you need all sorts of permits, it cost between 200 and 500 Euro to get up there! So I hope I’ll be feeling ok tomorrow. Seems like a good farewell to such a nice country where I’ve been invited to peoples houses more than anywhere ever before and had more çay then you can imagine…
I’ll climb to it’s highest point of 5165meter!
The next day I cycle I will be in Iran! Whoohooo!!! A whole new adventure….