Crossing Turkey

Crossing Turkey

December 5, 2012  |  Turkey

My initial plan was to leave Ankara when I had my passport back but my hosts and I decided it would be fun to stay on Friday too so we could eat and drink together for the last time. I took this opportunity to cook a delicious Dutch meal called hotchpotch for everyone. They said they liked it!

On Saturday we had a big breakfast and after I was escorted out of Ankara by my hosts. I was heading for Cappadocia, a historical region four hours south of Ankara. I stayed here at a pension that was owned by the father of a friend of Feridun, one of my hosts. The owner spoke very good French, a bit of German, little English, Turkish of course and one word Dutch. We had a conversation in which we used all the 5 languages we knew (My German and French suck but I learned to count in Turkish!).

At 07:00 I was still lying in my bed staring at the ceiling. I don’t know why I couldn’t sleep. I played the song Eye of the Tiger to push myself out of bed and after a nice breakfast in the pension I went hiking in the central part of Cappadocia. It was extremely hot for November terms, that was really nice!






I forgot to bring water with me and after a few hours I could really use some. I brought a map from the Pension but all the spots on it where you could drink something were closed because it is off season. Finally I found a abandoned stall where coffee and soda was sold. I searched around and found an opened half full 2,5L bottle of cola. That one is mine! I walked back to a hammock between two trees that I found earlier and fell asleep.


Late afternoon I returned to the pension and yet again I fell asleep. I woke up in the morning again. Feridun and I made a route how to cross Turkey, while avoiding the Syrian border and the PKK. I had it written down in my notebook but I still remembered one city, Erzurum, so I navigated to there. It was a nice ride to Erzurum. Roads were good and beautiful scenery. Ineven saw a few tumbleweeds! That was a first for me. At night when I arrived in Erzurum I looked on the map and saw that I almost crossed the whole of Turkey in one day! 700 km. That was not really the plan but it sets me back on schedule after spending four days in Istanbul and 9 days in Ankara.


The next day I went to Dogubayazit. A city just before the border with Iran. I really got the feeling that I was driving east this day. Especially some small villages which I passed through were amazing to see. Once again I was lasered and stopped by the police. They say I was riding 130km/h. I’m very sure that’s not the case as I didn’t go faster than 120km/h anywhere in this trip. Also they said the road has a speed limit of 80km/h while my Garmin says 90km/h. So now I have a speeding ticket of 50km/h. I don’t even know how to pay it. I asked the police officer but they just drove off after giving me the ticket. I consulted Feridun from Ankara and we both think it’s best if I just try to pass the border without paying the ticket. Maybe they will send an invoice to my home?


In Dogubayazit I searched for a hotel and came to find out that the prices are eastern to already. €13,50 for a pretty nice room. At night I went looking for a place to eat. A man starts talking to me and introduced himself. He is the owner of a bus company and says he has a nice office. He asks if I want to go to his office and drink with him (this should be alarmbell #1). I say that I think that is a great idea but I’m hungry and have to eat first. I will come after. Somehow he convinces me that it’s best to come with him now. So, we walked to his office. He had some nice pictures on the wall. He tells me what’s on it with his hand on my back. Only now a little alarmbell starts ringing. It’s Dubrovnik all over again. He sit’s down and tells that before he had this buscompany he had a massagesalon. Ok, I maybe naive but now it’s very clear. ‘I’m so hungry, I really have to go! Bye!’ as I walk out of the door he screams after me: ‘If you want a drink and a massage come back anytime!’.

Today I had to do some homework first. A bit of research about tomorrows border crossing, exchange rates etc. After that I went to the Ishakpasa Sarayi. A palace here in Dogubayazit. It’s stunning! Oh and on my way there I saw the bus company guy. We wave at 2:38 in the video.



So tomorrow into Iran and heading for Tabriz. I hoped I could couchsurf in Tabriz but after a first contact with someone there I heard nothing anymore. So if I think Tabriz is too far I will just sleep somewhere else.20121205-180830.jpg




3 comments on “Crossing Turkey

  1. Marjory Andela on said:

    He Broertje.

    Wat een mooie foto’s weer. Wat een totaal andere omgeving. Maar wel mooi om te zien. (niet alles natuurlijk)
    Super gaaf dat je nu zoveel van een klein stukje van de wereld ziet.
    Weetje hoe grappig dat lijkt me wel leuk om te zien zo’n tumbleweed dingetje. Had op YouTube al even een leuke filmpje gezien toen ik Tumbleweed in typte. Grappig om dat in het echt zo over de weg te zien rollen.
    Nou geniet nog even van je rustdag.
    En dan heel veel succes morgen weer met je reis naar/door Iran!
    Ik wacht de voglende verhalen wel weer af! Blijft leuk om te lezen!

    Groetjes je zus!

  2. Leuk verhaal weer Rocco, mooie foto’s, leuk filmpje.
    We volgen je en vinden het prachtig om je verhalen te lezen. Geniet er van!!!

  3. Miranda Evers on said:

    Hey Rocco,
    Have al little question, you’re still not tired of the beard?
    all that itching and stuff.

    Kisses you big niece

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