Cape to cape and further

Richard is on the road for his major trip.

Destination: all the way..........

Back in Iran, back to Turkey.

Week 46, monday 14 November - sunday 20 November 2011.

After sorting out the necessary stuff in
Holland I was happy to be back in Iran. I was still a bit worried of the visa I should get at the airport. They sent me a ref number by email but the question remained if it was enough to get the actual visa on arrival. I arrived at the airport at 03.20 in the morning and went to the MFA (Minister of Foreigner Affairs) and applied for the visa straight away. After a payment of € 50 and ten minutes waiting time I got the visa without a problem. With a taxi I went to the apartment of Fahrad close at Tehran. We arrived here at 05.00 in the morning and after drinking tea I slept a
couple of hours. The next morning Fahrad made us a nice breakfast and at 12.00 we arrived at the KSB office to pack our bikes. Harry went straight on to the south of Iran, he had worked out all the visas for Pakistan, India and Nepal. I packed my bike and followed Farhad to his place and spent there another evening together with his wife. We had nice chats and he made us some nice drinks. After a small dinner we went to bed at 22.00 because the next morning we all had to wake up early. Sunday morning after an early breakfast I took of at 07.00. The weather was not that bad at all. With 8˙C it was ok to ride and because of the time it wasn’t busy on the road yet.
The first hour I drove 90 kilometers and stopped at a little restaurant beside the road. They offered me a warm cup of tea and something to eat. After five minutes I also got lots of fruit to eat. Heated by a stone heater I was ready to go further again. This day I drove to Qazvin and further to Zanjan. Because I started so early this morning I decided to continue further. I didn’t like to drive all the way back I came earlier, so I took road number 35 towards the west of Iran. I passed Zamin-Abab, Bijar and found a hotel in Saggez. During the ride I had amazing views on the mountains covered with snow. I reached an altitude of 2200 meters and the temperatures dropped till 0.5˙C. Because I was still riding with my summer gloves I had pretty cold fingers. The next day I ate my breakfast at 08.00 and took off at 09.00 in the morning. After filling my fuel tank I had enough to go as far as Orumlyeh. From there on it was only 45 km to the Turkish border. As the day before I drove trough a fantastic area with amazing views. During a stop I met Morgan and Idrish who took me to the Saholan cave. They gave me a private tour and after that we went to Morgan's place to drink and eat something. They invited me to stay the night in Mehabab at Morgan's place. Later that afternoon at the weather forecast they told us that it would start snowing the coming evening and night. I decided to continue on my way to the place called Orumlyeh to be as close at the border as
possible. Tuesday morning at 10.00 I arrived at the border by Sero. It all went quite fast and within 60 minutes I entered Turkey for the last time during this trip. Unfortunately the snowfall had increased and the temperature had dropped down till -2˙C. Here in Kurdistan they haven’t heard of preventing the slippery roads, so it was a challenge for me to ride on the road. Beside all the snow there where lots of roadworks going on. I was lucky that there was hardly any traffic on the road, that saved me sometimes  by using the other side of the road. This day I drove only around 130 kilometers. I was really tired after this because of the intense way of riding. I found a hotel in Hakkari and covered my bike. I went into town to buy some food and ended up at a barber in one of the side roads of the main street. They were very surprised to see a foreigner in this part of Turkey. The gave me a nice look again and I was not allowed to pay them because I was the first foreigner in their shop. Back in the hotel and went to bed early. I wanted to get up early in the morning, because the roads are not that good. When I woke up the next day it had snowed in the night. It looked like it would be a hard day to ride on the bike again. Hakkai is situated on a mountain of 1600 meters and because of the sun it was already 5.5˙C. But as soon as I went into the canyon the temperature dropped down till -2˙C again. The sun had not reached this area yet. How further I went to the west the better the
weather became and also the roads were clear now. Around 15.00 I passed the last high mountain before a more flat part of Turkey. This day I drove all the way to Cizre and got there into a nice hotel again. The reason that I stayed in hotels was that at night the temperatures dropped down till -5˙C and thats is absolutely not an attractive temperature to sleep outside. Beside this the people warned me not to stay and not to drive at night. I passed many military check points, but all the military people were very friendly to me. I had not one second an unsafe moment during my entire trip through Kurdistan. On Thursday I slept in a cheap motel just east of Sanlı-urfa. I wanted to be in
Athene as soon as possible and thats why I drove as many kilometers as possible. I passed Gaziantep, Adana and Mersin and in the afternoon I reached the Mediterranean sea. I found a nice campground just before Silifke and pitched up my tent. Unfortunately it started to rain within two hours. In fact it became such a bad weather that I had to move my stuff inside the building. The wind almost blew my tent away and the rain continued for more than four hours. The thunder also continued even after the electricity went down. On Saturday morning everything was normal again and there was not much damage on my tent, only one stick was a bit bent. The
advantage of the wind was that everything was dry again and I packed all the stuff in my bike and took off once more. On my way to Greece I took the road along the sea and I had sometimes really nice views. I took some photos but not that much because I wanted to continue. After Alanya the road became better and that's why I drove this day almost 600 kilometers. After passing Manavgat and Antalya I took the E87 towards Izmir. I found a nice place just before Serinhisar and took a room for 45TL. I slept very well this night because of last night. The next morning during my breakfast I had a nice chat
with a guy from the hotel and he refused for me to pay for the night. With another cup of tea I started my bike and drove further to Çeşme, by passing Denizle, Aydin and Izmir. Once again I drove away with -2.5˙C and by the time I reached Denizle the temperature had reached 8˙C. The E87 is a big asphalt road and that’s way I arrived in Çeşme at 14.00. This was much earlier than I expected and I was actually one day ahead of my schedule. I contacted Nikolas again that I would be in Athene one day earlier. At 14.15 I had managed the tickets to Chios and Pireaus. At 17.00 I arrived at the Turkish customs and they just checked one box and waved me trough to the
police. Within 10 minutes I was allowed to exit Turkey and able to enter the little ferry to Chios. Just before entering the ferry I met a French couple who also wanted to go to Chios. During the crossing we went to sit down and with another French couple we drunk a cup of tea and have a nice chat about Turkey, French and the daily stuff. At 18.00 we arrived in Chios and here I had to wait till 22.00 before the other ferry would bring me to Pireaus. I went to a coffee bar and drunk there a double cappuccino, I realized that I was back in Europe because I had to pay €5 for this. The hours in the bar I spend with updating my blog and reading my emails. In my next update I will inform you of my arrival in Greece and what I had to do in Athene.

Countries I have visited: