Archive for October 7, 2017

Biking   Leave a comment

It was my birthday last Wednesday (4th Oct) and by way of a pleasant excursion I rode up to Girdev lake about 90 kilometres from my house, the last 20 kilometres or so being on “dirt” roads. In fact they are not so much dirt as crushed rock, exactly what my bike is made for. The road up and over the mountains to Gömbe is good tarmac and very twisty so very enjoyable on a bike, and I made good progress most of the way but had to be a bit careful over the passes and on the north facing slopes because at that time of the morning the sun had not completely dried the dew from the road surface, sometimes discretion is required to keep the rubber on the tarmac.

Finding the right road out of Gömbe confused me but I guessed right in the end, I had checked out the route on Google Earth but of course that doesn’t take account of road works and local roads can often be obscured by trees. Anyway I soon found myself in Yeşilbarak then onto the dirt roads. It felt quite an adventure, I had never been up here before and didn’t quite know what to expect, I am also a complete novice when it comes to off-road riding skills so every further kilometre felt like an achievement.

Here is a photo of the approach to the lake, as you can see the road winds up and over the hill in the distance. I had a couple of tricky moments on the hairpins on the climb but gritting my teeth and giving it a handful of throttle did the trick, although being sideways had my hair standing on end.

It was after taking this photo that I must have inadvertently changed the settings on the camera as I tucked it away in the padded bag in the top box because all of the photos of the lake itself were severely underexposed, I kicked myself for that but I’ll just have to go back next week and take some more eh? (Big smile)

The road around the lake is in pretty good condition and I was surprised to see how many houses have been built there, must be 50 or more. They’re all well spread out of course and some appear to be holiday houses and yurts for rent. The lake was obviously not as full as it could be as large areas were more like marshes with long grass growing through a few inches of water.

I met and had a chat with some of the local Yörük shepherds. Years ago as a people they were nomadic, travelling with their families and flocks all over Antatolia to find their traditional pastures. Nowadays most are semi nomadic at best, usually having houses or camp grounds in the mountain pastures for the summer and others at lower altitudes away from the snowbound hills where the grazing is more accessible. I had to promise to return and join them for roasting a sheep over a fire and maybe even staying the night in their tents.

On the return trip over the pass I discovered my mistake when putting the camera away so I only really have two photographs, one of going towards the lake and this one coming away from it at the top of the pass that you see in the previous picture. I promise I’ll try harder next time.

 

Talking of travelling by motorcycle my Canadian friend Les sent me some photos of his recent trip from his house near Mazatlan in Mexico…

up to Brandon in Canada and then the return covering about 11,000 kilometers in total. He did the journey over the course of seven weeks staying for a few days here and there on the way.

Here are some photos of some of the state signs as he passed them.

                     

Probably not in the right order. Seeing some interesting sights on the way…

 

and getting hit in the face by a rock thrown up from a truck wheel…

oh the joys of open faced helmets.

 

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Posted October 7, 2017 by cukurbagli in Uncategorized