Riding into Turkey from Georgia is gorgeous. Along the flat blue water, green hills head inland and become snow-capped mountains. Tiny harbors filled with fishing boats pop up along the coast in each small town.
There’s always a perfect camping spot waiting to be discovered. This one was behind a gas station on the main road.
From the coast I decided to stay off the fancy sealed highways and took a road up through the mountains. Going south from the Black Sea leads you over mountain ranges towards the central plateau of Turkey. It was a wild road with amazing views down through valleys and over small villages.
The road got smaller and rougher until I almost reached to top of the pass. It was a beautiful but freezing day. At the top, the narrow gravel road was completely in the shade. This wouldn’t have been a big deal if it wasn’t for the melt water that had frozen over the entire road. A two to three-inch slab of ice-covered everything. It wasn’t the longest stretch so I gave it a shot. I’d never really rode a motorcycle on ice before, and found out it’s basically impossible. The tiniest touch of throttle sends the back-end sliding out from under you. After dropping the bike twice and using every ounce of strength I had to lift it back up, I knew I needed a new plan. There was no way I was going to backtrack all the way down, so I started using big rocks to smash the ice apart. I had to spend over an hour smashing out a little path right along the wall before managing to get by it all.
I was able to get by all the ice, but was sweating my ass off and had to take off some layers. With my jacket and sweatshirt bungeed to them back, I set off to the summit. While stopped at the top I realized they were both gone. Then the realization hit me that my passport was in my jacket. I flew down the hill in search of them. Two-thirds of the way back I found the sweatshirt, but no jacket and passport. I spent the next hour searching everywhere along the road, but had no luck. I don’t have many possessions in the world and don’t have many material objects that I really care about. The one thing I probably care about most is my passport. It has the last eight years of my life in it and it’s as fat as a small novel. It would really be a bummer to lose it. I had about given up and was riding back towards the top when I came across it in the middle of the road. I have no idea how I hadn’t seen it on the way down. I would have driven right over it. Makes no sense, but I’ll take it. Thank you universe.
The high mountainous area of Turkey was a miserable cold night of camping. I woke up to everything being iced over.
After two long days of riding I reached Cappadocia, a historical region in Central Anatolia. Fairy chimneys and beautiful rock formations spread out across the are. Besides the natural wonders, it’s filled with cultural heritage. Wandering through the valleys is fascinating.
People come from all over the world to go hot-air ballooning.
Many of the formations have been carved into and made into dwellings and churches. The Cappadocians appear in biblical accounts, which seem to suggest they were “God-fearing Jews”. The are is filled with interesting history.
Sunset brightens up all the rocks natural colors and puts on a gorgeous display or orange, gray, yellow, and red, and brown.
Sunrise on a cloudy morning looking over the town of Goreme.
The Taurus mountains separate Cappadocia from the Mediterranean Sea. Crossing these stunning limestone mountains drops you down onto the spectacular Lycian Coast. After being landlocked for so long in cold weather (can’t count the Black Sea), it was a magical feeling getting to the seaside. It had been so long since I felt warm air. The beach is in my blood and I always feel like I’ve arrived home when I reach it, no matter where in the world I am.