Hi folks you may or may not be pleased to hear that this will be my final blog entry from Turkey. Our final day is to be spent in a small town called Doguybazit. We arrived last night and Polly, Will and I took the opportunity to upgrade and have a room wÃ„Â±th en suÃ„Â±te shower for two pounds each a night a wise decision as last night we had our first proper downpour Ã„Â±n six weeks!
Firstly I must update you on the story from Turkey so far....my phone and camera now work although the camera plays up a bit (any advice Lloyd as I could do with not having to buy another one? It takes pictures but then turns itself off and I have taken to giving it a slight tap to make it work again which I know will not be good in the long run!) My phone appears at this stage to be ok although it still has a mind of its own (Sure you know how that feels Dooley!) Still I get to keep my phone number which I have successfully kept for just over ten years now!
Right to the point. I last wrote to you from the beautiful town of Goreme which was featured in one of the Star Wars films.(episode VI) We spent two nights there after visiting Olmpos and its eternal flames. The flames are called the Chimaera and are 200m above sea level. The fuel source for the flame is natural gas, largely methane which seeps through the cracks in the earth. Fascinating. Honest!!
So onto Goreme in the beautiful region of Cappadocia famous as mentioned in a previous blog I think for its Fairy chimneys. The campsite was spot on hot showers, internet, postbox (the small things in life please us so much now!). The only downfall was a swimming pool which was empty!! Ã„Â±t was nearly 30 degrees but the boss said it was too cold to fill!! Goreme is also famous for UFO sightings and had a UFO museum sadly I missed it due to washing my clothes!! Our last night in Goreme was spent in an underground Turkish restaurant, we each paid 12 pounds for a Turkish eat/drink as much as you want with traditional turkish music thrown in, it was fantastic Nicole I will show you the moves on my return...half of our group then went into Goreme town and showed the locals our moves, they were not impressed!!
We then moved onto Ankara to obtain our visas for Pakistan this stopover was not on the itinerary but I was so glad as I got in touch with a guy I met in Turkey two years ago called Tefvik. We bushcamped (with wild roaming turtoises and dogs) the first night outside the city then headed in the following morning....After a few drinks with Tefvik 5 of us decided to jump ship and get a hotel which proved to be wise as the rest of the group ended up going back to the same bushcamp again, with no running water...
So a night in the capital of Ankara with a local was amusingly done. Tefvik was so hospitable and although II had only met him once before we got on like we had known each other for years! He made us feel so welcome took us to his local bars and intoduced us to two of his best friends who were equally as nice, Tefvik I will come back and see you as soon as I can and thank you so much again to you and your friends!! I guess you have all read my other entry from Ankara explaining what happened to my electrics the following day so I will not bore you again...so aftera night with tefvik we raced back to the truck only to be told the visas were not ready as my phone was dead I was unable to reach Tefvik so we had to return to bushcamping!! THe next day we returned to the city and spent the day hunting for showers prior to a farewell drink with TevfÃ„Â±k..the showers were few and far between unlÃ„Â±ke Ã„Â°stanbul the Turkish Baths (Harem) were largely for men only and the one we had found the day before looked more like a womens refuge and lets just say the women were far too pleased to see Lorna and IIenter so we immediately left!! (after I was grabbed by the arm in an attempt to haul me back in!!)
Anyway I lost my dignity and tramped into the 5 star Sheriton Hotel in flip flops and after getting through the airport style security I asked if we could use their facilities. Although we got an bÃ„Â±g fat no they were very kind and pointed us in the right dÃ„Â±rection...so we thought.. to cut a long story short we ended up showering at a local gym they took pÃ„Â±ty on us with no charge ( and I will never take a shower for granted again!)
So a farewell drink with Tefvik and back on the road again as the embassy granted us vÃ„Â±sas, my fingers were crossed that we had another day with Tefvik but sadly no, we loved Ankara. Heading east we camped the night at Mount Nemrut (2,ooom) climbing it for sunset and sunrise but as you will see on the pictures the weather was cruel! Nevermind it was all good exercise and we had an amusing evening sleeping on the cafe floor only to be woken up by Cocoon style American tourists at 3.30am!!
The summit was littered with sculptures 2,000 years old after an obscure King chose to erect his own memorial sanctuary, although a bit odd many have stood the test of time and several earthquakes. I have to quickly mention our lunch stop on route to Nemrut. We pulled up next to a local school and were greeted by the children as if we were famous, my camera was drying out so no photos this time but thankfully Polly has some good ones so I will add then next time. We caused a bÃ„Â±t stir in the town and were invited to meet the headmaster in his offÃ„Â±ce (reminded me of Mr Bates...) for a coke! The english teacher then took the fÃ„Â±ve of us into her class for more photos and broken english. It was an elementary school for children aged 7 - 13 and neraly 700 of them flocked around us each one (or so it felt) asking us where do you come from and what Ã„Â±s your name, the only two questions that they knew. We exchanged email details with the english teacher (Nicole you will get a worthwhile photo!) and after a quick game of basketball we were on our way. Although I left a top in the local squat toilets the experience at the school was the most rewarding thus far, the look on the childrens faces when we shook their hands was priceless.
After Nemrut was a bushcamp next to the vast Lake Van before our final stop for two nights here in Doguybazit (otherwise known as Doggy Biscuit) IInow have my suitable clothes for Iran which we enter tomorrow, you will get photos I am fully aware that many of you can`t wait to see me looking like I am 70 in a headscarf! To be honest we can`t wait to enter and we are expecting the unexpected!
So next stop Ã„Â°ran country number 11. Tehran is on the agenda so IÃ„Â° hope the next time you hear from me isn`t waving into a camera on the news...as for the use of the internet in the next two weeks I just don`t know but as always I will update as and when I can.
Thank you for all your mails and messages especially my Mum and Liz who have been regularly updating me with texts, I`m eternally grateful..
My next bÃ„Â±g decision is Everest Base Camp or the Taj Mahal?? My mind is more or less made up and as most of you know Base Camp sold the trip for me. To do Base Camp we have to leave the truck in Delhi and get to Kathmandu spend two weeks trekking then be picked up back in Kathmandu with the truck whilst the truck spends time in Nepal. The price is 365 pounds a small price to pay considering how much a trip from the UK would be this includes food, lodgÃ„Â±ng a tour guide and sherpas etc and the short flÃ„Â±ght to Lukla. If the truck picks up time we will not miss the Taj Mahal but we`ll see. Although its a little way off we have to pay up front and decide soon so Stevie P (Happy Birthday x) if you are serious you will just need a return flight and there are 4 spare seats on the truck and Steve doesn`t mind any friends that want to hop on for however long..!
RÃ„Â±ght then farewell from Turkey and I hope to be in touch again from Iran...
Missing you all
EXCUSE THE ERRORS TURKÃ„Â°SH KEYBOARD HAS BEEN DOING STRANGE THÃ„Â°NGS...AND SORRY BUT YOU WÃ„Â°LL HAVE TO TWÃ„Â°ST YOUR NECKS AGAÃ„Â°N TO SEE THE PÃ„Â°CTURES!!
iii Ã„Â°Ã„Â°Ã„Â° Ã„Â±Ã„Â±Ã„Â± III