Turkey . (again)

THE CIRCLE HAS BEEN CLOSED

What we had managed to do while in Iran, turned out to be a ‘mission impossible’ in Turkey. One day it had to happen, there was no way out. We’re talking about crossing our own route. It happened exactly in Diyarbakır, the capital of the Turkish Kurds. We arrived on a place where we’ve been before on this travel. Funny coincidence: it was exactly one year ago that we had been there! By closing the circle, our feeling of being far away from home ended. But each ending also means the start of something new (we hereby give away this insight for free!). In our case, it meant turning back to familiar things, and even nicer, seeing back friends!

The first candidate was Faruk. An extremely friendly and open-minded Kurd we’ve met last year, when we camped on his guarded car park in the middle of Diyarbakır during two nights. And as the year before, we went just outside the city for secretly smoking hash and drinking beer. When it was time to say goodbye, we promised to send our friends along, as well. So, all you overlanders, that plan to visit Diyarbakır, you’re very welcome! Here are the coordinates: N37 54.636 E40 13.989

Then we had an appointment with our friend, former housemate and colleague, René from Holland. We had planned that meeting for weeeeeeks, and it made our trip a bit exciting from time to time (especially for René), because we didn’t always know for sure if we would make it to Kayseri (city in central Turkey) on time. But, everything went fine, and we picked him up from the airport perfectly on time. The three of us travelled together from Cappadocia up to the Black Sea until Istanbul during one week. We had a good time with great Turkish food (as usual), many kilometres (almost 2000), off-road driving through Cappadocia (check out the movie below), two great camp spots in the wild, and countless conversations about carp fishing (“I’ve feeded over there”), cooking (“back to basic”), and football.

“Do you guys have Dutch coffee?” asked a passing car one morning after a night camping in the nature. The passengers: Jan from Holland and his wife Ferdane from Turkey. By chance they happened to live not even a kilometre away from our overnight spot in the cute and totally unknown village of Ortaburun. First, we were invited for breakfast, later we drank çai at the local tea house, and in the evening, we were treated with a great dinner and could stay for the night. The following day, when we tried to say goodbye after having breakfast, a fishing session at the nearby dam, and even more çai, we were suddenly invited by other villagers for dinner and an overnight stay. What a warm hospitality! But we already had a new appointment waiting for us, and we were also glad to travel on with just the two of us. Anyway, also this time we were assured that all our friends would be just as welcome as we were. So again, the coordinates: N40 37.094 E29 08.995 🙂

Well, and then there was Eveline, a friend and former colleague of mine, that had decided with her boyfriend Max to drive to China as well. We sent plenty of e-mails back and forth during their preparations. I was so happy for them and often felt like back in time when we prepared our trip. As soon as we knew our ways would cross in Turkey, we started sending sms. “Where are you guys now?” “When are you entering the country?” “On which side of the Sea of Marmaris – eh – Marmara will you drive?” and so on. To make a long story short, we met somewhere in the Pampa (N41 01.717 E27 49.646), chatted for hours, cooked a meal consisting of Turkish, Dutch, Russian, and Kazakh ingredients, and one day later, we packed our roof tents and left in opposite directions. Check their (Dutch) post about our reunion, if you like.

Last but not least, the big surprise, but certainly not for the first time: the Hofstetters! We’ve met this nice Swiss family with their son and dog already in 7 countries (Mongolia, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, India, and now Turkey). Sometimes it was planned, and sometimes by chance. This time belongs to the category ‘by chance’. They were coming from the Mediterranean Sea and were driving north to catch a ferry from Greece to Venice. And we wanted to go relaxing at the Turkish coast for a few days. But as we have a subscription on the-daily-changing-of-our-plans, we spontaneously turned around and drove to Greece with them that same day. So now we’ve driven together at least once during this trip. 😉


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