It feels great to be back on the road. Being able to move around with ease... I rode almost 20 hours through the Ustyurt Plateau and the Karakalpak autonomous region. This section was worrying me a little bit. The roads in the area are not listed on most maps. There is a railroad but the satellite images were showing mostly dirt tracks scattered around the area. I assumed it wouldn't be easy so left very early in the morning after a warm farewell. The asphalt ended shortly after Beyneu as I expected. But the grading was much better than I thought ...Read More

I woke up wishing that the previous day was just a bad dream. But that didn't last long. The nearest DHL office was in Atrau. Around 500kms from where I was... I somehow needed to go there and started thinking about options. • Wrapping an inner tube around the spring to achieve a primitive dampening. • Trying to load the bike on a train. • Leaving the bike and most of my stuff in Beyneu and taking the train. In either case I had to find a cheap and safe place to stay until the part was ready for pick-up. A week ago, while ...Read More

I woke up alone in the back of Sinan's truck covered in some sort of an oily dust. There wasn't anyone around and the sun was just rising so I took the time to clean my matress and sleeping bag. First Jehan showed up. He spent the night wandering around the customs zone climbing refinery towers. Isabel slept inside the truck and Recep was with Mehmet. Soon everyone gathered for breakfast. Thinking of the roads ahead, I decided to shorten my windscreen. It tends to crack when there's too much vibration. After breakfast, Recep asked the big question: "What is her ...Read More

Leaving Baku took longer than I expected. From the point we were ready to board, until the moment of departure, we have been asked for documents probably five times. It seems like this is a completely random thing. Some guards don't do anything. They just look at the pages of the passport and read silly stuff they find interesting. They compare visa photographs and ask personal questions mixed with dirty jokes. Speaking Turkish, I naturally became the translator and guide for Jehan and Isabel all through the way from the port of Baku to the port of Aktau, a total ...Read More

Georgian border crossing was without much incident apart from the long queue and a young man running away from an angry policeman. Feeling somewhat stressed with all sorts of warnings I had been listening to during the past weeks, I didn't really feel an urge to stop anywhere. All through the country, my feet touched the ground three times. Once I was stopped by a mountain guard. He told me that the road I was using was actually a mountain road and I had missed the main highway a few miles back. Second was when I stopped for fuel and ...Read More

"Do you believe in coincidances?" Kutlu asked me... I said "Yes!" without thinking much because I was curious. He told me to turn around and read the name of the boat. It was "ERDEM-2". My name is not a very common one. I've been a student for 20 years and never had a classmate with the same name. But that's not the surprising part. We arrived in Trabzon quite late in the evening. The road was in very good condition and the scenery made it even better. This is the Black Sea coast of Turkey, a very steep mountainous shoreline full ...Read More

A month has passed since my last post here. It wasn't just a break from writing, but also riding. Somehow, the two seem to work together. I've only started moving one week ago so you haven't missed much of the road. A few things have to be known before I proceed. Turkey is where I was born and raised. My family and friends live in Ankara, the capital. This has been a psychological mid-point on the route. This is where the west ends and the east begins. This is where I intended to take a 15 day break to see ...Read More