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Published: July 22nd 2010
On the Road
Yes, it rained for all of 15 seconds
Day 17 Goreme to Erzincan (Tues 20th July)
A nice slow start today, as we weren’t leaving until 0900. A couple of the group are feeling a little under the weather now stomach wise, so we are all crossing our fingers that it’s not us next. Nothing too serious though and so far the food has been great (if a little monotonous for breakfast with bread, eggs, tomato, cheese, and a little more bread every day)
So we were driving through a large town when the driver suddenly stops and jumps out to talk with some taxi drivers on the side of the road. What was he doing, you ask? Want to guess? Yep, got it in one - asking for directions! We miss Gettis with his GPS (although admittedly its better for the driver to ask directions than just drive around in circles...)
We have started playing games on the bus and trying to keep everyone entertained. LJ has put us in groups for a quiz each day with the team that is ahead in Pakistan getting a free meal. Trying to split the teams evenly was interesting although he managed to get at least 1 male,
A "discreet" beer
1 Irish, 1 English, and 1 other on each team. I’m with Stephen, Richard and Jo. We thought we did pretty good but turns out we came last 😞 Oh well, at least it was only by three points...
Just as we were finishing up the coach started sounding some sort of alarm and lo and behold - our first breakdown!! Fortunately we made it into the next town and the driver pulled over into a garage. Sometimes it helps to have a local driver. Turns out the fan belt had snapped. Took an hour to fix it right there and then we were on our way again. We had been travelling steadily uphill for hours today. There were some fantastic views of the mountains.
Our stop tonight is Erzincan. Its quite a nice town actually. Im sharing with Ali and Jana tonight and the rooms are quite nice (relatively speaking). We all wandered down to a restaurant nearby for dinner although I again managed to eat something with pepper, so another quiet night...
Everyone we came across was really friendly, although we have all noticed that the dress is getting more and more conservative as we head further east. Fewer and fewer short sleeves and bare heads for the women.
Day 18 Erzincan to Dogubayazit (Wed 21st July)
Up at 0700 this morning as I was meeting with Lynn to go for a walk at 0730. In the end, there were about 6 of who went out. It was nice and quiet and at least we could see the town a bit better with the sun up. We took a walk down the street to Ataturk Park, which was quite large and had some beautiful water features which where unfortunately turned off this morning.
Still a very friendly feeling to the town.
We departed for Dogubayazit at 0900 and again it was all uphill. We noticed a lot of road works going on too. If you come through in 5 years time it will be a nice smooth highway all the way to the border I think.
The trip itself was uneventful though the scenery was stunning! And of course my group won the quiz today. Yay! Then we played a couple of rounds of charades on the coach which was rather hilarious - especially as only a few people on board really know how to play! It was a lot of fun and a good way to pass the time.
Dogubayazit is a smaller town and while the people seemed as friendly, it just didn’t feel
as good as Erzincan. A couple of the group ended up having to cancel their bank cards when one of the guys took out some money and noticed the next person at the machine was wielding a few tools, including having at it with a screw driver. Better safe than sorry, so they both made calls to their banks.
We had diner at a restaurant close to the hotel here and when a few of us asked for beer, they went out and bought it for us and then served it in the can but wrapped up in paper - to be discreet! As our last night in Turkey we decided to have a few beers back at the hotel. We all had balconies so we gathered in one of the rooms and had our last drinks for the next 2 weeks.
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