Thursday, 1 September 2016

Day 69: Malatya to Erzurum, Turkey, 495km. 31 - 38.5°C

A wonderful day on the road.
I kept being reminded of Central Otago at the end of a long dry summer.
The road was mostly dual carriageway. Patches of road works showed us just how clever the surveyors and roading engineers are as they manage the road building process in such varied rock structures and through mountain passes up to 6000ft.
Cool lakes, some streams and irrigation channels explain how it is possible to raise cattle and grow crops in such an arid windswept region.
Yes, it was windy today. Catabatic winds, Dick tells me. 

There are some almost completely new  towns with many high rise apartments, some with a new  university, some with smart shopping malls with international brand names, some have old parts for us to get temporarily mislaid in. Overbridges link the towns divided by the new roads. Some of the overbridges have lifts as well as stairs... hot work climbing all those steps on a hot day like today.

We are waved through several military and police security checks.
The people in this region are mostly Kurds. We met a lovely group of Kurdish men at our drink stop near Bingol.
Friendly and curious. They gave us tea to go with our water.

Eastwards there were lots of small villages;  nomads tending sheep, road works, wind, topes(raised stripes) marked on the road to remind us to slow down on corners and before pedestrian crossings.

Come for the ride. 
The images show the landscape for today.





Yesterday was a national holiday - Victory Day which commemorates a decisive battle in the Turkish war of independence in 1922. It also honours the founder  of modern Turkey General Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The Turkish flag and banners with Atartürk are flown on Victory Day.
We are misplaced in some backstreets. Our GPS hadn't caught up with the roadworks.

New houses and apartments are being built throughout the region.
It is very dry high n the hills.
We go over several mountain passes which are 1800m.o
New roads winding through the hills.
Ōzgūr our Kurdish host for our drink stop and his colleagues. Some are students.
Topes (raised stripes) alerting us to slow down for corners, pedestrian crossings or turn-off along the dual carriageway.
A new resort hotel...
Boys being boys on a bike going fast downhill.

Nomads with sheep on the roadside.

This house looks as if if is in the way of the new road.
Stunning colours of the different rocks in the road cutting.

Hay pyramids. Getting ready for wintering the stock in barns.


Nomads tending their sheep flock.

Hay making.


High rise buildings in Erzurum. There are many. The city is compact.
Some houses on the slopes of the winter ski fields.


Okan Akar said...

Dear, Dick and Diana Hubbard

I am the guy that you met at the bus station in Malatya actually the way between Cappadocia, by the way my name is Okan. I want to say that I had a really nice time with you, I have to say that I admire your courage and interact soul, I hope I will do the same thing just like you do. Hope to meet you again in somewhere else :) by the way thank you for the gift (Kiwi) I will treasure it forever. Look forward to hearing from you ��

Diana Hubbard said...

Dear Okan, we were very happy to meet you. Thank you for taking the time to talk with us. Best wishes for your adventures as you continue on your journey through life. Meeting you was a highlight of our day. Dick and Diana