It was time. Sucked into the history, architecture, landscapes and people of Syria I made tracks for the Turkish border where before crossing I met a farmer and his kids herding goats down the road. Lots of smiles, hugs and questions but this would be my last contact with a Syrian on his soil until the next time.
Border procedures were fairly smooth save that the final customs clearance officer failed to hit enter on his computer so when trying to get the gate guard to release me into the wild lands of Turkey, I had to turn around and go back to the customs agent and have him re-enter my date into the computer. Funny, it’s been a while since a computer was used to log me in or out of country. There was a similar snafu in Ethiopia and before that I think South Africa was the only other country computerized. Though most of the land borders I crossed were remote and I’m sure these countries have more sophisticated systems at air or sea ports.
Passing through the dusty outpost of Bab Al Hawa, I made a brief stop in Reyhanli where I met a couple young kids on motorcycles who helped me find a road map of Turkey and introduced me to a shop owner who heads a local motocross/enduro motorcycle club. Armed with tips and ideas for the roads around the south western part of Turkey I bid farewell and headed on.
But something was funny. Worried about my rear tire, it seemed washy as I rode. I stopped at a farm area gas station to check pressure and add air. But I couldn’t leave. The owner and a few local farmers were having lunch and insisted I join them. With fresh cucumber, flatbread, tomato and bulgar. I didn’t realize how hungry I was until I started eating. With the food spread out on a large circular stainless platter, each of us armed with a spoon, bread and a smaller plate, everyone dove their forks into the grain and the vegetables and ate what we wanted. It was my first meal in Turkey and I don’t think any other could match the flavors nor the company.
I pressed on toward Adana and on the way noticed a massive castle flying the Turkish flag sitting high atop a hill. I couldn’t find a road leading there and the roads I did find were interestingly quiet and absent from traffic and pedestrians. Fuel in Adana, I set my sets for perhaps one of Turkey’s most impressive and unusual sites: Kapadokya, Turkey.
Back to customs guy who had to painstakingly re-enter ALL my pertinent data a second time. Frustrated and ready to move on, I just through my keys down and sat patiently on my bike. And waited.
My tour guides to Reyhanli, Turkey
After a fantastic fresh lunch with these gentlemen and the air pressure in my tired checked and ready, I moved on.
I have no idea what this castle is as there was nothing in my guide book to guide me and I couldn’t find a road up there!!