IOOO KM ROAD TRIP – TURKEY

Hi,

This was a three day and two night 1000 km road trip along the coast from Dalaman to Alanya heading East towards Iraq then back to Dalaman via the inland route which passes mainly through hills and mountains.

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I should perhaps point out that I was not suposed to go on a three day bike trip because I had made arrangements to have two stainless steel panniers made for the bike, I wanted ”Metal Mule” boxes but they cost over a thousand pounds, silly money I thought, so with a few photos and some measurements I found a metal worker who for a hundred pounds could knock me up a decent copy of the real thing. Turkey being Turkey, you just have to be present when you have things made, so for this reason I was only going on a ride for one day, or so I thought !

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We all met up at a nearby petrol station, unfortunatly not all at the same one, so thank God for mobile phones and we soon all found each other, Boris was the first to arrive on his Honda Africa Twin, then us on our Honda Transalp and finaly Theo on his Kanuni 250.

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Off we went on a perfect sunny day…………. only to stop again 10 minutes later for breakfast.

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Anyway, after a breakfast of cake and coke in the pretty little town of Gocek we finaly got going towards Fethiye and Kalkan. The first hour was uneventful, a steady 90 along familer roads untill past Fethiye some wanker in a white car decided to cut all three of us up one at a time, i was content to make small penis hand gestures to the car driver but Theo decided to give chase and ”Have a word” with the car driver. We are now doing 140 chasing a white car but Theo’s bike tops out at 145 so we had to leave the car driver for another day, this is all quite normal road behaviour in Turkey and it makes you wish you could have machine guns mounted on the front of your bike kinda like Batman does !

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We soon settled back down again to pleasent motoring when Linda started shouting at me to stop !

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Wearing sandles on the bike, a bee had stung her on the end of her toe, so after a little dancing around by the roadside as we three chaps looked on trying not to laugh she decided to put her boots on. Off we go again, now heading towards Kalkan.

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We decided we would stop and have lunch here in Kalkan but unfortunatly we became a little lost and had to ask a passing motorist directions.

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On our way again to Kalkan and we stopped at a quaint little roadside cafe over looking the bay.

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Between kalkan and kas there was some beautiful sceanery to gaze at as we slowly plodded along at a steady 80kph.

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At one of our ciggie stops further along this road a beaten up Africa Twin pulls up where we were stood chatting and smoking, a little japanese fella climbs down off the big bike and asks us directions to Pamukale, he was some 200 kilometers heading the wrong way so we pointed him the way and then started chatting to him about his chewed up bike. A long story short, his name was Masa and he was three years into a five year round the World bike trip, his bike was so beaten up because he had come to Turkey via Mongolia and the ”Stans”.

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For those who don’t know about Mongolia, there are just 80 kilometers of paved road in the whole country, the rest is dirt track, bad dirt track, very bad dirt track, and nothing, vast areas of nothingness with very few petrol stations.

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The ”Stans” are not much better, so for a 5 foot tall person on a big bike it was quite some achievement by Masa, total respect.

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We shook hands and wished him well for the remainder of his two years motoring and continued on our way to Kas and Finike.

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The road towards Finike reminded me of Italy, the Amalfy coast, lots of twists and turns with stunning views out to sea along the coast. however this peace was not to last as Theo’s bike started to make a noise because his chain had become dangerously slack all of a sudden, not trusting me to reset his chain we looked around for some time to find a mechanic.

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The mechamic fixed Theo’s Kanuni free of charge but as Boris and I both noticed the back wheel was now not straight, Theo was happy though so on we went with our journey towards Finike and then Olympos. Whilst at a petrol station smoking and filling the bikes up another group of bikers came over to us and one chap had this trike that he had ridden all the way down from Istanbul.

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The afternoon is wearing on now and none of us wants to be on the roads when it gets dark.

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We passed by the birth place of ”Father Christmas” yep not kidding boys and girls, Saint Nicolas (Santa) is turkish.

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A quick ciggie stop here Finikie before we turn off the main road and head for Olympos and look around for a room for the night, the road had just been resurfaced so we were skating on gravel, going very slowly, hence it was well after dark when we finaly reached Olympos and started asking around for a pension. The one we chose was 50lira (20pounds) a night if you wanted your own room, or 15lira if you shared with others, I though 50 lira was a bit expensive untill I learned all the tea, coffee, and food was free, at all you can eat buffet, so I was more than pleased !

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This is the pension, it actually looked very inviting at night, all the buildings were log cabins.

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This was our cabin on the top left, we all dumped our gear and headed for the bar.

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The beer was very expensive here, 5lira (2 pounds) a bottle, almost double the normal price, guess this is how they claw back some of the money for the free food, we were happy though and found ourselves one of those Turkish sitting/lying down seating areas.

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This is me enjoying either my second or third helping – joy !

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Niether myself nor Theo drink, so after three beers we were well oiled and decided we should join the other guests around the big log fire, they were mostly backpackers doing the Turkey thing, it was all very ”Come – bye – yah” and I mean that in a nice way.

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Having a little trouble keeping my balance I called it quits at 3 beers and had coke the rest of the night, poor Theo pushed on to the forth beer and was a little ”unwell” later that night. I was sopposed to be heading back to Dalaman first thing in the morning to see my panniers being made.

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 Bloody 5.30 in the morning this chicken type thing started with the chicken noises, cock -a-doodle, so we were all up bloody early for breakfast. Countryside living looks all very nice when you see it on T.V but no, not for me you can keep the noisy chickens and cow shit everywhere, and as if that was not bad enough, there was nowhere to buy ciggies for miles around.

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This was our cabin in the daylight, it was actually quite comfortable.

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 Because of the bloody chicken we were the first up and into the dinning room, the free coffees were well recieved since we had to wait around for an hour or two before breakfast was served.

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On the road again at about 8 AM heading towards Antalya and the old ampitheatre of Aspendos, we were supposed to be heading back to Dalaman now but I was persuaded to stay on for another 100 KM or so and that my panniers were in safe hands.

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Again the views out on the open road around Olympos were beautiful.

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We stopped at a petrol station for a ciggie and to fill up the bikes, my Turkish friends then set about trying to share thier greeting culture with me, the greeting here between men is very Continental – ie. the kissing on each others cheeks. Call me old fashioned if you like but men don’t kiss each other and thats that, fortunatly I had my helmet on and was able to save myself by pulling my visor down and that thwarted their  attack.

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Aspendos ampitheatre is in good condition for a building 2000 years old.

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However the entry charge was 10 pounds each, so not one of us thought that was worth the money and stuck our cameras through the archways instead.

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The ampitheatre is still in use today for pop concerts etc.

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As we were all stood outside Aspendos having a fag, a women came over to us who liked bikes and we started chatting, anyway to cut it short she was a professional archiological tour guide and told us not to waste our time with this over priced tourist attraction but to carry on another 35 km East and go to the town of Side. She said the whole town was an open air museum that you could just walk around kinda like Pompeii, so my panniers were to become yet further away from me and off to Side we all went.

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I never really said what the purpose of this bike trip was for Theo and Boris, Theo’s cousin Byran had left the army 2 days before and was stationed at the far East of Turkey, he was on a kawasaki 650 racing bike and had to cover 1200 km to meet up with us in Alanya and then we all head back to Dalaman together, there is still National service in Turkey but for educated people it’s only 6 months and Byran is a Dentist, for the other poor soles it’s 18 months National service.

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Side was really amazing to drive around, the road meanders around the various ruins.

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We parked up on the marina and found a ”Linda” boat for linda.

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The streets of Side were not a disapointment, ancient remains were just every where, we found a cheaper ampitheatre to enter, still a bit dear at 4 pounds each.

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The nice thing about touring Turkey out of season when the millions of tourists have gone home is that you can have these places to yourself and really soak up the atmosphere.

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Lunch was next and then after that it was on to the Temple of Athena and Apollo, we rode the bikes there because it was too hot to walk the 200 yards or so and parked up for some great photos.

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I enjoyed Side very much but now we had to press on to Alanya, Theo had recieved a phone call from Byran that he had now had a second accident on his way to Alanya, the second one being a crash into a telegraph pole and he had done quite some damage to the front and side of his kawasaki.

Heading towards Alanya I decided to try out my clever invention, because my right wrist and arm cramp up after several hours motoring I thought a cruise control should be bouhgt for the bike to take the pain away from my arm. After making enquiries about a mechanical cruise control (50 pounds) that I was not sure would fit my bike I looked at electronic cruise controls (600 pounds) but after much playing around with rubber bands (0.02pence) I chose the rubber band cruise control and it works a treat, no more pain.

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Arrived in Alanya and parked on the pavement for a fag and to decide about a pension for the night, because Alanya is further East it is a little warmer than Dalaman infact we passed several bannana plantations on the way in to Alanya.

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We found a pension for 20 pounds a room but it was more like a hotel really and only about 100 meters from the beach.

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Because of last nights heavey drinking we thought we should be careful tonight and just have a couple of beers while we waited at the beach for Byran.

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Byran duely arrived, so it was then of to town for double kebabs and a few beers, it was discused that we should make a 6.30 am start because of the police shift change and no radar guns pointing at us, the speed limits in Turkey are even more slower than America, 70 kph (43mph) so of course nobody sticks to these speed limits, but because Turkey is going to join the Europe Union there is actualy enforcement creeping in now, on the spot fines and points on your licence, it was never like this untill reacently.

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We had a few coffees back at the hotel and early to bed.

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Our room was very nice but unfortunatly we had no free food this time but the patio to our room did come with free kittens though.

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6.30 am everyone was up and at the bikes ready for the long ride back to dalaman and I would get to see my panniers at long last,we should have the roads to ourselves for a couple of hours at least.

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The roads out of Alanya heading back to Antalya were indeed quiet and we had 200 km under our belts in no time at all, I am quite happy to crank the bike up a bit on duel carrigeways or motorways but not on single carrigeway roads and definatly not around blind bends, we were more than happy to plod along at the back and let the youngsters play.

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Oh dear, Theo’s Kanuni started clunking away again and we had to stop and see what we could do, I carry tools for my bike but I did not have a wheel nut spanner the correct size for his bike, some waiters from a nearby resturant saw us and came over, they said they had some tools we could borrow, this time Theo let me adjust the chain and straighten the back wheel so the sprocket and chain run true which takes the strain off the chain.

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We were soon on our way again, we took a different route back, instead of following the coast all the time we cut over the mountains because its a much quieter and faster road but a little cold as we gained altitude.

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Lunch was just coffee and fags, we all wanted to try and complete the distance back to Dalaman in the daylight.

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Disaster, my speedo suddenly stopped working, I pulled over to make sure I had no cable hanging anywhere but found nothing, the front wheel had been taken off a few days prior to this trip to have a puncture repaired and the mechanics had a struggle for some reason to get the front wheel back on, so perhaps something has been damaged.

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My broken speedo.

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joy – the first signs for Fethiye, I will be reunited with my panniers in less than two hours, we have decided to go into Fethiye town because there is a kawasaki service dealer for Byrans bike and also a Honda service for mine, if I need a new part I may as well order it as I’m passing.

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Back in Dalaman at last, almost constant 10 hours in the saddle, we parted company at the petrol station, I did need to order a part for the speedo gear asembly that fits inside the hub, so pick that up in a few days, now its off to Ortaca to see ”boat man” about my panniers.

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Aahh my babies, he was just finishing up the welding and about to make the mounting brackets.

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Metal Mule panniers for aproximatly 8% of the cost of the original – I love Turkey.

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A few bangs and wiggles, then we had a perfect fit.

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All done for today, I enjoyed the long trip, I especially liked Side and Alanya,  the next job on the bike is spare petrol cans and to extend the crash bars.

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~ by travelswithmymotorbike on November 22, 2008.

15 Responses to “IOOO KM ROAD TRIP – TURKEY”

  1. Hi David,
    this is Baris, where were you yesterday, we were on mountains with Teoman. I hope next we will ride together…

  2. Looks like a great ride. Great photos.

  3. hi unbelivible these are really cool photos seems funny and wonderful travel u feel and live the journey with motobikes i like motorbike travels too

    • Hi Ebru,

      Glad you like it……yes that was a good motorbike trip with some nice friends.

      Cheers

      Dave..

  4. Could you please send me the panier drawings. They look amazing and I would like to see if I can build something similar for my Transalp ’98. Thanks in advance!

    vddoel @ gmail . com

    • Hi Pim,

      Sorry for the delay replying, my PC died lol……There are no drawings, I just printed out some pics of boxes off the internet, made up some dimensions and then found a metal worker and said ”make that”

      Cheers,

      Dave..

  5. I couldnt find easy way to answer you, accept here.
    Iam very excited to see you here soon.(test te radios, new toys:)=
    )
    I want to make trips everywhere.
    I am going to stop my busines at last because of you and deverse 🙂
    Take care

    • Hi Theo,

      A new business, thats exciting,what is the new business??……..Because of me, will your wife and father be waiting for me at the airport with a gun lol.

      My mum died today, very calm, NO PAIN, I was there all the time, chasing the doctors and nurses all the time in the hospital for injections, she did not suffer anything.

      I will be back on 9 November and am excited to play with the new toys also, trip to Italy March 2010 🙂

      Cheers,

      Dave…

  6. Some great bike action shots!!

  7. Good post! I came across your blog while looking for some information regarding car rental services in Dalaman, Fethiye and found you post quite informative. I am also working in the same industry and like to read the latest info on the same. Hoping to have more good posts like this over the coming days as I have subscribed your blog in my reader. Thank you.

    • Hi James,

      Good luck in Turkey, we did almost 7 years there, beautiful place to tour around!!

      Cheers,

      Dave…

  8. Unquestionably consider that that you said. Your favourite justification seemed to be on the net the simplest thing to understand of. I say to you, I certainly get irked at the same time as folks think about worries that they just do not realize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest and also defined out the whole thing with no need side-effects , folks could take a signal. Will likely be again to get more. Thanks

  9. It was a great trip,
    TEO

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