As you may recall (then again maybe not) we decided to re-plan our route because our Iranian Authorisation Code was not forthcoming. Because we couldn't enter Uzbekistan before the date on the visa (3rd August) we opted to drive to Uzbekistan through Georgia, Russia and Kazakhstan.
We spent some more time in Turkey after leaving Istanbul and crossing the Bosphorus into Asia by Ferry from Eceabat.
|ANZAC Memorial in Eceabat|
After a night in Canakkale where we had an amazing meal at a traditional Turkish cafeteria we left to visit Troy on our way to Ephesus where we spent a day looking around the ruins and in particular the library which is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
St John's Basilica in Selcuk
We left Oludeniz with Albert having to stay in second gear due to the steepness of the hill but he managed it with no problem. From Oludeniz we spent a couple of days simply driving to Goreme in Cappadocia to see the Troglodye dwellings carved out of limestone and to do a balloon ride over the area which was fantastic. The roads were variable but nothing Albert couldn't handle so we made good time arriving at our campsite in Goreme just after lunch.
I decided to check this out and discovered that the Bayburt-Of road also known as the D915 is listed as one of the most dangerous roads in the world and would seem to make the Pamir highway look fairly straightforward. If you want to get an idea of what we decided not to do you can follow this link. These are some photos of what we missed - Luckily!
We left Turkey crossing the border with no problems and drove into Georgia where we didn't need a visa so it was relatively straight forward although the customs officer was interested in Albert and also wondered if I had a pistol. We drove to Tbilisi where we stayed a few days while Albert had a service and we looked around finalising our route through Russia and Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan.
From Georgia the next 10 days were spent travelling to Shymkent in Kazakhstan from where we cross into Uzbekistan. We made good time and so arrived in Shymkent on the 30th July and had to spend a couple of days waiting until we could use our Uzbekistan visa on the 3rd August. There's nothing much to say about these 10 days as most of the driving is through wide expanses of nothing and other than Independence Park Shymkent doesn't have much going for it.
The next stage of our adventure is exploring Uzbekistan while we make our way to Tajikistan and the Pamir Highway