Because of two rainy days, Rafael my present cycle partner from Spain and me extended
our stay in Göreme and enjoyed the company of Anna and Olli from New Zealand as well as
Lulu from China and Michael from France and listened to their bike stories.
It was cold. Freezing cold. The first snow fell on the mountains, it was hailing and a chilly strong wind was blowing.
Finally the landscape was pretty, we had the streets for ourselves and the people were extraordinary friendly.
We were invited many times. Either for cay (tea), breakfast or supper or even for a place to stay.
He told me how I have to sit, how I should wash myself, he covered me up with a blanket
and at 5 in the morning he came into my room to turn on the oven again. Somehow a weird guy.
If you see women than in the houses or on the fields. It is still a men dominating society.
Even though the country appears modern it is still very conservative.
They were thanking us by stealing Rafaels solar torch. Later that night a group of teenies annoyed us
half of the night and didn’ t let us sleep.
You always have to watch out for the little boys, they already spit at me and heaps of them are throwing stones.
they are often just giggeling around and some even staring at me. And sadly a lot of them are even agressiv.
Young girls instead are shy and calm. At home they even have to serve their younger brothers.
She can’ t stay with him and needs to stay with her new family to be the housekeeper.
Even if her own family lives in the same town she can only visit them when the father in law
gives her the permission.
Luckily it was getting warmer again, but with the higher temperatures the landscape was getting dull again.
but instead we passed souvenir stands, litter and the walking trail was even paved.
If you know one town you know them all, same belongs to the cities.
The roads are going up and down but the scenery stays boring.
A turkish guy living for 6 years in Switzerland said to me with a real negativ expression that already too many Germans are working in Switzerland. Another fella asked me why I can’ t speak turkish given the fact that there are so many turkish people in Germany.
they can’ t cook and they don’ t know how to enjoy life.
He is talking to everyone and it seems to be very important for him to mention his nationality.
He is always teasing me that I do things preciously even if I am a sloppy type compare to other Germans. The cultural differences are obviously. Since Spain he didn’ t oil his chain and there is always something wrong with his bike. His packing system is really unefficient and takes ages. He has only shorts, a 4kg tent, the panniers are not waterproof and since a few days his rear wheel is nearly not turning anymore. The front wheel axle shows the balls and before we met he did not even have a map, he just followed the main roads. On top of all that he lost his only pullover and his matrass.
But he is a really nice guy and easy to be with and for him nothing of that is a problem. Different cultures different preferences. Well I am happy to have company.
The further we came east, the less I was involved in any conversation. They just talked to Rafael. I know that this is part of their culture but I still feel left out. I didn’ t like anymore how guys looked at me. I felt uncomfortable.
I guess this was the first time that these guys have seen a woman repairing a pushbike.
We crossed the Euphrates via ferry and cycled on a lonely road. A motorbike with two guys stopped a few hundred metres in front of us. I said to Rafael there is something wrong. When I was by myself men were always stopping pretenting to have a breakdown which was always fixed when I passed but since we are cycling together that never happend. They started talking but we were skeptical and moved on. Rafael was maybe 50 metres ahead of me when I saw them coming closer trying to touch my bum, but I turned around and kicked in their direction. I don’ t know if this triggered their action or if they wanted to rob us anyway. One of the guys got off the bike took his knife out of his pocket, opend it and jumped with it towards my stomach. Full of fear I jumped into the gap besides the road but I couldn’ t go any further because there was a wall behind me. He said phone, phone. Rafael came back and shouted no problem, no problem. and gave them his smart phone and 50 TL and they left.
I was so thankful that Rafael came back to help me.
We were trying to breath for a bit and kept on going as fast as we could to get to the next town. The road seemed endless and with every motorbike passing us we were getting more nervous.
We went to the police and recieved different information about the safety of the area. Every police officer said something different. They offered us a hotel room and the next day we decided to take the bus to Lake Van which was the first time I used public transport.
It triggered something in me. Disappointment, fear, mistrust and the thought if the Iran is the right place to go. Can I get my trust back? Am I able to enjoy it again? Should I chance my route?
At Lake Van we felt better. The area is much poorer than the rest of the country. The scenery was getting stunning.
Bayram, the islamic family festival was on. They slaughtered cows, give sweets and the family comes together. But even then the women were sitting in one room and us as guests were sitting with the men ın the other room.
We crossed one town and kids threw stones again. A tennisball size stone flew really close past my head.
From that point on I had absolutely enough of Turkey. This country will never see me again.
Even though the positiv experiences predominent there were too many negativ moments.
But then the look to Mt. Ararat. Wow what a wonderful sight. In the middle of this barren landscape. This huge snowcovered vulcano. It felt like Turkey wants to give me a present to say sorry and that I am able to have the country in better memories.
I am now close to Iran. If I am continuing my plan I need to get the visa in Erzurum which I would pick up with the bus. I organized my referenz number already through an agency.
Every cyclist is praising Iran and I would not like to skip it but on the other hand I have to stay there for at least 3 months because the winter in Central Asia is long. To the south the way is blocked because of Syria and Irak. Georgia and Armenia to the north are getting cold soon.
Do I really want to spend so much time there? Can I enjoy the islamic world? Is the Iran really so different as everyone is saying?
I will wait a bit longer before I make my decision until then I will give my legs a break.