I am in Erzerum in Turkey attempting as I write to screw up sufficient courage to cross into Iran! Things have gone pretty well so far with only minor mechanical hassles from the Tenere. Border difficulties in Romania, Bulgaria, and turkey have been non-existent!
Seriously, the border guards I have encountered so far have not lived up to their reputation at all, and were polite and friendly to a man. I felt almost let down. In Romania the guard glanced at my luggage and said 'So - do you have any guns?' I said perhaps one or two. He said 'OK - just two is fine' - and waved me on to the next guy who tapped my metal panniers and said 'Ah, this is for the whiskey yes? - Hahaha.' - and wandered off laughing.
Connor and Ken Duval, Khanjurab Pass, Pakistan
Biking highlight of the trip so far has been on the northern coast of Turkey, where the roads are a confusing mix of four lane highways and potholed dirt tracks, traversing wooded mountainous terrain. I prefer the potholed tracks although travelling this way in the pouring rain has added a few years to my life. Another good day was here in Erzerum where I met an English teacher from the local school - I went there the following day to speak in English with the children in his class, and ended up singing an Irish folk song to a room full of small Turkish children. This is not something that happens to me every day.
One minor point, which may be of use to people travelling in Europe - I managed to but green card insurance in Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey very easily, but asking about it in Hungary, Slovakia and Czech produced only blank looks. Don't know if anyone else has had this problem?
Connor and his reconditioned shock - Kathmandu style
Posted by Connor Carson at October 03, 2000 12:00 AM GMT
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