Antalya to Sinop Turkey, October 25th 1998

Hello again

I spend a week at the Mediterenian coast, mostly in very touristy places, where prices were quoted in DM, Dkr, Skr etc. There were a lot of Danish tourists there, but although I was wearing a Danish T-shirt I hardly spoke to any Danish people, it was as though they lived in their own little cocoon together with the other people in their group. But I met some nice turks one of them Atila on a BMW R60/6 (1974) who was also an engineer, he had decided to take half of the Sunday off - so it seems that engineers works hard here too.

As always when I travel I don`t make too many plans but rely on the ideas I get from people on the road, or from the Internet, Richard Wolters from Australia wrote this:

21-romvej I know a very nice place to relax (camp) for a couple of days, we found that by accident. (We followed the trail of Alexander the Great for as much as we could) There are many original Roman roads left in Turkey, one of them is much older. As section is also mentioned in the Bible. The Apostle Paul lived in Tarsus and used to travel to the central plains of Turkey..... When you leave Tarsus via the main road look for a sign on the left hand side which reads ROMAN YOLU (Roman road). Follow the sign , even though you think that you are lost, keep going and you come out at the beginning of a very rough track. Look at the top of the mountain and you will see some kind of gate. 22-romvej Follow the track-- it is rough because over the hundreds of years the locals have stolen all the large stones- At the arch (gate) there is a flat spot on your left. You can free camp there with a bit of luck the shepherds might visit you and you hear them playing there flutes. In the morning a man will come past with his horse and will give you some milk.(wonderful people those Turks he, I feel ashamed how they are treated in western Europe. No doubt this place was some kind of checkpoint in ancient times. At night you can see the lights of Tarsus. We stayed 2 days and wish it could have been 2 weeks. Take food and drink with you of course. From here you can ride and explore a very goods stone slab Roman road. still as it was inclusive the 1 mile stone indicators (I will return there one day soon)

So naturally I went there, found the place and indeed the nicest roman road was there in great shape, better than many normal roads around here - on the other hand I might have been the only tourist visiting the place this month, or this summer, but I didn`t stay overnight since I like company - that why I travel alone ;-).

28-capad Next on the agenda was Cappadocia a ferry-tale landscape with underground cities and houses carved into the soft mountains of volcanic tufa - really amazing. I spend a week there at "Köse Pansyon" in Göreme, a very friendly place driven by a Turkish/English couple. "Köse Pansyon" is like a backpackers island, a place where you meet individual travelers with whom you have a good time, play chess, relax, exchange books and ideas, and in the evening you sit together around a common meal, those of you who have been at "Finca Ixobel" in Guatemala know what I am talking about.

Now I am at the Black sea coast in Sinop - relaxing waiting for my visas to be done, hopefully I can collect them at the end of next week, then I will head further east, where I guess Internet cafe`s will be a little more scarce.

Now that we are talking about visa - it`s a donkey business. First you have to go to your own embassy to make a letter of introduction to the embassy you are going to apply for a visa from. This letter, which only real content is your name and your passport number may cost you as much as 35 $ for some citizens, I forgot to ask if I should pay anything at my Danish embassy ;-). Then you go first to the Pakistan embassy with your letter, if you are early, you will receive a very nice visa in the afternoon. The next day you go to the Iran embassy and apply for a transit visa with another introduction letter and in 10 days you will get a 5 days transit visa through Iran - I hope. India also takes time because they have to contact the embassy in your home country to hear if there is any remarks on you. The good news is that you can do Iran and India in parallel.

At the same time I must say I feel very privileged, that it is so easy for a Dane to make visas to all those countries. While I was at the Pakistan embassy I talked to some Pakistan people, they were very angry at me because they had been rejected Danish visas, and in Alanya I met a Turkish guy together with his dDanish girlfriend and he was waiting and waiting for a Danish visa - but I don`t know how that story ended. I guess the embassy just does what the common people in Denmark wants - expressed in this way by a Danish charter- tourist I met: "This is where the Türks should be, they are are very nice here" - I am sure he has never even talked to a Türk in Denmark, but I think that his visit to Turkey made his views a little milder - at least I hope so.

30-sko I almost forgot to answer the question I left open in my last E-mail, the story with the left hand is that here in Turkey you don`t use toilet-paper at all, but there is always a little bucket with water beside the hole in the floor - well thats what your left hand is for, the system has its advantages now I don`t have to change my undies until I reach India.

Stay tuned - I hope to write one more travelletter from Turkey when I have made my visas

Peter Lorenzen Petersen
DK 9000 Aalborg
DANMARK
Phone (+45) 98 16 76 97
-- peter@lorenzen.us
Click to try my home-page