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27/02/2011 (julıan solo) – Bitlis to Tatvan – Brıngıng her home

March 6, 2011
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Waking up unscathed I feel very happy to still be alive.  The rain is falling and creating a huge expanse of wet mush.  I have to fix another rear puncture that developed towards the end of yesterday and slowly reduced my rear tyre to an useless piece of flat rubber.  Soaked through and cold I’m driven to ensure that I reach somewhere dry tonight, ideally a hotel in Tatvan.

I pace up the hills completely focused on achieving my goal, the bike is sicker today and the prospect of the final climb feels me with unease.  Come on my son!  Only a bit to go I say to myself and the bike.  Everywhere is covered in snow and the air is freezing.  Bitlis comes a lot sooner than had expected and the sign for Tatvan shows 25kms. I feel so happy, even if its all climbing I will make my destination today!  Floods of emotion come out as I climb the relatively easy incline, I’ve almost made it on my broken bike and through some pretty adverse weather.  Paul Simon blares from my mp3 as I pass through the winter wonderland, the landscape one huge sheet of white.

The road is a lot kinder than i had expected, minimal climbing and the road to Tatvan is smooth and fast, I motor along driven by a huge adrenaline rush.  I spot the lake and punch the air, let out a few shouts of ‘Yes!,’ I have arrived at the destination.

Tatvan is freezing and surrounded by huge snowy mountains, I try to find a way to the Ferry boat to ensure its running and I don’t have to cycle the remaining 200kms to Van, which I think might break me.  The ferry is running albeit at an irregular, if not existent, timetable.  But I don’t need to worry it’s working, I have plenty of time, I can find a hotel, warm up, relax and bathe in my achievement!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 7, 2011 7:24 pm

    Julian: Great catching up on your travels. Look forward to hearing of your impressions of Iran. Good luck on the long climb from Lake Van over a 9,000 foot ridge before Ararat. Say hello to the soldiers at the check point three miles from the summit. They were wonderful guys, wanting to take my picture and all.Best regards to Sash and Matthias as well.

    Regards, George from Chicago

  2. Julian permalink*
    March 9, 2011 8:57 pm

    Hey George, great to hear from you. Im sitting in a hotel lobby with Sash in Dogubayezit enjoying a final beer before Iran. We did the pass today, it didn’t look too bad to begin with but got harder towards the end after the guards and even more so on the descent with the wind chill. Iran tomorrow, very excited.

    Very impressed by your blog,i had no idea you had done tours every year since 1977.

    Take care,
    Julian

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