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28/02/2011 – 5/03/2011 – Tatvan & Van – Reunıon and a fıxed bıke

March 6, 2011

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Booked into a hotel my bones are given a chance to defrost and I spend most of the first few days watching the events in Libya unfold on Al Jazeera, writing blog, drawing and relaxing.  Tatvan is a decent waterside town, a bit run down it reminds me of somewhere in Canada, the snow sit on the mountains which surround it and its very cold.

Some of the highlights of my time in Tatvan were walking down by the lake and meeting Hassan a hotelier around the corner from my hotel and talking to him about the Kurdish situation.  He told me that despite the Kurdish population far outnumbering Turkish at about 85% to 15% all the high power jobs are held by Turkish people, the military and police are completely dominated by Turks.  I sat for an hour or so listening to him talk about the PKK (Kurdish resistance group), the BDP (Kurdish political party) and his own family over tea.

After a few days in Tatvan it got a bit boring and I was keen to take the ferry, much to everyones surprise, why don’t you just get the bus?  I don’t want to get the bus the ferry sound much more exciting especially seeing as it is boarded by trains which are taken across the water to continue their journey to Iran.

The boat across the lake was superb, the weather was perfect, sun glistening off the waters surface.  I boarded with my bike and attached it to a train carriage to ensure it didn’t fall over.  Upstairs on the deck I sat alone in the warm sun reading Murakami and taking in the mountains.

In Van I met Sasha at the hotel, it was great to see him and we exchanged stories over tea, beers and kebabs.  We then met Matthias at the airport, he looks a new man freshly shaven and with lots of new gear for us to drewl over, including a Sony electronic book reader and spanky new touring bike.  Unfortunately the bike is the wrong size so thanks a lot Holland Bikes, you’ve done us all proud, if your in Lyon and want a bike don’t go here.  Matthias is now in the process of working out alternatives but its understandably gutting for him especially as he’s had to wait 2 months back in France to get it and it wasn’t cheap.

On a more positive note, he also brought with him the new parts I need to get my bike back up to scratch and a few other goodies.  In fact I now have two new parts for my bike as Shimano Turkey very kindly sent me a new part and the tool to fit it free of charge, so now I have a spare – Cheers Tunc!

So we leave for Iran in the next couple of days, blog up to date, new(ish) bikes and full of energy.  We’re going north first to visit Mt. Ararat, where Noah’s boat landed after the flood, its an impressive 5200metres high.  After that we head to the Iranian border ready to cross the frontier into one of the most exciting countries so far I reckon.


Right, there you are blog-o-completo – I’m going for a well deserved beer!


4 Comments leave one →
  1. David Ellison permalink
    March 7, 2011 7:54 pm

    Hi Sash – Just had a long read catching up on your trip – sounds like you’re having a life changing adventure. I hope the second half goes well for you both. Keep safe and sound. All the best, Dave

  2. March 12, 2011 2:43 pm

    Guys, i way don’t have time to be reading your blog. I don’t have time to be writing my own, so good efforts keeping it up. But just wanted to say i managed to wait for a few of your pics to laod just now. Some of those landscapes are amazing. And Snow! Love it.
    Keep it up.
    Keep wrapped up.
    Josh, baking in Kenya.

  3. veiovis permalink
    April 10, 2011 8:18 pm


    It’s one month since last news…anybody who reads this blog (family?) has any information from Julian and Sash?


    • Julian permalink*
      April 10, 2011 8:43 pm

      Hey Veiovis,

      We’re in Esfahan, Iran soon to be on our way to Shiraz. Apologies for the blog falling behind, there’s just too much to see in Iran!

      take care Julian

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