|Posted on November 25, 2008 at 10:16 AM|
November 25, 2008
Adana (Turkey) - Damasus (Syria)
We have travelled 5600 km and 82 days since we left.
This last week has been very special.
The day we left Adana we tried to camp at the beach. Just before arriving to the beach a group of people invited us for some fish. We enjoyed their company and went on as it got dark. On the beach we noticed someone walking back and forth constantly, checking on what we were doing. We were not sure what his intentions were so we took off again, this time in the dark.
We found the big road and were not sure what to do, as it was dark and therefore dangerous. We decided to ask at the first gas station we saw, where we could find a hotel. Once at the gas station they told us we were crazy for driving by bike in the dark and offered us an empty room. We had lots of tea, food and laughs with the guys, followed by a good night of sleep. We would like to thank all the people of Turkey for their memorable friendliness, kindness and hospitality.
On our way to the Syrian border we had some weather issues. We had high winds, heavy rains, thunderstorms and fog while crossing the coastal range. We arrived at the Syrian border and crossed our fingers that we would be able to get a visa (since officially you have to get one from your home country). Fortunately everything was straightforward and went troublefree. It took us an hour to get through the line ups and the visa process.
Syria is very different from Turkey, we noticed this instantly by the housing. The houses here are built from sand colored stones or marble. The roofs are flat and many houses are finely ornamented. The landscape is beautiful, red earth, contrasted by sandcolored rocks and forests of olive trees.
We went to Aleppo to get some road maps. After visiting a bit, we took off towards the south. We later met Omar, who stopped us and offered us to stay at his home for the weekend. We accepted and thought it would be an interesting experience.
Indeed we had an unforgetable weekend. We enjoyed great food, and great company from his wives and some of his 16 kids. He received us as honoured guests. The first night he invited some friends and family for a big traditional feastmeal. We were offered some local clothing, so ours could be washed. The next day he brought us to visit the Mayor and other important people. Afterwards we went to Ebla where we visited some very well preserved roman ruins, after which we had dinner at one of his friends. We have learned many things, in many ways. We left yesterday with what we hope will be a lifelong friendship with them.
Omar dropped us on the spot where he picked us up, and we figured out that Leandra's derailler was badly damaged. as we were wondering how to fix the problem (most likely in Damascus), an 18 wheeler truck stopped. Apparently it was Omar's brother, Mohammed. He offered to take us Damascus (300 km further), which we accepted.
We are now in Damascus, have the problem fixed and will be leaving again tomorrow.
We have booked our plane tickets for the 22nd of December. We have decided to leave from Cairo (Egypt) since that seemed the most logical option. We now have about 1500 km left and a time limit of 26 days.