I left Nemrut Dagı and set course for Nemrut Dagı. You doubt my sanity here? This notion might not be totally wrong (there will be further evidence later in this episode) but this statement isn’t actually as idiotic as it seems. There are two Nemrut Dagı in Turkey, the one I left and another one further to the east next to lake Van, this one is a volcano albeit it’s lacking the megalomaniac king.
During the two days crossing eastern Turkey I realized two things. One was the heat, I was getting exhausted really fast due to riding in these temperatures. At one point I wanted to descent into a river valley to rest and cool down with my feet in the water but I dropped the motorcycle on the steep gravel road leading down. Usually this is no problem, it takes some strength but I can pick it up. This time I was totally exhausted after I got the bike upright, sweating, panting , strangely dizzy and without any strength left. It took me almost 2 hours resting in the shadows before I continued. I started wondering what kind of stupid decision it was to got to Iran in summer (funfact: highest recorded temperature is 70°C in Iran).
The other thing was, that I stick out. Somewhat obvious as a traveller on a motorcycle, but wherever I stop I’m the center of attention. People stop and look, some start to talk and ask questions, the lack of a common language doesn’t stop them. I can understand them but it takes getting used to and it starts to get uncomfortable when groups of people stare or touch my stuff.
After a stop in Tatvan to get supplies I entered the volcano. It consists of a large caldera with several lakes inside, at the shore of one of them I set up my camp. There I met a russian hitchhiker, who stayed for the night aswell. We spent the time swimming in the lake and exchanging travel stories at the campfire.
My last stop before going to Iran was in the city of Van. I needed to get some last-minute information for the border crossing and do some other preparations. Unfortunately I had to wait for two days for ramadan to end. The celebration at the end of the fasting month were in full swing and all shops and business were closed down at that time. Then there was also this wretched person who stole the chainlube out of my otherwise empty panniers while the bike parked in front of the hotel. I haven’t found any proper chainlube to buy in Van and had to resort to gearbox oil to lube the chain. Annoying (and probably my own fault for leaving stuff to steal outside) but this was the only time something was stolen from me during the whole trip and I wouldn’t let that dampen my excitement for Iran.