Moro from Kemaliye!
On Thursday I left camping area quite early. Plan was to ride close to Stone Road and decide if I would ride it on a same day or wait till Friday.
Roughly 10km before Adiyaman I just had passed car and truck when I saw police waving at me… Obviously he wanted me to stop…
While slowing down I already cursed myself in my mind for passing those cars. I wasn´t sure what my speed had been, but guessed it must have been 100-110km/h, so easily over speed limit (which I learned on Friday is 70km/h for bikes…).
Stopped my bike, took gloves and helmet off and police who stopped me said to me “radar, radar”. Thought in my mind “shit, this is going to cost a lot to me” (or actually to Johannes F, who promised to pay my first speeding ticket ;))
Soon other, older policeman came to me and asked my papers, I gave him bike papers, my drivers license and passport. He checked them and asked “BMW, good?”. I smiled and answered to him “yes, very good”.
Next thing what I noticed was that police gave papers back to me, took keys of my bike from the bike seat and put them to ignition lock. I thought “hmmm, what is going on”… Then he started the bike, twisted throttle couple of times and turned bike off. He smiled to me and waved me away!
I thought “can this be real”, but did not ask anything, just put helmet and gloves back on. Looked at the police men and they just smiled and waved to me, so off I went.
While riding forward I just could not believe what just happened! In any other country I would have received hefty fine!
I really love Turkish police!
From Adiyaman I turned to smaller road towards Malatya. This was really nice small road climbing up to the hills and down to the valleys. Road was partly paved, partly good gravel.
Sun was smiling at me, I was smiling inside my helmet, scenery was gorgeous, so could it be any better than this?
Navigation was a bit unsure, because my map was not so detailed, roadsigns were missing and map on my gps showed that I was riding on a footpath. I just followed road which looked to have been mostly used and got to Malatya without getting lost!
In Malatya I stopped to get some fuel, personnel was once again really nice and asked a lot of questions. I think at some point there was whole personnel around my bike 🙂
Just before I was ready to continue, motorcycle police stopped next to my bike and started asking questions about my bike. I understood few words from his long list of questions, so could answer something to him. Then we had a look at his brand new Honda Varadero police bike and agreed that it was nice one 🙂
From Malatya I continued on bigger roads to Kemaliye. Nice looking dry landscape with few really blue lakes giving nice contrast against brown color.
Some kilometers after Dutluca I saw first glimpse of Dark Canyon (Karanlik Kanyon). This big canyon opened in front of me, this was nice surprise for me because I did not know anything about this canyon.
It is not as steep as Grand Canyon, but still really impressive.
Road was going at some points close to the water, some points on top of the ridge, so riding here is nicer than at Grand Canyon.
In Kemaliye, I stopped to check if there are hotels or camping areas. It was already around 5pm, so started to be too late to ride Stone Road.
Found cheap hotel with wifi, so stayed there for a night.
In the evening I met 3 german bikers. We had nice dinner and discussions. They had already ridden Stone Road, luckily we started to discuss this, because road was not where I thought it would be…
Today I left from the hotel around noon. Stone Road (Kemaliyeliler Tasyolu) started few kilometers from Kemaliye.
This is gravel road and follows Dark Canyon. Road is roughly 10km long and goes through several rough tunnels. It took roughly 124 years to build (some say it took 130 years, but long time in any case).
I expected bad road surface, but it was surprisingly good.
At some points it was quite narrow and (right next to the road) there was long drop to the bottom of the canyon. So, not a good place to do foolish tricks or ride too fast.
I rode it to both directions and now I can mark this road to my “done that, been there”-list 🙂
After finishing this road, I decided to stay one more night in same hotel and continue to north tomorrow morning.
Please let me know if these blog updates are too long. I could try to write a bit shorter ones in the future 🙂