Gallipoli? Lest We Forget
Posted by TravellingStrom on May 7, 2012
Mayan Prophecy Countdown
Today I leave Turkey, I have been here just over a week, definitely not enough time to have seen the country, I just skimmed it, but there you go, that is what it is all about, managing time and area. I know I did not do this country justice, lots I missed, but as an overall impression, that has been achieved. I met some great people, but as one of my two goals in this country has been met(Gobekli Tepe) the next is about to be achieved! :D
I left the hotel after quite a good night sleep considering the traffic flowing past, but ear plugs helped. The hotel turned out to be quite nice, the people friendly and the food good, all you need when travelling. So, saying goodbye to one of the desk managers, I headed off north on my final leg to visit Gallipoli. It was only 110km to the town of Canakkale, where I needed to get a ferry across to the penisular. It still took a few hours as there were some nice views and the road was twisty, both near the coast and inland up through the mountains.
A couple of asides here: I am real impressed with my choice of tyre for this trip so far. The Heidenau Scout K60 have been holding up real well, and although they still have chicken strips, I hope to be able to wear some of that away soon. This tyre is now nearly 7,000km old since new in Frankfurt and I should have no problem doubling that. If this was a Tourance, I am sure it would be toast by now. You can notice a slight flattening in the middle, but by the time I get to the Alps, I hopefully won’t be using the middle all that much ;)
The other note is traffic lights. I have had a lot of experience with these in Turkey and they have them sorted quite well. Even on roundabouts, they seem to work even when people run the red, as they do here often. One of the ideas I would like to see introduced into Australia is the system of countdowns, that is, when the light is Green, it will show a green number counting down to red and visa versa. At least you have some idea how long you can scratch your B^%$# for ;)
Anyway, the $3 ferry ride was quick and painless, flat water and on the peninsular I asked for directions to Anzac Cove which started out quite well as it seemed to be well signposted.
That is, until I got to a crossroads, then it seemed to be a bit confusing. I ended up heading south to the tip where I asked again, they told me to go back to the crossroads. That led down to a small harbor(where I took the opportunity to have lunch), so the only other road eventually got me to the correct location. Another sign at that crossroad would have been a big help! A bit further on another bit of confusion, there was a sign saying Anzac Cove, straight on, which led me uphill? It was a one way road system, so I was now committed. There were a lot of tour buses of course being a weekend, and I realised I was amongst the Turk side of the defense system, but also up here was the Lone Pine cemetery where the final dismantling of the stands from Anzac Day was still being carried out.
After paying my respects here I continued on around the loop road where you can see many leftover trench systems, and of course many, many cemeteries. I eventually found myself back down where the sign for Anzac Cove was and it was here that I realised, there is a short zig zag to get around a traffic island, then you can follow the shoreline to the cove itself!
It must have been a nightmare to arrive at daybreak and then try and scale these hills.
I paid my respects here before moving down the road to the memorial, where the story of Anzac is portrayed with a series of plaques.
LEST WE FORGET
Excuse the moire effect on that photo, would you believe it, another camera is playing up. I may have to ditch Olympus and try a different brand :( My original which was repaired under warranty is back home, I should have bought it as a back up! Never mind, while here I met a Turkish family from Ankara who gave me some cake and a cold drink, thanks heaps, it was very hot out there :)
After a quiet few hours in this area, it was time to leave and head north out of Turkey, but I had one small thing to do, I wanted to find a geocache, I had been sort of looking while here, but I was finding it hard in the traffic just to get from A to B, let alone take a side track, the one that I did the other day was a failure. The one I had in mind was on my way to the town of Gallipoli itself and was beside the road, and I found this one with ease :)
After that, there was no stopping me, it was only a hundred klicks or so to the border town and I arrived around 4.30pm, only half an hour after the time I was banking on, so that was good. The exit from Turkey was easy, they stamped me out and removed the bike from the computer system,(obviously none of the red light cameras or speed traps had been noted ;) ) and I was free to enter Greece. :)
I was through and on a highway, a very nice one and I checked my GPS and found that about 50km away there was a campground in Alexandropolis, so I headed there. It was only a short ride and as I entered the town, I passed a small corner concession with a Vstrom outside and some blokes sitting chatting. So, I stopped and met up with Dimitri.
He gave me a cold coffee and we chatted for a while, his English was good, my Greek was limited to Yassoo(hello) I mentioned the camp ground and he said he would show me where to camp, so off we head, I have no idea where????
And, we got to his small house he is building up on a hill overlooking the town. It had no power nor water, but it was free and dry and had a great view :)
I unloaded my bags and headed into town for a feed and a beer. Well, what a change from the country next door!! The girls were everywhere, I could even see skin, like legs and arms and stuff, and faces, wow :) I got a sore neck goggling! No, seriously, it was a change for the better ;) Anyway, as I pulled up next to a small shop along came Dimitri, he had seen me go past, so he stopped and had a few beers and I bought some chook and chips for dinner :)
Apparently, today is Sunday and it is election day, across the road from me is the town hall where TV people were doing interviews. The reason I knew it was Sunday, was because I had called the Kazakhstan embassy in Bern earlier and was told to call back tomorrow :oops: After a feed, Dimitri took off and I bought some takeaway beer and headed for the hills :) I set up my bed, relaxed and read a book(Death Gate Cycles 0 a series of 7 books, great stuff) and had a few beers during sunset, then had a great full moon over the city, what a choice location :)