Safely into India now so I finally have reliable(ish) access to uncensored internet! Here commences the catch up deluge…
We’ve just spent a whole 4 days driving across Eastern Turkey, with bush camps in between, which I have to say is not really my favourite aspect of the trip. No shower, no toilet and prickly, rocky, sloped ground does not make for very happy campers (or not a happy Hannah at least). To be fair to them, Will and Karen do try to pick out nice(ish) camping stops wherever possible, but there often isn’t a lot of choice other than driving into some random field which hasn’t been ploughed in a quarter of a century.
The driving is getting more and more uncomfortable as we get further East – we were warned at the start that the Truck Beast definitely wasn’t a coach (just in case anyone was thinking I was about to appear on the next series of Coach Trip), and that’s getting very obvious on the roads of Asia. I feel like my previous job gave me plenty of experience in extended periods of sitting, but you can’t prepare for the amount of bum bouncing on the truck. Officially we’re travelling on a ‘purpose built vehicle’, which basically means that they took a lorry, cut out some windows and whacked some seats in. Maybe with a little more craftsmanship than that, but really, you can’t do much for the suspension of a Scania lorry (particularly as we’ve broken 2 springs so far.)
Amazingly, the up and down jarring is not as bad as side to side swaying for motion sickness, so I’ve been doing plenty of reading and knitting (yes, I do get odd looks, but I’m going to be the one laughing with toasty toes in Nepal). I promise, I try to enjoy the scenery from time to time, but it’s kind of potluck – for every mile of gorgeousness you get five of average motorways, with the usual scenery of unimaginative billboards, run down factories and endless nondescript fields. Possibly because of that, this is the number one occupation for the group on drive days:
Having said that, we do always try to find highlights on our long boring days (for example, in certain service stations in Germany the toilet seats rotate after you flush. Yep, I know you are all booking flights to Germany now)
Our highlight of the East Turkey drive was supposed to be Nemrut Dagi – another ruin site with giant heads and no English information as to why they are there (yep, too lazy to read the guide book). We camped almost at the top of a mountain so that we could scramble up to the summit to enjoy the views, tit about with big heads and celebrate with the first sunset of month 2.
Lovely as Nemrut Dagi was though, it pales into insignificance against the real highlight of the drive.
Oh yes, Eastern Turkey has a town called Batman.