I left Bukhara after an unsuccessful internet connection attempt. When I left the cafe, there were a dozen little Bukharan boys on bicycles admiring my motorcycle. I may be a little older, motorized, and a bit further away from home, but basicly we belong to the same category. Boys on wheels! We played a bit and I gave them some baloons. Then they escorted me out of the center since the road I came two days ago was now closed. On the road, I met some other boys in uniforms with guns and sticks. They were doing radar speed checks ad pulled me over. I gave them cigarettes and started talking with my silly Turkish accent. I talked so much that they had to forget why they pulled me over. Pushing my luck even further, I asked them if they could take a photo of me with the radar gun ...Read More

"Do you believe in coincidances?" Kutlu asked me... I said "Yes!" without thinking much because I was curious. He told me to turn around and read the name of the boat. It was "ERDEM-2". My name is not a very common one. I've been a student for 20 years and never had a classmate with the same name. But that's not the surprising part. We arrived in Trabzon quite late in the evening. The road was in very good condition and the scenery made it even better. This is the Black Sea coast of Turkey, a very steep mountainous shoreline full of greenery and rain. Dilan, an old friend, had been living in Trabzon for about a year, and neither of us had seen her since. We were all looking forward to it. After a very loud and animated welcome, we started walking instinctively towards the seaside to enjoy the sunset. Black ...Read More

A month has passed since my last post here. It wasn't just a break from writing, but also riding. Somehow, the two seem to work together. I've only started moving one week ago so you haven't missed much of the road. A few things have to be known before I proceed. Turkey is where I was born and raised. My family and friends live in Ankara, the capital. This has been a psychological mid-point on the route. This is where the west ends and the east begins. This is where I intended to take a 15 day break to see my family, apply for visas and take a good look at the bike. I did all of these, but it took twice as much. Central Asian beurocracy operates in a weird way. The embassies have no authority in approving a visa application. They're like post offices where you submit and ...Read More

Adriatic countries are not a part of the union. Road conditions become less favorable, traffic more chaotic, and people live in less favorable conditions. However, in some aspects, these countries are much more interesting to experience then the ones in the union. People are more observant and welcoming. Contrast and variety is abundant. There are more things to discover. But it takes time to adjust. Croatia has a very long and dynamic coastline with a new highway spanning along. Most of the usable land on the shore is somehow made available for tourism. The most popular and economic way of doing this is the "Auto-Camp" attracting the European RV's. I was lucky to be there before the season began. It was easy to find a place to camp whenever I felt like stopping. There weren't too many people so it was possible to relate with locals and other travelers. The ...Read More

Albania is full of surprises. I was in some hot springs this morning. Alban, my voluntary tour guide, was watching over me so I do not faint... Prolonged exposure to sulfur can do funny things... He insisted on riding pillion without a helmet. "Go like Valentino Rossi!" is all he kept saying. I wonder how Rossi would ride on these horrible roads with so much load. A few short wheelies is all I could do to please him. Now I'm on top of a mountain pass near the Macedonian border. There are cement military machine gun aprons around. Goats have claimed them after the transition from communism to tourism! I found a small restaurant across the road and there is wi-fi here... I'm eating a traditional local delicacy accompanied by hard core rave beats on the speakers. No wonder the truck drivers are driving like they're on ecstasy. It's ...Read More

It's raining again. Packing a wet tent is not a good idea if you plan to use it in the long run. Things take a moment to get soaked, but hours to dry. Rain means waiting. But waiting means writing. So it's not too bad. I'm now in a campground a few kilometers shy of Cannes. There are two German GS riders in the tent next to me. They're also held back by the rain. I tried to fix the GPS mount couple of times. Last time, I managed to think about the fuse... And yes, it was blown. Apparently I caused a short circuit trying to hold the pins with a needle-nose pliers. I replaced that one and the home-made pin seems to work. For now that is... The reason I'd like to keep this piece of equipment working, is not just my habit of usage. France has a large ...Read More

London has done a few things. First, It forced me to reset all my know-how and habits of riding a bike in traffic due to the inversion of flow (it feels like writing with my left hand). I had to desert the bike and take the 'tube' around the city. This wouldn't be a big issue if I was staying here just for a day or two, which had been original plan. All I had to do was to receive the package Evren sent me from L.A. and move on. But of course, I did not take into consideration the UK Customs Agency. They can keep any package for as long as 30 days without notification. The delay in my case, had been so perfectly timed that the package was delivered to my friend's address exactly the day after she left for a 4 day vacation. As if all of ...Read More