A Turkish Meal

Dibek - wonderful turkish restaurant Dibek - a nice, quaint restaurant in Goreme, Cappadocia


Our generous host Our gracious host.
The people of Turkey were warm & beautiful. They would never put any unneccesary pressure to buy or cheat you and always welcomed you with a smile.


Rake - the national drink (hic!) Rake (pronounced Raa-Khe) - the national alchoholic beverage of Turkey. Made from aniseed, is actually a clear liquid that turns white on adding water.
Sip Rake, Sip Water, Repeat!

Posted at at 8:16 PM on Sunday, July 28, 2013 by Posted by Sid | 0 comments   | Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

First look at the fairy chimneys of Cappodocia Fairy chimneys in their glory

Posted at at 11:43 AM on Friday, July 12, 2013 by Posted by Sid | 0 comments   | Filed under: , , , , , , , ,

Dirt-biking in Turkey

This was not a full fledged ride or even a planned trip for that matter. But it was an exhilarating experience for me and I thought I'd share it here.

Me and my friend recently took a week long trip to Turkey where we trekked in the interiors of the country for about 4 days and the rest of the time we were in Istanbul, the biggest city. We loved the trekking and had a blast camping in the mountains, sleeping inside caves and generally experiencing the warmth and hospitality of the Turkish people. Istanbul was a beautiful city at the confluence of two huge continents and unique in it's ways. Almost 20% of Turkey's population lives in Istanbul and with that also comes it's own baggage! Anyways suffice to say that we enjoyed the first part of the trip more than the second.

And that's where the riding experience also comes in 

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I always dreamt that my first foreign ride would be a well-executed trip with detailed research and planning just like I've seen so many similar rides from fellow bikers on my biking group xbhp. But you dream of something and something else happens! We hit the local town (Goreme) on the last day of our trek which is where I saw rows of shops offering to rent quads, scooters, bicycles and dirt-bikes for tourists to hit the multiple trails around the area. And how could I let go of such an opportunity.

But sadly I had very little time on my hands because we had to catch an overnight bus to Istanbul the same night. So that gave me a window of about 4 hours and boy did I make the most of it. There were a number of bikes available on rent and I chose the Yamaha WR 125R. Smaller displacement to start with and cheaper too. I signed one document that also included thrid-party insurance, deposited my passport and was off! First time on foreign roads on a bike, something that I had always dreamed of happening and it all happened in a matter of 15 minutes. Wow!

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This is roughly the route I followed.



Initially I stuck to the roads to get a feel of the bike, brakes, acceleration and to get comfortable with the traffic. I was driving on the right shoulder for the most while with cars, vans and SUVs zipping on the road. It was still just a 125cc so it couldn't do much out on the highway. Which is when I decided to hit the dirt trails.

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They were all over the place and you could easily take any diversion and head into the mountains. I was a little worried about getting lost initially and took smaller routes that would get me back on to tarmac soon. Grip levels on the gravel were fantastic and I was enjoying it more and more. I was trying both brakes and monitoring stopping distances and generally having a lot of fun. Riding on gravel has always meant more rear brake and less front brake and this gave rise to some wonderful slides and smoking trails behind me. I had a grin plastered right across my face!

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I still had trouble steering through loose sand and turning the bike around. What really caused me trouble was the seat height. The weight was pretty manageable but balancing the bike on toes was quite hard. I caught a couple of falls at the last moment but had to gently put the bike down on one of the more steeper bends. It was light and I managed to get it back up but not without a struggle! There was no damage to the bike and I carried on.

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So now that I had gotten comfortable with the bike, I was riding only on the tracks and keeping as far away from the tarmac as possible. It was no KTM Dakar riding video with airborne bikes but I was having my share of fun. And I had no clue about where I was going, just a general sense of the direction in relation to the main town. There was a huge mountain range with ruins of Roman columns at the crest that our guide had shown us earlier. I remember a broken path leading up the slope to it and that's what I wanted to hit next.

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It felt like a challenge and this bike was more than up for it. I managed to shoot a couple of videos as well. I know it was dangerous and I realize that now but the adrenaline that was pumping then was just too much to overcome I guess. But guys, please don't try this unless you are absolutely certain of your riding skills.






The view from the top was simply amazing. Those ancient ruins, my adventurous ride to get there and the serene atmosphere. I just sat there and watched the entire area below me that we were trekking over these past few days. Felt amazing. In order to get there I had to ask for directions from local folk. Just mentioning the name of the place was enough and sign language did the rest 

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I had to return the bike with a full tank of fuel but with just one hour left till I had to head back, I wanted to make the most of it. And finding a petrol pump was not part of the plan. I headed to some of the known areas that we had visited and took off on the routes next to them. Stopped a lot to click some stylish pictures inspired by so many of my buddies on xbhp. Struggled with the auto-timer and trying to fit myself into the frame!

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And finally it was time to head back. I was sweating even though the temperature was a cool 20 degrees. I had had more than my share of fun and the fact that it was a complete surprise made me relish it that much more!

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Normally I research a lot before all of my trips but for some reason I didn't on this occasion and therefore did not come across such possibilities. I don't know if others here have done something similar but I think anyone visiting Turkey must definitely try this out. The rental was 55 liras and I was charged for the one liter (only!) of fuel that I had used up. So it cost me 60 liras (appx. Rs. 1800) and I'm sure the deal would be even better if you rent out for the whole day. It's definitely been one of the highlights of this trip for me.

Of course I had not carried any kind of gear with me except the fleece jacket that I was wearing and the helmet that the shop provided so I didn't want to be too adventurous and hurt myself in the middle of a foreign country. For people who are going with a plan to do this sort of adventure, it might be a good idea to carry gear.

Posted at at 11:34 AM on Monday, June 24, 2013 by Posted by Sid | 2 comments   | Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


It's been a while since I posted something here, might as well restart now: for all those still reading that is :)
Lots of things have happened and lots of pictures are to be shared yet. So let's get started I say!

Bandra Worli Sealink

A fisherman looks onto the Bandra-Worli Sealink as he prepares to haul in the mornings catch. There is a fishermen village right next to the sealink accompanied by the Worli fort and several rows of slums. Surreal experience visiting here.

Posted at at 3:13 PM on Sunday, June 2, 2013 by Posted by Sid | 0 comments   | Filed under: , , , , , , , ,

Kappad Beach

Kappad Beach
A nice, pretty beach about an hour's drive away from college. Nice place to get away from the madness!

Posted at at 12:36 AM on Saturday, October 23, 2010 by Posted by Sid | 6 comments   | Filed under: , , , , ,

Early Morning

Dew Drops
Beautiful dew drops in the early morning.

Posted at at 1:52 AM on Monday, October 18, 2010 by Posted by Sid | 2 comments   | Filed under: ,

Starfish

StarFish

Finally I get to post some updates from Kampus! Clicked on a recent trip to Kappad beach.

Posted at at 6:47 AM on Friday, October 15, 2010 by Posted by Sid | 3 comments   | Filed under: , , , ,

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