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Cesme - Penibacalari - Golbasi

Trip Details

Road Trip 2014
Date: Sun, 24/08/2014
Distance: 687km
Motorcyclists: Manolis, Giorgos Z, Stratos, Stelios (
Copilots: Natasa
Photographers: Giorgos, Manolis, Stratos, Stelios (
Authors: Manolis, Stelios (
Translators: Nana
Map: Trip map

Sightseeing map

Highway to the East...

The breakfast at the hotel was quite expensive so we ate from some supplies that we had from yesterday. We packed our stuff and we started our journey at 7: 30am, eastwards!

We entered the highway and some kilometers later, we reached to the first toll station. Some information from an employee of a service station said that we should procure some special cards to pay tolls but it proved that it was not true. The official of toll station sent us to buy these special cards in the post office, which was right next to it. Of course, the staff did not speak any English! We tried to understand each other with hand signs and drawings on paper... After an hour, we realized that there is the HGS (High Speed Toll) card which costs 45 pounds (15 value card issuing and 30 content), but we did not know for how long  it will be in force and how much would it cost each passage. None of communication... There was another crossing card OGS, which was not available but we understand that it was more expensive. Now, is it the truth or a lie, who knows... Anyway, we bought the HGS card. This card therefore works wirelessly, placing it in a visible place (e.g. tank bag on motorcycles), when you go through the toll station card is scanned and charged with the corresponding charge. The amount that we paid it was for more than 10 passages but no other less expensive card. We passed about 2 times...

Having no other choice, we paid the bitter price and we continued to Smyrna.

In Izmir, we left the highway and we continued by the central road (two lanes in each direction). Police presence was quite intense. We met about 4 police cars, so the speed remains strictly below 110 km and the journey seems endless ... To get away from the monotony, we made a stop at the rock formations near the town of Kula. These volcanic rocks, which are located a few meters from the main road, they quite resemble Cappadocia. The area mentioned as "Cappadocia Aegean» or «Yanikyore» means scorched earth in Turkish, or «Katakekaumene» which is synonymous with Greek word . Is a Heritage Site of UNESCO and it is composed of approximately 80 geological formations and most of them look like chimneys.

Our route continues on the endless straight road, crossing plateaus at an altitude of about 1000m. All around are composed of vast plains with low vegetation, in soft colors of yellow and brown. We made lots of breaks, mainly for refueling and one more when police stopped us, just to say hello! We were trying to find a shade to take a short break but there was not any tall tree anywhere ... Luckily, in the entry of a gas station, we saw three pines. We made coffee and a small chat under them, taking a breath of fresh air...

Our quietness was spoiled by a huge vehicle on which they have hung chains for some unknown reason. Once it refueled, instead of continue on the same road, they drove illegally to reentered into the main road. The reason was that they were trying to cut short a distance of 4 km’s. We are on the road again, the same pattern of Kemal Ataturk’s photo with his raised hand to stop the enemy ... We are not the enemies, as the nations dictators trying to make us feel like them...

Crossing a hill looms ahead us the country's capital. The horizon was so blurred that hardly we could see the limits of the city. On some points, we saw skyscrapers and many road junctions were at the entrance. We were determined to look for accommodation somewhere in Golbasi, so we followed the main road and we turned south following the signs. In the city, we did not find anything and we passed a huge hotel which seemed expensive. There were some within walking distance and we split seeking availability and prices. Eventually, we stayed to Ulasan Hotel which used to be a good accommodation place. It was not that bad but nowadays it seemed quite neglected.

As usual, Natasha arranges our papers at the hotel and we unload our things. Natasha tried to fill up the check in papers but the receptionist refused that she would do this (a woman).  Do not forget that these are men's jobs and we are in a country that supports such special customs. When time came to pay Natasha pulled her wallet and she took the card to pay the employee. He was stunned as if he saw a ghost, wondering about who was the role of man ... We believe that the answer of Natasha finished him saying that she «leads motorcycles groups»...

We unpacked our staff, took a bath and we met in the hotel restaurant overlooking the lake «Mogan» to make up for the calories that we had lost all day. Unfortunately, the «gourmet» food barely covers our needs...