Lake Egirdir to Ankara to Cappadocia, Turkey Week 117 June 23rd - 26th 2013
First off. Thanks for all the thoughts on tar and general progress. Much appreciated. We sometimes think we underestimated some of the difficulties.

There's still a heap of tar sealing the underneath. The rest took about 5 litres of diesel for each truck.

Lake Egirdir provided an opportunity to celebrate birthdays.

Ali and Margaret within a couple of days.

The wine was Greek, provided by Vasso.

So we relaxed some more.

The locals seem to use nets. 

Set and left overnight.

I tried the hard way and failed.

But it didn't seem to matter.

The mountain in the distance, to the right, is about 2900m. We are at about 950m. 

The wind had disappeared for a bit and the lake settled down.

No matter which way we looked at it.
Then a visitor to provide some fish.

We don't know what it was but it tasted good.

We aren't sure how the land is divided.

Access here made us think the lake was full.

Birthday cake for Ali was a single piece of the very large toblerone.
But it all had to come to an end.

Ali and I set off about dawn to Ankara.

In search of Kazakhstan and China visas.

A longish day of about 300 km.

It became easier once we'd crossed the mountains and followed the plain.

A possibly failed irrigation scheme.

There were frequent breaks.

But somehow people grow wheat and live.
Sometimes in apartment blocks.

We passed through Polatli.

Then approached Ankara.
The Panora shopping centre is near the Kazakhstan Embassy.

Valet parking and lots of security guards.

And a Kipa (which is Tesco) supermarket.

We also discovered that mobile phones have to be registered with the government for them to work with Turkish sim cards. Grrrrrr. 

We arrived too late on Tuesday.

Lodged our Kazakhstan applications on Wednesday but the Chinese consulate was closed.

We parked at the oddly named Centilman Piknik to the east of the city.

After wasting a couple of hours of our, and everyone else in the queue, time, the Chinese consulate decided they couldn't process our visa application as we weren't residents of Turkey.

A new interpretation of the rules apparently.

The clerks initially wanted the original letter of invitation rather than the printed emailed copy and inspected it very closely.

Other applicants were put through similar hoops. The subtle difference between effectively providing visas and zealous gate keeping.

The early sign of a problem was that while the gate to the consulate was opened at 09:30 the window to the clerks remained closed. It looked suspiciously like someone late for work with a hangover!


Hopefully the previously unknown residence rule for China visas is unique to Ankara.

We opted to carry on to Cappadocia then back to Ankara to pick up the Kazakhstan Visas.

It seems prudent to avoid being separated from our UK and NZ passports.

We need time to consider how to obtain those very important China visas. I prefer a more predictable process than the bureaucratic "trial and error" we are now stuck in, but such is life.

Not helped by lack of internet.

275 km through rolling hills of wheat.

Punctuated by the occasional bit of roadworks.

The stones had disappeared from the road leaving soft tar.

The fix was simply to put more stones on top.

Goreme and Valley of Swords / Red Valley, Cappadocia, Turkey (One) Week 117 June 27th - 28th 2013

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