As we left Gurun I was increasingly grateful for the accommodation we‘d been given the night before. The roads got worse and buildings looked quite dilapidated as we passed through the town. I never did notice the hotel that was meant to be 2km down the road.
We progressed onwards to Nemrut Dais, the site of ancient stone statues. I am sure they are pretty impressive but we never actually made it there. Instead we passed through Malatya and turned down the road signposted to the site. The road was a twisty mountain road, which started off enjoyable but degraded into potholes before turning into a building site.
We stopped on the way in and a guy driving a road roller told us the road was closed (after we spent an hour and a half getting here) and that we should use the temporary road they had put in just 100m back.
We went back to this track and looked at it for a while concerned. After some animated deliberations as to what we should do the guy from the roller came back.
“where you from“
“AH you know eee aahh aaa, Sinn Fein. I am Kurdish, I love Ireland, Sinn Fein“
“um ok. Whats the craic with this track then, how far is it, is it rough?“
“for you on these motorcycles no problem. 3km. I can drive my car, the bike will be no problem“
We knew from reading travel books and the HUBB that often people are trying to be helpful and seem to think the bikes are invincible. Even so, we wanted the track to work out ok after the past hour and a half of bad roads so we went up to at least take a look.
We didn‘t get much more than perhaps 300 metres up when we decided to turn back. The track was a nice mix of rocks, sand and bumps, one of which dented my sump but thankfully did not puncture it. When we got back I wanted top go throttle the guy, but he had gone, probably luckily for both of us.
Thoroughly disheartened we plodded back to Malatya to look for whatever hotel we could find. Unfortunately it was pretty expensive although not the dearest one we had so far and they let us park the bikes inside a disused basement lobby so all was well. We got out of there early in the morning to head to Diyabakir.