Lars Goes Australia's

April 1 , 1453 : The Ottoman turks lead by Sultan Mehmet II are planning an attack on Constantınople ın whıch they wıll succeed.

April 1 , 2007 : Two dutch cyclısts lead by Lars de Wit I are plannıng a trip to conquer Constantinople and the rest of Turkey in which they will also succeed.

To be continued ....

I wish you all the best along this little detour to the next working day ;)

Ha Lars,

:idea: Nou weet ik eindelijk waar die stok achterop je fiets voor dient! ( :roll: In het Nederlands want anders lezen ze mee...)

Hoi Lars en Natasja,

We hopen dat jullie een geweldig begin hebben met de reis en zien uit naar jullie verhalen.
Good luck,
Henk & Corry

Lars en Natasja,

Heel veel plezier onderweg! Jullie kennen me niet maar hoorde van jullie avontuur van je ouders. Ik ga jullie volgen.


Als je fietst met je gezicht naar de zon vallen alle schaduwen achter je! :)

Neem er een biertje op. Op mijn kosten. Ik betaal jullie graag terug als je weer terug zijn. :D Succes.


We are now ın Nallihan, west of Ankara in a hotel after two day s camping ın free nature.

But lets start wıth the begınıng.

We, Natascha or Tasch as we call here here because Natascha has some weırd double meanıng whıch I won t explaın cause maybe lıttle chıldren are readıng thıs as wel haha.

So, we left Istanbul on bıke to the ferry, whıch was only a couple of km bıkıng, took the ferry to Yalova and ınto the mountaıns, a small grey road on the map...

Very small but also very steep, sometımes more than 20 percent...

And the dogs,20 tımes as agressıve as ın holland, had many fıghts wıth them, wavıng my stıck around.

Then the turkısch people, maybe 20 tımes as hospıtable as ın holland ?

One tıme I wanted to buy two bread but I couldn t pay, ıt was a gıft from the owner of the lıttle store, how frıendly !

We are havıng much fun, campıng ın free nature or at houses where we also get all kınds of food, apples, olıves, vijgen and so on ...

Nature ıs great as well, so a very good start ın this wonderfull land on my / our wonderfull trıp !

Derinkuyu, april 12, 2007

After we bought our last ingredients to make dinner we cycle out of town, looking for a place to camp.

The road goes up again, tired as we are we look at each other and probably think the same...

But then a little farm shows up left of the road and without thinking my steering wheel goes up there.

Now we are in front of our tents, after a nice shower from our 75 cl bidon and behind a nice beer. And that beer tastes so good after a long day on the road, the wind blowing all day against us, me most of the tıme taking front positıon to hold Tasch out of the wind. ( Yes Lars you have such a big back ...yes yes, well ıf İ was alone İ had to take front position all day so İ do not mind ). And maybe more important, İ am feeling strong again after a little dip last week when we, İ , needed a day rest.

Cycling here in the sun, temp 11 degrees and a cold wind coming from the east my hands are freezing cold on the outside but hot on the inside, İ mean it is cold here but İ am feeling more than fine, terrific !

But we were in front of our tents, ready to cook a nice meal.

A nice vieuw on the city below and the sun going down, turning from red into purple and many more colours of which İ do not know the name of haha.

The man of the house invıtes us for dinner but I say, no thank you we cook ourselves !

He shakes his head from left to right meaning no, I say yes, look what we have : pasta, tomatoes, onions, garlic, a can of tuna fish...

But the friendly man keeps shaking his head and says wait.

While we finish our beer the daughter of the house visits our tents again, this time bringing a plate full of food....there is soup, fresch bread, olives, yoghurt, little cakes....complete with a round cloth to put it all on and served with thea. A delicious meal !

We thank them a thousand times and after some pictures we go for it !

Maybe not to your surprise everything ıs eaten, not a crumble of bread left ;-)

One other time we were having lunch in a little village, our bikes put against a wall of stones surrounding a house. The lady of the house brought us cheese and yoghurt, just like that !

One day we had 5 different kind of cheese in our bags, bought only 1 ...

920 kilometers brought us in Cappadocia, were we are now. Amazing place to wander

around !

Tomorrow to develi and further eastwards to Nemrut.

Having the time of my life on this trip of my life İ say

Adios !

Hoi Lars,

Na het lezen van De Gouden Capuchon is ons pas echt duidelijk geworden wat voor een geweldige en grootse uitdaging je aangaat. We zijn trots op
Henk en Corry
Merhaba !

On our way to Nemrut we are now in Pazarcik.

Plan is to cycle out of this city en look for a place to camp, eıther ın the wild or near a home where we often have to fight to sleep in our tents. People are so nice and everytime they invite us in the house, to eat and to sleep. After a thousand no thank you from our side we many times win, not all the times.

One day weather was bad, even had some snow en people ınvıted us in. Gladly we took the invitation but when raın and snow were gone we wanted to go outside to make camp in the large garden. A brother arrıved who spoke really good dutch en he saıd, no way, you are NOT going to camp in the garden, you sleep in the house and eat with us ! Cold as we were we dıd and it turned out to be a great evening, ending sleeping ( at nine ) in the bedroom of these very nice people.

So yeah, we are havıng a great time, a little cold sometimes wıth some snow and almost every morning ice on our tents but when sun shines it is good !

Nature is great, looking forward to Nemrut !

Allrighty, road is calling, cycled allready 1360 km...

Adios !
We sleep in kurdisch villages, when we cycle up a mountain a car stops...
Two man step out, open the door from their truck en come out with ....
two ice creams ! İ stop and look surprised and smiling at the good looking ice creams.
mmm nice İ say, for us ?
The man knocks on his chest and gives the two ice creams.
İ say again, for us ? And yes, they are for us, a gift.
Proudly he knocks again on his chest and says : me kurdisch.
Surprised and overwhelmed İ can only mumble : İ love kurdisch people ...
They get into their car and drive away...

That same morning we saw many road blocks by military police, complete with tanks...
Checking for PKK they say as we ask when we stop at one roadblock and are invited for thee and food. But, says one militair, the kurds are our friends but we have to check, orders from the government...

We meet only nice and friendly people, kurd or turk.

That same day we are filmed and intervieuwed by flash tv, getting famous here in turkey also huh !

Nature ıs stıll fantastic.
We walked 8 km to Nemrut Dagi, first 2 km over a hill were only a small track was, avoiding the official gate where we had to pay something like 4 euro. We got the tip from our hotel manager were we camped in the garden. Walking up was hard, 800 altitude meters we did.
But İt was worth it, the statues and heads, ages and ages old were really amazing to see, especially in snow !
One of our highlights ın this amazing country...

The other day, before we arrived in erzurum were we are now we climbed a mountain pass, 2330 meters high and just before we reiced it it started to snow. Wind up to 7 or 8 bft, cold !!!

Have to go now, just too many to tell but we have such a nice time...

Bringing Skippy back home ...

Did İ tell you about Skippy ?
No ?
Well, skıppy ıs a little kangaroo mother, with child, given to me by annita wıth two n,s ;-)
They are on top of my bike, watching to the south east most of the time.
Looking for their home country, far, far away...
When İ do not know the road and İ am all alone ın a week orso İ can ask advıce to them, this lıttle kangaroo mother with child...
And İ have a goal, bringing Skippy back home...
And give them away to a little aboriginal child maybe, making three happy.
The child and skippy and child, out of the cold Turkey ( sometimes 2 degrees, brrr ) and back to their home country.

For me another good reason to achive my goal...

We are now ın Kars, 1800 meters high.
Came here in one monster day, we rode 75 km almost non stop...
Because of very bad wheater and a road that seemed to clımb forever, staıght ınto heaven...
We stopped only for 5 or 10 mınutes, eating some drıed fruıt and a banana behınd a truck that was parked along this deserted road, more than 2000 meters hıgh and fighting a strong wınd, rain and snow and we soken wet and cold, no, ıt isn t always fun !

But now we are glad we did it, feeling a little proud...

Tomorow we are going to visit Ani, from there to Dogubayazıt near İranian border where İ, sadly enough, have to say goodbye to a wonderfull companion, in good and bad times ...

Gule gule !

Meaning goodbye ;-)
We lost the battle in Turkey ...
April 1 I was sure we could en would conquer Turkey but something else happened ...

Weapened with the greatest hospitality, inviting us many times a day for cay ( thee ), all the fruit, cheese, olives, bread, ice cream and so on, and so on which were given to us we just couldn't win.
Right from the start it was a lost battle...

The Turks and Kurds in this amazing country just stole our hearts !
We met so many nice and warm people, waving and shouting at us, sometimes even too much !

Yeah, so we had a great time here, seeing so many nice things and nature !
We are now in Dogubayazit, near Iranian border.
Dogubayazit is a nice town, on a perfect location near mount Ararat, at the foot of another range of snow capped mountains in a nice valley.
When we arrived here yesterday, riding at the foot of mount Ararat into this valley we had great vieuws over Dogubayazit, a special place for us because from here Ý travel alone into Iran, saying goodbye to Natascha, so our last biking day together ;-(
Also a good vieuw towards Ýran, only 35 km away and Ý look forward to it ;-)
So with mixed feelings we arrived ...

Tomorrow we take the bus to Erzurum, Natas because she has a plane to catch to Ýstanbul and Ý because Ý have a pakket to catch, which hopefully is arrived now.
Saturday I take the same bus back to Dogubayazit and move on into Iran !

Okidokie thats all for now folks !
I understood many of you didn't receive my last 3 or 4 e mails, some Insert adresses problems on the computers ...
But if you like to read them you can find them on the following site :
Click on ' Forum ' , then under Australia and New zealand you find ' Lars goes Australia's '

Have fun, so will Ý !

Hi Lars,

Ik ben blij je hier te vinden... was je even kwijt... verder stuur ik je wel even een e-mail.

Groet, Rena :wink:
Salaam aleikum !

Coming into Iran wasn't without problems...
First there was this mini bus which I took from Erzurum where Natascha took a plane to Istanbul, I was so kind to drop her of ;-)
Okay, also went again to the post office to see if my package from holland finally arrived but no, even after more than three weeks not. I asked if package may arrive if they can send in through to Shiraz in Iran, don't expect too much out of it but you never know, package must be somewhere doesn't it ?

Okay, the mini bus.
Full of people, many bagage on the last seats and in the space between the chairs where you normally walk, not in Turkey though...Here they put luggage everywere.
But my bike still stood outside the bus, even more people came and more luggage...
I had little hope for my bike, only prayed...
Finally my bike came in, standing in front of the walking row, so nobody could get in or out without climbing over my bike...Not very happy about that but we were in the bus, back to Dogubayazit were we arrived after not less than 7 hours...

In darkness and rain and very tired I biked to the campground, uphill and wind against nd rain and cold and no, not very happy.
When I was trying to get my tent standing one pole broke and I sank on my knees, so tired and NOT very happy. Fixed the pole a little ( in the morning fixed it good ), cooked my dinner en went to bed.

Following morning a little sun so happy on my way to Iran.
Not so happy when after 5 or 10 km 4 guys came running from the hill towards me.
One was faster than the rest and than me ( I felt trouble so I biked as fast as I could ) and was at the road, maybe 50 meters in front of me, and picked up some big stones ...
Within 0.2 seconds I had my wooden stick ( from Guatemala ) in my hand, shouting : what ? The guy threw the stones away as I rode towards him, only 10 meters now...
Just 4 or 5 meters before him I made the move of shaking his hand but actually turned my wheel and rode to the other side of the street. He tried to grab me but I was too fast and smart. That was my luck, I looked into his eyes and that was not good, not good at all.
They were really trying to get me... A huge stone was thrown at me but I was too far.
As I rode away I gave them my middle finger, leaving them furious on the middle of the road.

And believe it or not, same thing happened another three time, not as close as this one but still...

Turkey was good, great, more than great but these last 35 km were not, especially the first 15 / 20 km out of Dogubayazit.
Very scared I moved on, checking the hills for people and if I saw, speeding up if possible.
Completely lost the good feeling for the very nice turks and kurds.
I didn't like that so I started to wave, smile and saying Merhaba to every man, women, child even cow or goat I saw, trying to loose my anger and scared feelings.
It helped and in the meantime came Iran closer and closer.

The border : it is always nice to cross a border on your bike, something special about it.
But this one was one of the nicest ever. A warm welcome !
After the passport procedure I was invited at Tourist Information were I got a map of Iran and some nice tips. Everybody said welcome to Iran ! Also the sun was shining again so it was a very good welcome !

After 5 km met a japanese guy, talked a little and found out it was no problem riding in your shorts. Before entering a city he put on long trousers. so my long long trousers I took of and it was too warm to put them back on when I entered Maku, a very nice city lying in a gorge, 10 km or longer, so nice ! And from that day on no troubles at all with my clothes, just shorts and a sleeveless t shirt, no problemo !

Iran is good, I biked in two and a half day to Tabriz were I arrived after a 130 km day with rain. Heared that after Tabriz wheater was better so I rode this monster day of 130 km, last 30 km wind against and a unexpected 700 meters climb in it. Didn't stop after 60 km, 3 hours of biking through sometimes rain and sometimes it was dry. But I wanted only three things, reach Tabriz, out of this bad wheater and a hot shower !
All three came true !

Now I am finding a way of handling the loss of my great companion and move on alone which is not easy at all...
But I know I liked it before, no, loved it before so why not this time ?

Ghoda hafez
Salaam !

Okay, 400 km east of Baghdad, in Hamadan.

Leaving Tabriz again on this highway, 550 km in total makes yoy crazy.
On top of that the first days rain and more rain, topped with the fact of being alone again, no, it isn't always rosesmell and moonshine haha I know somebody who really hates this kind of ' englisch' ;-)
Landscape wasn't nice also. flat...

But after Myandoab the first yellow road, still a little busy but much better.
Riding in the mountains again and even the sun sometimes, had this fantastic campinp place between fruit trees, everything green and birds, so welcome after only the noise of trucks passing by...
Even my sad mood was slowly dissappearing.

After Bijar there was this white road on the map, at a road crossing I asked for the road to oh boy I do not know the name right now ...
They said : go to the right but according to my map I had to go somewhere to the left and there was this road to the left.
What about that road I asked and pointed to the left.
Oh no, no asphalt, bad road they said .... ( just what I needed ;-)
Bad road ? Why ? I asked.
Gravel they said, other road is much better.
On but I like gravel I said, no problem ! Thanked them and with my bags filled with : bread, dried fruit, figgs, olives, dadels, candy, chocolate, nuts, cookies, cheese, marmelade, chocplate paste and much more I happily choose this ' bad ' road , 65 km long.

The sun was back all day long ( I am as brown as an indian ) , the birds were singing again ( or now I could hear them ) , the amount of trucks passing by from 5000 an hour to 2 so...

Time to have fun again !

Yeah, I am back on track !

Goda Hafe

Where do get 3 things fore free when you want to buy 4 things ?
Where are you being followed by young boys on motorcycles shouting hello, hello mister to you ?
Where does the police stop you twice, first time to take your picture with their mobile and the second time to give you a large bottle of o so nice cold water ?
Where is it high above 30 degrees and you have to drink 4 or 5 liter of water a day ?
Where are you fotographed maybe a hundred times a day ?
And where do you get so many things for free, an apple or some onions and when you want to pay thet put one hand on their heart and wave their head a little ( meaning, its a gift, from me ... )

Iran my friends,


I love this country and their more then friendly citizens.

One day I was camping on one of my favorite spots here in Iran, between fruit trees.
When I was busy with my tent I was seen, two young guys on a motorcycle saw me and came to me, asking what I was doing ha ha.
I said, well, tomorow I will cycle to Kashan, but thats a little far for now so I was hoping to put my tent here for the night.
This guy, 18 years old say's : you are my guest !
I thanked him a lot and 10 minutes later they came back, with this huge half watermellon, ice cold...

Now I was doing these last 4 days a hundred kilometers a day, temp above 30 degrees, so tired and hot as hell !
And then you get this more then delicious cold watermellon, o man how nice !!!

On this hot road to Kashan I met mr Abbas with his wife and daughter in law and they invited me to stay in their home here in Kashan which happily did.
Also because he said something about a party on his school for students who graduated.
I'm always in for a party but when the party was half way and I was invited on the podium, next to mr Abbas who gave the students a rose and another gift, and a few hundred students were clapping for me which was very strange I told mr Abbas, I didn't graduate ! , I wasn't so happy anymore. It maybe sounds strange but I do not like to be in the middle of the attention amongst a few hundred people, a little too much for me ;-)
But I had a nice vieuw, high on this podium ha ha.

Afterwards we went out to eat kabab which we did sitting on a square, 11 o clock in the evening and still very hot ( I am below 1000 meters since weeks in the middle of semi desert )

That night I slept on the roof, a thousand stars were my blanket ...

Hoi Lars,

Ben je nog sporen van Bernadette tegen gekomen in Iran?


Hoi Bert en anderen,

Ja, in Kashan iemand tegengekomen die haar had onmoet, wat een toeval he ! En een mailtje van haar gekregen dat ze een geweldige tijd had gehad in Iran en dat ze nu een of andere stan staat ingingm weet ff de naam niet meer ...
Voor de rest alleen maar remsporen, lees maar ....


After my last e mail about how great Iran is now something completely different ...

After I pushed the send button so you coulld read my mail I went to a very nice park, a liitle tired I was so I decided to take a short nap, lay down on the grass and took my glasses off.

First I put my glasses in the grass next to me but then I thought, maybe somebody steps on it, so I put my glasses on my stomach, ON MY STOMACH ...
I closed my eyes for maybe 5 minutes, woke up and reached for my glasses...
Not on my stomach !
I searched the grass surrounding me, NO glasses !
I felt strange and scared, how could this be ?
They were right here and now they were gone !
I couldn't believe it for 10 minutes but then I realized that they were gone, o no !

Couldn't believe it and still, 3 day s later cannot ...

Glad I am carrying for 9 years a spare pair of glasses I went blind home to get them, still very confused and a little shocked.
My digital camera was standing also next to me, in an ugly plastic bag, the thief didn't took that...

But things even can get worse, real bad ...

Next day, after 1 hour and 21 minutes, 33 km I was riding in Meymeh, a little town.
3 lanes, almost no traffic...
I was riding on the right side thinking about, I do not know anymore ...
The sun was shining and birds were singing, that quiet it was and suddenly out of nothing

BENG !!!

An enormous sound , aluminium hit asphalt ...
I was pushed forward , my saddle 30 cm lower and I heared my tire do : pssssss

I looked back and then understood, I was hit by a car !
I stood on the asphalt, my bike lying down, horrified I looked at my real wheel and I was really shocked ...
The wheel was so damaged, almost double folded, my bags lay around ...
Driver stepped out of his car and asked : are you allright ?
I said, I am not important, look at my bike !
I was not hurt I realized and said, okay I am important too but my bike man, MY BIKE !!!
He said yeah but are you allright ?
Pissed, sad, shocked I said my bike man, that's my life, what did you do to it !!!

The road was so empty, 3 lanes...
You could hear the f....k birds sing and I was hit by a car !
Normally I look all the time in my mirror but not when there are almost no cars and there is enough space... I didn't even hear the car coming, alos the beng was not so hard I fell under the car, maybe he was slowing down or, or, I don't know !

So, here I was sitting along the road, my bike still lying down, some people around me, asking if I wanted to go to a bike shop, well, what a good idea !

Now, Mehmey was a little town but the driver who hit me was going to Esfahan, so was I in two cycling days but no cycling anymore...
So I accepted the ride to Esfahan, bike in the car.
In Esfahan I asked if he could first take me to a hotel, bring my bags, and then to a good bike shop which he did.

After an hour of searching and almost two more accidents the man was such a bad driver I had to shout two times watch out ! , he almost hit another car and a man on a motor ...
But alive we reached the bike shop and 3 hours later bought a new rim ( = velg ?)
and used my old, bent spokes again, hope they not become weaker, my wheel was fixed !

Now I only have to fix my rear rack, it was also badly bent, but that will be fine also.

Bad luck ?

Or lucky that a) the thief didn't took my camera and b) the car didn't drive over me ?

I do not know, really ...

Fact is that I am in esfahan now and enjoing this beautifull city, am healthy and my bike is fixed so you could say I am lucky. But in the back of my head is : why did these bad things happen to me, why ???

But also in my head is : I have to bring skippy back home, no matter what !

So I move on, hoping and praying for better luck ...

Ghoda hafez
Salaam !

Born in Rotterdam, our weapon says : sterker door strijd ( stronger by battle )

And battles I fight ...

With guys on motorcycles just hitting me for fun and drive on so I cannot hit them back with my stick ( unfortunately )
Or children throwing stones at me, I chase them to scare the hell out off them so hopefully next cyclist won't have the same ' trouble '
With myself after eating too much in a breakfast buffet restaurant and then try to walk back to my hotel
Emotionally because for a long time it just wasn't like the old days ...
Fhysically, cycling in these high temperatures ( plus 30 degrees ) and in the mountains of Iran, altitudes between 2000 and 2750 meters, some cities around 1500 meters or lower ( and hotter)

But stronger I will be, there can only be one winner and thats me !
Easy to say huh when you are fighting a battle in or with yourself ;-)
But nevertheless, I am doing much better, almost there...

Now by the way in Shiraz where I first got an extension for my visa at the aliens office.
My first extension so I celebrated with above mentioned buffet breakfast, eggs on toast. lots of coffee, baked beans, tomatoes and more , mjammie !

And broke two records, one for speeding, 91 km an hour and the other one being invited for a BBQ picknic along the road TWICE on one day ! BBQ chicken with bread, salad, thee and soda, great !

Have to say, I learned it from Natascha when we cycled in Turkey, she could look so hungry that people gave us food all of the time ha ha ha

Look forward to Pakistan, a new country and then India again and Nepal.
But most of all I look forward cycling from Kathmandu into Tibet, to Lhasa, riding UP the Friendship Highway from 700 meters to over 5000 ...
Exiting because I do not know if I can get a ' single person group visa' for China, join a group to cross the border ( it isn't (yet) allowed to cross the border on your own ...) and then go furter on my own. And if I can make it fhysically, not getting sick from altitude. I have these pills, forgot the name, help preventing getting sick and I have some experience in the Andes, where I failed by the way.

So more battles to fight, but I will do it with faith, and I shall win.

Tomorrow to Persepolis, from there eastwards to Estahban, Sirjan and Bam.
Through the desert to pakistani border, it will be hot !

Maybe forming a group in Zahedan to cycle into Pakistan,if not too dangerous and allowed, otherwise it will be a bus to Quetta, everything better than cycling as a westerner right into Bin Laden's hands there in Baluchistan with maybe Taliban people, right ?

So stronger I move on, having fun, hope you have fun too .

Ghoda Hafez