The next morning a fire-breathing dragon belched in my ear and I woke up. It was 5am. The noise was deafening. Adam asked me in his sleep why they were mowing the lawns. He is quite deaf.

We snuck out, ready to attack.

It was 40 hot-air balloons, readying for take-off in the next field. They were like incredibly noisy jelly-fish, half inflated and hanging in the air. There were touts cramming rich tourists into the baskets, 30 to a basket. Japanese couples photographed each other.

Halfway up a large hill we met a biker, on an Enfield. He was a Frenchman riding across to India, with no documents, no helmet, no boots, no jacket… he made us look like wusses. He was very clean, despite sleeping in caves. He was going to sell the Enfield in India, and invent a crash story for the carnet people. His bike was leaking oil. We wished him luck and swapped advice about Iran. We haven’t seen him since.   He left us feeling like over-prepared muppets, with all our bike gear...

Every time you go near a petrol pump in Turkey, you are invited to stop for tea. The tea is free, and gets better the further east you go. It is an amusing hobby. We have started stopping for tea and a chat even when we don’t need petrol. Its fun to sit and while the day away, miming with the petrol-attendant.

We stopped for provisions in a tiny little village. We were thronged around by a huge heap of school kids.

A friendly man handed me some beef kebab from a polystyrene tray.

I am a vegetarian. I have been a vegetarian for 5 years. However, in the interest of moral niceness, I had resolved to eat meat if it were donated out of kindness. In fact I had only resolved that about 5 minutes before we stopped… Oh dear. It was obviously some kind of test…

I had a nibble and swallowed it. The rest went inside a crisp wrapper in the tank bag. No one noticed.

Half an hour later I threw up at the side of the road.

Becoming a carnivore suddenly isn’t the best plan, not when the first meat you eat is a greasy Turkish kebab…

We were intent on reaching Mt Neermut. It was about 500km away.

The road was long, straight and boring. Except occasionally, when it suddenly turned into a dust-bath, and you couldn’t see a thing, and the ground underfoot turned into deep freshly laid gravel. At those points I wished for the boring road again.

The tarmac started again, and I sat up, wiped my visor and straightened myself out, pleased we had made it through it. Then out of cosmic meanness the road disintegrated again. Oh well.

We didn’t make it to Mt Neermut that day. The road got worse, and then the area got industrial too, and we bounced along in the dark wondering what to do.

We stayed at a roadside motel where they sniggered at us and asked if we were married.

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