Touring - Turkey, Syria and Jordan in July/August
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01-15-08, 02:40 PM
I am planning a tour of Turkey, Syria and Jordan in July and August. I know these months are hot, but my boss wouldn't let me get vacation any other months.
Have you cycled through these countries during these months? How was it - was it bearable and do-able? Please tell me how you handled the heat.
I would also appreciate if you would share information about good routes through the countries.
01-16-08, 02:24 AM
We were in Turkey in June, when it was just starting to get hot. We found the Mosques were very useful. Even quite small villages had them and they all had water fountains where the faithful wash their hands and feet before prayer. We used them to cool down by soaking our heads. There were also quite a lot of springs by the side of the raod that helped.
Turkey is really great cycling - we loved it. But if you value your life its best to avoid cycling in to or out of Istanbul. The best way to do this is to use one of the ferries that sail into the city centre.
01-16-08, 10:37 AM
It's going to be hot, no doubt about it. I think you'll be looking at temps in the high 30s Celsius in Syria, even above 40C out in the desert. I would suggest that the desert will be a complete no go around Palmyra... very little shade and long distances between water. I would stick to the coastline as much as possible. The nice thing about Syria is that you will find chilled water in nearly every town from shiny metal fridges. Free, cold and very drinkable in our experience. We were in Eastern Europe this summer during the heatwave when temps were approaching 40C. We survived by getting up early, taking long lunch breaks and stopping every chance we got to wet our t-shirts down with water. We soaked them and half an hour later they were dry but just keeping wet helped us to regulate our body temperature.
01-16-08, 01:16 PM
I have never done this myself, but from what I've read, the key is (as avatarworf describes) getting up early in the morning, getting most of your riding done before 10am, then taking a long break in the middle of the day, and continuing around 4-5pm until sundown.
01-16-08, 04:03 PM
These folks traveled through these countries pretty recently - a good read in any case, with some practical info.
01-17-08, 01:59 AM
Another couple thoughts:
In Turkey, the coast may not be the best route. The mountains may well be cooler and the coast is in parts made up of nothing but busy roads and resorts. Horrible for cycling. The far east of Turkey should be beautiful at that time of year. Depending on how long you have and of course how things go with the PKK maybe you could get yourself to Ezerum (sp??) or Van and cycle south to Syria.
Also, in Syria in the summer you should try and reserve rooms where possible. Many people come from the Gulf States to Syria (especially Lattakia and the other coastal resorts) for the relatively cooler temperatures.
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