We wake up in a hotel at the foot of the mountains. Looking behind us, we are almost afraid that a part of the rock may break off, it is very protruding and jagged.

The first sleepy faces start coming into the breakfast room, just one of them is certainly awake and active… it’s Ruben’s! He will be turning 50 years old today, and although he tries not to show it, he is clearly “exited.” Of course, he might have preferred to spend this particular day along with his family instead of spending it between customs and several kilometers of road, but he will catch up having a big party once he goes back to Italy.

A couple of mocha coffees of our excellent coffee Borbone and then straight to the frontier after nearly 20 km. Here we start the first paperwork. Incredibly everything is over speedily. We say goodbye to Ibrahim who has been more than a guide he has become a friend, and here we start our Turkish adventure. Unfortunately, we won’t have too much time to dedicate to this country, but we have in mind a couple of stops which we are sure won’t be disappointing us.

The first kilometers we drive already surprise us! As we leave the Ararat behind us, we start entering the country by driving on the road that crosses the Anatolian plateau, a wavy plateau that, especially at this time of year, with its different shades of greenery which covers it, takes on a fascinating and fairytale-like charm. The D100 motorway’s bends run between the canyons at the foot of the hilly areas we cross. It’s impossible not to be astonished and pleasantly surprised in front of the seductive charm of the travelling itinerary which opens in front of the Overland caravan.

Also, the many kilometers still to go are not wearisome for the drivers given the amazing beauty which their eyes are gazing.

We reach the town of Erzincan by seven o’clock (we have gained one hour and a half with the Turkish time) and here we will be spending the night.

We would like to celebrate Rubens’s 50th birthday with a toast, but we will have to settle for 50 candles for today distributed over two wonderful and tasty cakes that are highly appreciated by the whole group. Turkey, though less restrictive, is still a Muslim country and it’s not easy to find alcoholic drinks.

But don’t worry travelling buddy! We will make up for it as soon as possible!