Hi Doc, yes I'm sorry not to be in touch. I'm now only posting on Facebook because it is the quickest place to upload photos and also seems to reach the most number of people. Apologies to anyone here interested, but because much of my time is spent on the road and because I'm finding wi-fi and internet connections very slow and unreliable, I can only find the time to post to one site.
I suppose the most consequential news is that my back has decided to go out, so I can't ride and am stranded in a hotel on the Turkish-Iraqi border. I was going to cross over into the autonomous Kurdish region of what was formerly Iraq this week, but I have had informed local advice that the situation there is worsening and it is best not to go. That's a disappointment but there is plenty on the border to keep me occupied (people here do not hold their opinions lightly) and I've had some fascinating encounters.
We are now in the middle of Ramadan which means that getting food during the day is a problem. The only place open in town is called People's Coffee. When I looked at the logo and the decor, though, it looked suspiciously like Starbucks. And that's exactly what it is. So there's the irony. I never eat in chain stores or restaurants at home, and so my first meal in a Starbuck's restaurant has been here on the Iraqi border. Being Turkey, though, I'm having endless long conversations with the staff and other customers. Quite an education. Not something you could say of Starbucks at home. The other thing is that it is HOT. So, as soon as I can ride again I will finish my trip along the border and head north towards lake Van where it will be at least 10 degrees cooler. Loads of other stuff to tell, but I'll need to keep this short. If anyone is interested they can find me on