I ain’t no backpacker!

With the mornings arrival I was on a mission.  I’m not a backpacker, I’m a rider, and I need some good roads.  Turns out, it’s pretty hard not to find them.  Once all the construction is done, the road from the Turkish border to Dohuk will simply be the most boring in KIraq, until then it’s the worst and most boring.

Leaving Dohuk I was careful to take the right road to Arbil, since the main road passes through Mosul and I somehow think that a blonde guy riding a North America licenced bike might fit well in the ‘target’ category.  This fantastic road leads you up into the hills and then through a massive valley with sheer cliffs on each side and rubble strewn hills down the center.  It’s hard to say what your first ‘Ahhh…’ moment will be.

Maybe watching clouds actually pour themselves down the sides of a cliff…

Finding a great little gravel road with view on all sides is hard to beat.

Especially when those views include the magical sight of Amadiya on its plateau…

But for me, my first real WOW! moment was when I got close enough to really see Amadiya in all her glory (well, small town glory).

*Note* Once again I want to say I was in Kurdish Iraq and it is very safe, but you have to be very careful to stay in Kurdish Iraq.  Have good maps, use your GPS with updated maps, ask soldiers at checkpoints where you are (many locals cannot read maps or maps with non-arabic script) etc.  Online sources assume you will be on public transport, on a bike you wander and it’s easy to end up in the wrong place.

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