Sunday, August 16, 2009

Syria Part 3 - Like cycling in an armpit

I am speeding through these posts trying to catch up to my present location (Tripoli, Lebanon) so I may update these later to add more.

Hama - Homs short 50km ride to Syria's 3rd largest city. Rather uneventful.

From Homs I pulled a really long day to the coast. The Syrian scenery really redeemed itself on that leg. Half way to the coastal city of Tartus, I made a detour for Krak De Chevaliers (Qa'alat al-Hosn). This crusader castle was quite spectacular. Unfortunately the road up the mountain was the steepest I have seen on the trip. Half way up, in the scorching heat, a motorcycle stopped and threw me a rope. Why not? Towed 2km uphill I made it to the Krak and enjoyed the spectacular view. After the heat of the day had passed, I carried on to reach the Mediterranean for the tail end of sunset. Oh God, the humidity!!!!!!! Hence the title of the post: like cycling in an armpit. It was (and still is in Tripoli) a most miserable combination of heat and humidity (and trash covered coastline). But Tartus was kind to me. I was invited to a Greek Orthodox choir performance for the assumption of the Virgin Mary and most surprising for me I met someone I knew! When I started my cycling trip over 2 years ago from Turkey to Vietnam, I stayed the first night at my friend Paola's apartment on her flatmate Daniele's floor. Well there in Tartus I spotted him again. Small world, no?


  1. James I am so excited for your latest journey. I only wish I had the will, time, and stamina to embark on something similar. Please keep posting and please take care of yourself. I hope you are also keeping a journal as you have the makings of an awesome novel.

  2. James my man, I just had to replace my spokes too. Sounds like you figured it out though, well done. I am all about a cyclists cupper (supper)sounds great. Good luck dude and see you soon.

  3. James, hope you survived the incredible humidity on the coast and reached Beirut and then Damascus ok. Too bad we had the opposite itineraries from Tartus on, the rest of our trip was similar to the Tartus experience... would include some pics (incl. the Tartus ones of the choir and the hotel party) if I only knew how to do that on this page. well, keep up and once in Europe, make sure you drop by in Prague. see you, Jana.

  4. Hi james! Sadly I'm here in Italy again... I will send you by email that picture I've taken in front of the Krak... it is very beautiful!
    Hope you are well!
    See you soon!