We drove from Kars to Lake Van through several mountain passes (2100 – 2400 m) for the whole afternoon. Lake Van is the largest lake in Turkey in the Armenian highlands at 1,640 m above sea level. It is a saline soda lake (pH 9.8), receiving water from many small streams that descend from the surrounding mountains. It is one of the world’s few endorheic lakes (a lake having no outlet). The western portion of the lake is the deepest, with a large basin deeper than 400 m.
This time it was not easy to get the sim card – Turkcell – 90 days validity – 30 days / 20 GB – at the airport (pure scam 1000 TRY), in Istanbul (in a tourist area around 600 – 700 TRY), in the outskirts of Istanbul (450 TRY), in Eastern Turkey (350 TRY). To get more data, you will pay 3 GB / 93 TRY, 6 GB / 105 TRY, 10 GB / 125 TRY, 15 GB / 149 TRY, 20 GB / 169 TRY, and 25 GB / 185 TRY. The diesel we usually tank in some better petrol station (Shell, Aytemiz, Petrol), and we always choose the better (bit more expensive) diesel like Optimum, V/Max, etc., (22,46 TRY / l). AdBlue is available under the name JetBlue and usually costs around 14 TRY / liter).
Parking location – Tatvan: 38.514125N 42.291644E (🚻 – 07:00-24:00)