On to Georgia!
Goodbye Yusefeli! It was the site of a restful day; airconditioning in hotel rooms, swimming pool, delicious food, great town, scenic location, beautiful river, cold beers, sleeping…and lots of humidity and mosquitoes (we loved it really though!). Say hello to another gorgeous scenic bike ride en route to the Georgian border! Our day took us along two rivers, through a gorge and some “nice rolling hills”. The riders were all in great shape after resting their weary legs yesterday and enjoying the atmosphere in Yusefeli. As the day wore on, the hills grew higher and more rolling (wouldn’t be Turkey if this didn’t happen) finishing with a monster 11km climb just before the rest stop which was at 120km. Duncan and Shanny were helped out there by some of the local boys from the army. They were very nice, very helpful and thoroughly enjoyed filling up water bottles and getting their picture taken. They even invited us to a disco tonight…aaaaahhhh yes!…actually no! Sandra S, Phil, Scott, Brian and a few of the front bunch cruised through lunch quickly as did the majority of the group. That usually signals a great day on the road for us. As the thunder clouds rolled in around 6pm, tired riders struggled through the last remaining hills and cows to our bush camp for the evening, a little oasis perched on top of a small knoll. It has magnificent views of the country side around us; rolling green hills complete with horses and carts. Around 9pm tonight they started moving the cows around so it was a combination of “mooing”, whistles and yells from the local farm boys! The riders were kept honest in their tent pitching skills with a decent rain shower as the last of the riders were brought in due to darkness. They were welcomed with hot food, hot drinks and other riders pitching their tents for them! Tomorrow, of course, there are hills throughout the route, a nice steep climb before lunch and the day culminates in our border crossing from Turkey to Georgia. It has been a strenouous few weeks but the riders have yet to lose their smiles, their motivation and their all-round positive attitude towards the trip. They are a great bunch and we think they are enjoying being a part of biking heaven.