We love Turkey, Turkish people and most of all…hills in Turkey…well, that at least has become the mantra of most of the riders. Today began around 2am with the boys staying next door to our campsite setting off fireworks and although they were pretty, the timing for a bunch of tired riders was not so welcome.
Wake up began with a blast of Doris’ horn, some music from the Trainspotting soundtrack and the usual rush to have breakfast, get water, energy bars (yes, they have come from Africa to Asia), put tent down, pack up red box, write down directions (there are plenty of twists and turns in Turkey) and finally…ride off. The ride itself started with some climbing, of course, but the views were spectacular, the villages quaint, the people so friendly and thankfully the sun hid behind the clouds for the most part of the day which kept the temperatures down on an already “scorcher” of a day. The winding narrow roads made it slow going for the two trucks aptly named Doris and Sweetness and the ups and downs made it slow going for some of the riders. However, the racing bunch of Danie, Este, Sandra, Phillip and Scott were off and away eating up the hills and churning through the villages.
Today was also wedding day in the district…the roads busy with decorated cars and horns going off everywhere. Lunch was a well shaded terrace with tables and chairs, a cool breeze and a shelter keep the sun’s rays away. The washrooms nearby were exquisitely tiled, decorated and clean as well as been stocked with…no, it can’t be…toilet paper. Unfortunately, even though there was ample tomato, cucumber, tuna, pickle, mayonnaise, peanut butter, honey and tasty peaches and nectarines most riders came through begging off eating as they had all been stopped by a wedding party up the road, dragged in (kicking and screaming of course!) and fed up on rice, chicken and vegetables so staminade and water were the favours of the day – most riders made use of the nearby shops and brought up big on ice creams and soft drinks.
So after a morning of rolling hills (yes, they definitely were today), paddocks of corn, sunflowers, cows, tractors, motorbikes, tea stops…we hit the D100 – a major two lane highway where the only thing that moves slowly is the support van stopping to pick up riders. Trucks, cars, buses and motorbikes were screaming up and down the highway that for most part you were too scared to veer right or left for fear of being squished on the road! But it was only for 30kms and the finish (can’t say flag as we don’t have one at present) is the Camdag Hotel with comfy beds, a bar, a fantastic balcony, a view of mountains and hills and perched on the D100! Riders are oblivious to the noise though as the luxury of a bed and a shower has taken over the need for some quiet…plus…they are too tired to even hear the noise tonight.
Another day in the paradise that we call Asia…