SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER
Another scorcher of a day here in Turkey! Actually the morning started out quite overcast and cool and the landscape changed once again as we hit mountain ranges and rice fields. The valley floor was a myriad of shades of green and the rocky mountain outcrops rose up against us on either side. It was another day on the D100 but with less traffic, more rolling hills and some long descents, it made for an excellent morning of riding with the first riders hitting the lunch stop by 9.30am. Did I mention that the scenery was incredible today…again! Well, it didn’t make much difference whether you made lunch by 9.30 or 10am because by that time the sun rays had peeked out and were pounding the pavement making the best of us crave shady rest spots, cold water and the protection of the trees at our campsite. While the riders were out on the hot roads, Miles and Hatice (our lovely Turkish translator) were meeting with the deputy mayor of Ozmanik and making last minute changes to our campsite. Our home tonight is a small park next door to the local hospital. It has some trees for shade, lots of grass, a hose with cold running water and a mass of children who spent the afternoon swarming around the tents. Not only did the children of the town pay us a visit, but the deputy mayor, the head of the technical college, the tourism officer, some local press and, of course, the police (or Polisi, as they are called here). Tired, hot and weary riders limped into the campsite (but they are getting fit and strong), found the shadiest spot and then headed to the showers down the street. A few ventured into town but came back looking like a shriveled up prunes after a day in the sun. Thankfully, there was soup, bread, watermelon and loads of water available to consume and many dragged themselves to the shade of a tree or tent to sleep the hot afternoon away. Although exhausted, they continue to amaze with their enthusiasm and general laid back attitude to each day; they just pack up, get on their bikes and ride through the challenges that each riding day brings. The town of Ozmanik is a friendly and busy little town with some great bakeries and cake shops and is surrounded by mountains. When the call to prayer happens it echoes on each side of the valley, an amazing sound! At every shop, if you spend longer than 5 seconds, you are offered water or tea. Such is the hospitality of the Turkish people! So, another day sweated out on section number 1 of the Silk Route and another day of bike heaven slowly melts away.
Leave a Comment for "Turkish Hospitality"