Today was hard day at the office.
The first day of cycling and what a day to begin with!
An 80km ride from Ankara to Beypazari through massive hills up to 3000 meters! I found myself singing 99 bottles of beer on the wall repeatedly just to help the time pass and make it up the huge slopes. It was also freeeeeeezing. We all had on at least three layers of bike tops, vests and jackets and were still feeling cold.
We were extremely fortunate to have a ride out of the CBB with Sarah, Ian and Dave from the embassy who had offered to take us because we were scared enough to cross the street in Ankara let alone ride through the peak hour traffic!
It was a daunting prospect with the ride alone but the drivers in Turkey are notoriously bad and the likelihood of getting run over seemed rather high. However we found the drivers to be really courteous, they changed lanes to give us room and we received lots of friendly waves and toots. One guy even opened the door of a Dolmuş bus and was hanging half out to shout out Merhaba!
The farmers were very friendly too lots of waves offers for çay and a few tractors stopped to make sure we didn’t have a flat tyre when we took breaks.
Poor old Jord felt it. It got to the point where for the last 15kms (all downhill) we were going 7 kms an hour into a head wind. Tough. That was with having taking both his font panniers too.
We met some super friendly cyclists from Belgium who were riding from Brussels to Hong Kong, just a little further than us (in the more uphill direction too!)! They were also camping! I doubt our tent will see action more than five times!
We reached Beypazari at 5pm, 8 hours after leaving Ankara!
Jordy ate two mains at tea plus a basket of bread and just about fell asleep at the table.
We also tried the most disgusting drink şaman that when we read the ingredients turned out to be fermented turnip juice, tomato and salt. Dad wouldn’t even drink two mouthfuls for 10 lira that’s how bad it was!
Tomorrow is only 50 and less hilly so it should be easier, fingers crossed!
Getting set to go, the horrible drink and Jordy the very hungry boy!