The world’s longest cup of tea

We had a pretty speccy day!
We left Beypazari later than we planned because breakfast only began at 9, life doesn’t start too early here!
A record was made, 7 kms out of town without a stop to fix something. As we were standing by the road a man walked over and invited is over for çay. His name was ‘Ali!’ and he ran the local petrol station. Luckily we had soon exhausted our Turkish and he his English so we were able to get back at it pretty quickly.
The weather was perfect conditions; cool and no wind. It was slightly uphill but nothing we couldn’t manage! It was certainly the best 30km stretch we’ve done.
We had lunch at Saruhan that made us think of the Lord of the Rings. We saw the shire at Cappadocia (the underground cities with such low ceilings for what felt like little people) and rode through the hills on Mordor on the first day. Jordy and I thought “one does not simply ride from Ankara to Athens” would make a good meme!
The Belgians we met had mentioned they’d run out of food in between Nalihan and Göynük and so we didn’t want to repeat that mistake. Unfortunately the supermarket at our afternoon tea shop was closed for a siesta when we arrived. We waited for it to reopen and bought some much needed sustenance.
We’d barely hopped back on our bikes when another man invited us in for çay. We needed water (the shop didn’t sell it) and so decided to take up the offer.
Unfortunately he didn’t have any ready so had to start from scratch which takes much longer than normal because they put the leaves in cold and boil it together PLUS he only had a wooden stove. So the four of us sat in this room occasionally trying to start a conversation that was completely lost in translation for nearlyn35 minutes, a long time that would have gone to getting up the hills a little quicker! In the mean time he gave us some apples he’d grown and after a few thankyous we were quiet again. FINALLY the çay came out but was soo hot it took at least five minutes to drink. Once we’d finished we said we should keep going motioning riding a bike and he said “tamam, ok”, took our glasses into the kitchen and just as we stood up he brought out more! We felt obliged to drink it (very quickly mind you, it’d reached the hour mark!) and head off. Once outside he motioned us to follow him and began to show us a dam he’d made from the creek to grow fish in 🙂
Eventually we got going only to find that we had the next 20 kms uphill!
It.was.tough. It took ages but we did it!
As a reward we had a 7km descent into Göynük that was freezing! It was 5 degrees but the ‘real feel’ as Jordy calls it was a lot less sweaty and whooshing down into the valley.
We met mum at the Otobus station and had some very helpful men bring chai and find accommodation for us. Unfortunately one hotel was full but as Aunty Poodge’d say we fell with our nose in the butter because we were given a traditional turkish house to stay in (at a discount too!) it’s three floors but only we’re staying in it so we’ve got the entire place not just one floor.

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Filed under 2012, Ankara to Athens

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