Noah’s Gruel

Gobi made us an early breakfast today so we could get on the road, he’s awesome.
While we were eating we met an Australian couple with a young baby that we also hoping to ride through turkey one day. They said they might have been able to top the amount of people having photos with jordy and I because their blond baby gets a fair bit of attention ­čÖé
Even with an early breakfast we somehow didn’t manage to leave until 9:30 which wasn’t ideal because the day’s forecast was hot and we had 80kms to cover to get to ┼×el├žuk in two days.
The first 25kms ended up being a breeze. It was really flat with a beautiful road and a strong tail wind.
At the 25km mark. We hit a junction where we had three choices. One was to continue on the highway another 60kms and stay in Izmir, the second was to ride another 30kms on the highway and then take a back road and stay in Muradiye and the third was take the back way all the way to Muradiye.
Dad was adamant we wanted to avoid Izmir so that plan was canned and it was a choice between more highway or none. I voted for more highway so we’d cover more ground quickly and wouldn’t be gambling on having to cross a mountain range that was marked nearby on our map. Democracy won though and back road all the way it was.
We had morning tea just off the road at a village milkbar where there were some very enthusiastic shop workers. Fatma gave us ├žay and biscuits and her assistant told us all about his three kids. Head two sons and a daughter but he didn’t like his sons all that much!
I also got a great shot of the old men who sit and drink ├žay all day in the village square.
After we left Zeytinda─č the day became tough!
It was hills, hills and more hills! 30 degrees and no breeze! One mountain went for five kms, needless to say I couldn’t help a few “I told you so”s.
After two hours (and just 14kms!) we reached the only town marked on our map to have lunch.
We found a cafe which only had one thing available but which turned out to be the best d├Âner of the trip!
There was only one other patron, a teacher at the local primary school. He ended up calling the English teacher, ┼×irin, to come and talk to us. ┼×irin was super friendly nd told us all about his work as an English teacher.
We were invited to visit the school which we thought was pretty cool. So off wewernt in our bike clothes. The kids were so friendly, we were surrounded by voices yelling, “Hello! What is your name?”.
┼×irin gave us a tour of the school and we met the religion and morals teacher who gave us some sweet porridge like stuff that the kids had made which apparently came from the prophet Noah. Dad called it Noah’s gruel because it did look pretty unappetizing. Dad and I loved it but it Jordy didn’t because it also had sultanas and chickpeas in it! We met all the other teachers and found out the first one we’d met in the cafe used to be a professional handball player. He told us about a saying in Turkeys that’s, ‘if you can’t play sport you play handball’ which we liked.
It was getting on so we we had to keep moving. The next 30kms weren’t as bad as the morning’s but we were tired and it was still hot.
The last 10 were brilliant though. We hit a river and followed the valley downhill for all of it into Muradiye.
Just our luck though there wasn’t one place to stay in the whole town of 10 000 people!
That meant another 15kms to the bigger city of Manisa. We rode around for half an hour there looking for accommodation too, even the Lonely Planet didn’t have anything marked. After about the 600th person we asked we were given directions to a pansiyon. It was 30 lira each without breakfast but we didn’t care we were so tired. They put us on the top floor though so we had to drag all our stuff up four flights of stairs!
We just bought cheap kebaps and dad and jordy shared a tub of ice cream, the dinner of people too tired to do anything else!

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2 Comments

Filed under 2012, Ankara to Athens, Gallery

2 responses to “Noah’s Gruel

  1. Mon Hose

    Looks just like the old Italian men who sit on the seat outside my work in Pakington St West Geelong.

  2. Jen

    Back on the job now … am catching up on all your posts – still loving them – the wry comments and photos. Lovely!

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