Day 43: Finally, A Beautiful Day; From Igirdir to Huyuk in Turkey
June 12, 2012; Distance covered today: 113 Km; Total: 3224 Km
I was wondering if I am having a holiday. For the last couple of weeks, specially since it has gotten hot, I have woken up around five in the morning packed and left the campgrounds or even hotels!
|I woke up to this|
Today was not an exception. I was up before five in the morning and left the campground at 6. There was doing my best to be fast, to cover some ground before it gets hot. The ride in the morning started with some climbing. The road was along the lake. So the scenery was awesome.
I stopped at a supermarket and bought some bread, cheese, and a chocolate milk. I had some the bread with cheese. For the next couple of hours, I was on the saddle and biking nonstop. Only once did I stop for 5 minutes to eat some berries, and 10 minutes at a cafe to have some tea and the rest of the bread with cheese. The scenery was getting better and better.
In the early afternoon, as I was biking along the road, I saw a family sitting by their farm. They shouted at me to stop and have a sip of water with them. I did, and enjoyed being with them for the next half hour. They gave me a tomato, a cucumber and some really thick and difficult to chew bread. I had them with such a joy. I talked to the kids, one of whom, Ayeshe, was very intelligent. She asked me about Canada and if there are igloos and pinguins there. She wanted to be a doctor and her sister, Sheyda, wanted to be a teacher. I gave my camera to Ayeshe and asked her to take photos from the family as many as she wants. I got their address, and I promised to send a hard copy of the photos to them.
|The Farmer's Family|
I kept riding and riding. I wanted to get to my goal, Huyuk, before it gets really hot. At about 3 o’clock, I realized that I needed to eat something or I will soon collapse. I had ignored the rule of biking for the last two hours or so: eat before you are hungry, drink before you are thirsty.
I stopped and a gas station and asked if they have some tea with “akmak” which means bread. They said they don’t but they can make tea in 10 minutes. I thought it was too long and decided to leave. Then I asked the staff how many kilometers there were to Huyuk. He asked me where I was going. I told him to Konya to visit Movlana. As soon as I said that, the guy invited me in his office, gave me a seat, and brought me some bread, cheese, melon, and olives. I had it and got some drink from the fridge as well. Then when I wanted to pay for the food and the drink, they staff charged me only for the drink and said that the food was for free. I again insisted, but he was firm.
|The Gentleman at the gas tation|
I kept riding again on the beautiful road. For some reason, it was cool today. There were some clouds in the sky which, sometimes, would blog the sun.
At about 4:30, I got close to the road I was going to take to Huyuk. I saw or I thought I saw some panniers behind the trees on the side of the road. Yes… there were two cyclists. One of them stood up, waved to stop me, but I was going to meet them right away. I didn’t need him to stop me. We, I mean me and the other cyclists, were so happy and excited to have run into each other. It felt like we had known each other for years. It is an amazing mutual feeling that only exists in these kind of adventures. You never ever experience something like this if you are traveling by car.
|The cyclists I met|
They were touring around Turkey and they wanted to go to Georgia as well. It was very exciting and interesting to have met them. After having a coffee with them, we departed. After five minutes, I saw a potential place to stay, a big restaurant with a huge garden. I went in and asked if there is a place to camp in the next 20 Km or so. The owner said I could camp there for free. I said that I would buy food from his restaurant for dinner then.
I pitched up my tent in the corner of the yard, washed myself and my clothes in the washroom, and went to meet some locals.
It was a very interesting experience. Every 10 minutes or so, a new group of locals would walk into the café, have a chat while having tea and organic strawberries. Almost all of them would come to my table, sit and have a chat and all. They were truck drivers, farmers, even the mayor of the village came to chillax there. The experience was unique.
|One of the groups who came in for tea|
|Kofta for Dinner|
Later in the evening, two guys came and invited me to go to a disco with them. I refused politely and said that I was really tired and needed to get to sleep. Then I had dinner, Kofta with salad. It was delicious. After dinner, I asked how much I should pay, and the owner said, 10 Lira. I had only a 20- lira bill, so I gave him a twenty. Like the woman the other day who did not give me any change, he, also, put the bill into his pocket!!! Mmm… I thought… Turkish people wouldn’t give any change. I decided to break all my bills to small bills and coins tomorrow.