Friday 27 May 2011

Turtles and Snakes

It seems a strange concept to almost run over a snake but I have almost run over 'lots' of snakes, add to that a couple of turtles and we have ourselves a trip through the meandering fields of  Northern Turkey. Beautiful fields of wheat are giving way to the mountains I can see in the far off distance, I am very excited to enter Bulgaria, and that will happen some time this afternoon. The last 4-500km have gone by quite quickly as I have been making early starts and biking until late in the evening when the temperature drops back below 30 degrees.

Gallipoly Pensular. very sth west point

A quick jaunt around the Gallipoli Pensular without my luggage took me to many places I have never been before. I saw many of the turkish monuments that are glossed over when you do a tour. Its not that I could understand the writing but simply by being there I felt I was getting a sense of the place. Again wandering through the now shallow trenches near lone pine I felt the unimaginable closeness the allied forces muct have felt when they were nearing the trenches of the Turks.

NZ monument Gallipoli

I slept the night before last in a farmers field and was given a handful of green beans out of the garden and a fist full of strawberries to have after dinner. In the morning a security guard from the enclosed compound next door came over with a steaming hot tea and some sweet bread for breaky. What a solid start to a long day pressing into a persistant wind.

Doris broke a spoke a couple of days ago but seems to be running fine after a quick change so I think it was just a one off, not like last time she threw a hissy and broke four in a day. She did fall on me which has caused me to be stern with her. As we came to a stop at a lovely lunch spot under a big shady tree I lost my balance, was half a second too late getting my foot out of the clips and that was that, I was on the ground and Doris was on top of me, laughing I bet.

Sunset from a farmers field

In another small milestone I will cover 2000km later this afternoon, not long after crossing the boarder into Bulgaria. Leaving the big thanks giving bird behind I will keep close to the Black Sea and then set about crossing some of the big passes that are the back bone of what is considered a very beautiful country. At least thats what I am told. I bet people who said that were not sweating their hair out struggling with 30kg of bike and gear up a dirty great hill into the wind. Its fun believe me.

A green bug

Speaking of hills. I was at the end of a long day where I had set a small town as my target. With 20km left to go I was waved down by a fellow tour rider and we had a brief chat. He was a hotel guy so was not carrying a lot of gear but I thought I would try and not get passed by this chap if I could help it. Panting up this particularly long incline I looked over my sholder to see a rider at the bottom. Bugger, how did he catch me so quickly. This is where the first realisation in my life came that I may have a competetive streak in me. Without looking back any more I put my head down and ass up and gunned it for another 20 minutes to the top of the hill, just in time to pull over and have a professional riding bunch of 12 guys glide past me. It was not the chubby German guy at all. The cheeky bastards waved me onto the back of the bunch so there I was exhaused from climbing as hard as I could sitting at the back of a bunch of pro riders all in uniform and shiny bikes and me with all my bags, a filthy shirt and a smile as big as can be in my face. For the next 10km I just sat on the back and sped along keeping pace. I looked behind to get a wave from the support car. Unfortunately I thought he was waving me off so I back away, thankful I had not looked back earlier, as it happens though he was waving me over to the car for some riding snacks. Then to get me back to the bunch he told me to hold the car and he dragged me back to the buch where I hung on all the way into town.

I have enjoyed Turkey and loved the baklava. I had four bits the other day of this very tasty sweet treat. One for me, one for my brother and two pieces for Pip...mmmmmmm yummy

1 comment:

  1. Mate - following every leg of this folly! Nice work on the bike fix... ever the helpful chap. Keep it up and see you at The Ritz for tea!