Today’s distance / 今日の走行距離: 106.03km
Average speed / 平均速度: 13.5km/h
Time on bike / 走行時間: 7h 49m
Total distance to date / 今日までの積算距離: 2527.8km (plus 4200km)
Ascent / 上り: +1015m
Descent / 下り: -965m
Ahhhhh. A strong tail wind once again. This is the kind of cycle touring I like.
I was surprisingly keen to keep cycling this morning after yesterday’s epic mileage, but who can argue with a strong tailwind?
It pushed me through Amasya, which is apparently actually a very picturesque tourist town. I hardly caught a glimpse as I motored through.
It almost pushed me through Suluova Town also, if it was not for the wonderful chaps at a brand new petrol station on the outskirts of town. I stopped there to buy some snacks, and ended up having a shower there. My first in two weeks. I didn’t realise how much I stunk until I had a shower. Then I realised how much my clothes stink. My clothes haven’t been washed since New Years in Georgia. That is coming up on a month. I can’t wait to get to a hostel in Istanbul with a washing machine.
The new petrol station had everything. A sports room with a treadmill and stepper, a mosque, and of course showers. All for tired long distance truckers. And smelly long distance cyclists. Thank you for the shower!
Towards the end of the day, just before dark, I began the usual search for a suitable campspot. To my dismay however, the area around Vezirkopru is very heavily cultivated. I don’t know what they grow here, but at this time of year, all the fields are freshly ploughed, and very muddy.
As it grew darker and darker, I knew that I was in trouble. There was nowhere to camp! I continued cycling for half an hour after dark, dismayed.
I entered another small town, whose name I can’t remember. Too small to be on the map. I spied their school. It was the only hope. The courtyard was brightly lit, so I quickly wheeled my bike across it into the shadows near the sports hall. If I lay low until about 7pm, then I can spread out my mat and sleep here, I thought.
At 6:30pm however, people started to mill around the school. It appears that the local lads use it as a gathering place in the evenings. It was a matter of minutes before I was noticed by one. He stared at me for about a minute, before scurrying off. In another few minutes, a whole gang of youths about 16 or 17 years old were surrounding me, bombarding me with all the usual questions. “Where are you from?” “Why are you here?”
I decided it was time to get out of there, so packed up my things, and left. It was pitch black, with only my small LED torch to light my way on the dark country road. I was convinced that I would be cycling all night, when finally I saw an area of uncultivated land. Trees to hide me from the road…
It did cross my mind that it was strange that there should be a spot of unploughed land in such a very cultivated area. It was only in the morning that I saw that where I lay for the night was surrounded in gravestones. I had slept outside under a tree in the middle of a graveyard. No wonder I slept so soundly!