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February 7th, 2007 | categorizilation: all categories,Turkey

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Today’s distance / 今日の走行距離: 93.27km
Average speed / 平均速度: 13.6km/h
Time on bike / 走行時間: 6h 49m
Total distance to date / 今日までの積算距離: 3298.0km (plus 4200km)
Ascent / 上り: +680m
Descent / 下り: -675m

Ugh. Sore throat this morning. Someone is dragging barbed wire down my throaaaaaat…

Generally feeling under the weather all day today. I almost forgot all about my throat and general non well being when a police car pulled up in front of me, the cops jump out, shake my hand heartily, and thrust me a newspaper, with an article about me in it.

I got in the Zonguldak Paper (Zonguldak, Black Sea coast of Turkey)

Awaiting translation from someone who is in the know.

The day was mostly flat, following the coast.

Beach near Alapli, Black Sea coast of Turkey

Excitement at lunchtime however. I had myself in a nice little titch. The cafe I pulled up to looked closed. I asked a person nearby who looked like he was in the know, and he said the cafe was closed. Not so good. The next town was about 15kms away, and it was already 2pm.

I was just about to pull away, when a short bald guy with eyes really close together trotted out of the cafe. ‘Cafe’s open! Welcome!’ They had beef patties or chicken on the menu. I chose the beef patties.

They were over cooked, served with a few slices of cucumber, and some old bread.

I ate the patties, and cucumber, but left the bread. All washed down with 500ml of bottled water.

I stood and asked the short bald guy with eyes really close together how much I owed.

’9YTL (NZ$9, US$7)’ he indicated with nine stubby fingers. For the readers’ reference, I paid 5YTL for fresh beef patties on a bed of soft rice, a large fresh salad, and fresh bread, the day before.

‘Ah, no. I don’t think so, mate. Try again. how much do I owe?’ I said calmly.

’9YTL. Seven for the patties, two for the water’ the short bald guy with eyes really close together said.

I almost laughed. Now I knew he was trying to rip me off.

’2YTL for 500ml of water?!’ I asked incredulously.

I raised my voice.

‘I am a tourist! I have lots of money, do I?!’ I shouted, still smiling at the madness of it all. I couldn’t believe this guy was ripping me off.

‘OK, OK, 5YTL’ he said.

I showed him a 20YTL note. The short bald guy with eyes really close together halted, as if to say, ‘we don’t have change’.

The owner looking guy, hearing the raucous, walked over and asked how much change I had. I showed him the 1.90YTL in coins I had, and said that that would do. I handed him the change, and headed out of the door, shaking my head.

So I ended up only paying 1.90YTL for lunch.

I fumed for 20 minutes or so as I pedalled. I considered biking back and giving the short bald guy with eyes really close together a bit more of my mind. The cheek of it all.

After lunch highlights were the extra safe (not) powerline technicians with no harnesses:

The guys on the powerpole have no safetly line (safe work place near Akcakoca, Black Sea caost of Turkey)

Bees with red bulbous legs:

Bee with crazy red legs (near Kuyumculu, Black Sea coast of Turkey)

And something I have seen often here on the side of the road in Turkey. Bottles full of what I assume is urine. I can only assume that long haul truckers pee into the bottles while they drive and then throw them out? At least that’s what I’ve convinced myself of.

Bottle full of urine (near Akcakoca, Black Sea coast of Turkey)

Towards the end of the day, I came upon Guntur Holiday Village. Deserted. Only the security guys. They waved me through the gates, and I headed straight for the deserted beach. Massive, open, calm, windswept. Perfect.

Deserted beach (Guntur Holiday Village, Black Sea coast of Turkey)

Deserted beach (Guntur Holiday Village, Black Sea coast of Turkey)

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    Permanent Link     Comments (10)

Comment by carl w. — February 11, 2007 @ 1:42 pm | post a comment

good to see your still ticking along. I'm no expert on wee in a bottle but I've driven very long distances. I've considered the urges you get and from this I've come the conclusion that it's impossible to wee into a little tiny bottle while driving along. However the other urge I've had is very possible which is to shoot roadsigns while on the move. I refer to the rather nice picture of the signs with holes… Anyway keep out of trouble and lookforward to further installments of your travels.

Comment by Rob Thomson — February 11, 2007 @ 1:57 pm | post a comment

Carl, perhaps they have a funnel and tube all set up already, just in case. As for the holey signs, they rather like their guns here in Turkey, and the signs bear the brunt.

Comment by carl w. — February 11, 2007 @ 3:14 pm | post a comment

Well there's where my travelling all falls appart a funnel and pipe never thought of it. I've always tried the mk.1 version with poor results and just below average results.

make sure when your out and about you don't look like a road sign or get the urge to hide behind one just incase… Nothing wrong with gun totting as you'll notice there are lots of roadsign with bullet holes even in darkest surrey! Considering it's near impossible to own a shooter over here it always makes me wonder how they make the holes and shotgun blast patterns.

all the best


Comment by Mum — February 11, 2007 @ 4:24 pm | post a comment

I wonder if the people who read the news paper think that all NZers are wild and woolly?

Comment by Daniel — February 11, 2007 @ 5:10 pm | post a comment

Aren't they? :-)

Comment by Jean — February 12, 2007 @ 2:52 pm | post a comment

Hi Rob,

bees with red legs? must be flowers with red pollen around somewhere.

By the way, I translated the article for you…

"Lovesick over Turkish Kebabs"

An English varmint from Japan riding an oyster bicycle has come 6-7 km – he is Rob Thomson (26), a Zonguldakian eunuch. Turkish constables welcomed Rob, surely the 6th yokel since Cindy the cameraman to wear a basin on his head, who said he loved those crazy turkish kebabs with soya sauce. Tomorrow Thomson will head for Yarim with bells on for more crazy Turkish cooking.

Glad the tape on your zipworked, hope your jacket didn't suffer too much


Comment by Aunty Jenny — February 12, 2007 @ 4:32 pm | post a comment

Safety over there is obviously not a priority! I hope the guy had a good head for heights?! The translation of the article was very funny. You didn't know you were a eunich did you? As for the urine bottles,I wonder what the people of 4007 will think of them?! Actually I don't think there will be anything left for them to find by then. Buildings are built to last only 50 years these days, so I think you are right, all they will find is rubbish. Incredible to think that 2000 years ago, without the aid of our technology, they were able to make things that are still standing and still being used today … and we think we are so clever now!

Comment by Rob Thomson — February 18, 2007 @ 8:37 am | post a comment


LOL at Daniel.

LOL at Jean.

Comment by Joeru — February 21, 2007 @ 6:04 am | post a comment

Rob. It's been a while. Lookin good man! The bottles are pee for sure. My bro works for the roads dept in Pennsylvania; he can vouch.

Enjoy Turkey you "English varmint"

Comment by Rob 2 — February 21, 2007 @ 9:04 am | post a comment

Skip the bottle.. better just to wee free.

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