Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hello Turkey

Day 46 Malko Turnovo to Kirkareli Turkey

After a night of listening to barking dogs, a 3:00 Am thunder storm, and the worlds hardest beds, we crawled out of our soviet era apartment slum to have breakfast under a cold cloudly sky. The riders were stamping their feet to keep warm and there was a mist in the air. I was wishing that I had put my arm and leg warmers on.

Soon we were off towards the boarder of Turkey. It was an 11 km climb up a very steep back road which lead to the Turkish boarder which was right at the summit. Although I had been cold I was soon sweating. When we reached the boarder there turned out to quite a few vehicles including a couple of tour buses. At the boarder into Turkey you have to go inside to purchase a visa. For Canadians it was $60.00 USD. Finally after a interminably long time processing people in front of me, it is my turn where my passport is stamped in less than 20 seconds and I am on my way.

From the boarder it is down hill through 6 kms of construction. The construction equipment has spread mud and oil on the road and it is extremely slippery. Well before you know it I am laying on my back in the mud. My rear wheel just spun out and my bike came out from under me laying me down into the mud. I jumped up right away but too late I am covered in mud. I walked my bike for about 200 feet though the worst of it and then got on and rode down the hill to lunch where I took plenty of teasing.

It was threatening rain again so Jim and I didn’t hang around lunch we were only a few kilometres out of town and we didn’t want to get wet. The highway turned into this brand new freeway with 12 foot shoulders and lots of really steep hills. I hit my record speed, for this trip, of 58 kms/hr on one of the down hills.

As we approached town we were greeted by the police who directed us to our hotel. I had seen the police and the military along the road but hadn’t thought anything of it. When we got to the hotel we learned that our Turkish guide had arranged for the police and the military to watch over us during our stay in Turkey.

Later the guide took us on a walking tour of the town’s historic district and then out to a supper which was hosted in a very fancy restaurant by the town’s mayor. It was a wonderful five course meal. There was a live band which was playing traditional Gypsy music. Well let’s just say that it wasn’t AC/DC.

A very short, but muddy day of only 50kms.

Well thanks for visiting my blog and thanks for your great comments


No comments: