If we had to summarize with a photo our last six weeks of cycling across Turkey from West to East I think that a cup of “Çay” -The Turkish Tea- would be the right shot…
The cup of Çay represent perfectly Turkish hospitality. Really INCREDIBLE! We’ve had so many teas offered by strangers…and by the end of Turkey we started to be addicted 🙂
We were impressed by the generosity of the people that we met on the street and the way they treated us: like we were part of their family!
Every time we were stopping for a short break on the road, someone was suddenly appearing with a cup of tea, a bag full of candies, a sandwich, a pack of biscuit…sometimes a full lunch or dinner! And how many amazing breakfast we’ve had….with tomatoes, fresh cheese, cucumbers, olives, hot bread, honey….. So good!
Speaking of bread…in Turkey they eat a lot of it, you often find it warm and in many different versions depending on the region where you are. They also make many variety of “Turkish Pizza”, “Sesam Bagels” and cheese filled “Focaccias”. Heaven for the hungry cyclists :).
We decided to cycle along the Black Sea coast. After passing Istanbul we ended up on crazy steep hills with nearly 100% humidity and very hot temperatures that made our days really hard. So we decided to cycle the first part inland.
It has been a long way to cross the all country in summer, about 1500 km often on very busy roads, full of tracks, sometimes having to sleep in very unusual places. We’ve had some nights sleeping on petrol stations, putting our tent between the highway and the fuel pump…in a little square of grass….with trucks passing full speed just a few meters away…making our tent shake! …sweet dreams…..
Along the way we met so many wonderful people that opened the door of their homes, sometimes even giving us the luxury of a shower (after 4 or 5 days without washing ourselves, it was such a pleasure…enjoying every drop of water) and sometimes even a bed!
After the first half of the country, being back on the Black Sea coast gave us a break, the temperatures and humidity dropped down and suddenly we found ourselves in the middle of tea plantations! It was such a pleasure to camp on the beach and cycle with the smell of the fresh green leaves of tea. Even better waking up in the morning and having a cup of it from the garden just beside!
We now entered Georgia….you pass an imaginary line and suddenly you are in another world…
See you in 1000 km!! 🙂