I’m still not confident that I will get to sleep in the spot I’ve found. It’s the first place with some potential in miles. I’ve been cycling through very exposed, bleak, ploughed earth landscape mixed with various industries, for hours. Nowhere has been ok for camping and there haven’t been any motels. There is a town 20km away but that’s too far to cycle along a motorway in the gathering dark. So, I feel lucky to have found an area of landscaping around a factory where I don’t think I’ll be seen. It’s actually the closest thing to natural landscape that I’ve seen all day, probably. It’s a very ugly, human-ravaged part of the world.
Besides the ugly landscape, the people have been the friendliest so far. I’ve had more encouraging horn toots and waves today than in the last two months combined. I spoke to two Turkish cyclists who invited me for ice cream and some men at a roadside garage gave me a coffee in their staff room. If people haven’t waved they’ve at least stared.
I passed through one interesting town, Edrine, which had a centre made up mostly of beautiful old mosques and an old Market in a similar style. There I bought a box of baclava and a bag of perfect figs, after calling Lloyds to have them grant me additional funds. Mostly though, today, I’ve been fuelled by concentrated sugar either soaked into pastry, or in sweets and ‘Pit Bull’.
The Istanbul road, that in parts of Bulgaria was barely surfaced, is now a four lane dual carriageway of fresh Tarmac. Maybe thanks to that, or maybe because the curse stopped at the Bulgarian border, I haven’t had a puncture. It is however, quite a boring route that’s been rolling over hill after hill, and the wind has been blowing directly at me.
The signs say that it’s only 120km to Istanbul which is almost walking distance. I think I could possibly get there tomorrow night but will probably split it over two days. It looks like much of tomorrow will be coastal cycling.
Still not been found but if I don’t, I’ll probably spend all night listening. There’ll probably be dogs too. Last night they licked my cooking equipment and scattered my food litter around the field, and barked a lot.
Yeerk members, please do not swim in the fish tank. Human members, please do not encourage this behavior by betting on races in the fish tank. Goldfish are nervous animals and these races are not good for their psychological wellbeing.