Travelling by Pedalling


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Wow Turkey is beautiful!! We’ve changed our whole plan again.. this time by Rikki, Altay and Mehmet. We were only just on our way the day we met them. We were just descending after a steep climb when Mehmet comes cycling after us like a rocket to invite us to their home for a cold drink. Of course we won’t turn that down. We follow him a little bit back to the house where Rikki and Altay are sitting on the porch. We are warmly welcomed with cold coffee and watermelon. We have a short conversation about travel and soon realize that you need a lot of hours to understand their travel experience. They have seen and done a lot. Being very fit, traveling in different ways, Rikki and Altay have lived in a van for 5 years and are now starting a business. They organize hiking and biking tours in the area, create trails, arrange delicious food and drinks on the tours and are concerned with the accessibility of the trails by maintaining them. They are busy bees. Not much later after we are invited they indicate that we can stay there if we want, do our laundry, take a shower, there is food in the fridge and we can stay the night or just continue cycling. It’s all okay but the bed is immediately made for us. We get the key to the house and they have to leave because all three have to work. We only have done 8 km but decide to stay.

In the evening when we just want to go to bed, they come home from work. We sit down with them on the porch with a beer and chat about our plans, their work and travels and we get a lot of tips. Routes, places to sleep, places that we should not miss, great Warmshowers hosts, cheap restaurants. The coming week is completely filled with plans that we didn’t have yet. Even as far as Cappadocia we have tips.

All three are very beautiful people. They have made their hobby their job which brings advantages and disadvantages. As always have to work in travel season and be free in winter but it’s nice to see how passionate they are and how much knowledge they have.

The next morning, after a delicious, extensive Turkish breakfast, we say goodbye and get back on our bikes. It’s starting to get really hot now. We continue cycling but sometimes we get nauseous and dizzy. We sweat a lot, drink a lot of water, have a new addiction to popsicles and take breaks in the shade but oooh the scenery is beautiful. The mountains with rock walls, pointed peaks but are green, we cycle through pine forests and in this heat it smells wonderful. In the evening we try to end up on beaches so that we can cool off in the sea. One evening we find a beautiful stretch of beach which is difficult to reach. We leave the bikes at the top and hike down with only the necessary stuff. We are there all alone. We take a dip in the sea as the sun goes down, put up the tent and make a fire, it’s a bit cooler so the warmth of a fire is useful. We really enjoy being alone for once because there is a lot of camping in this country so we often end up in places where other people are. And in the evening we are treated with the most beautiful starry sky so far. The full moon is nowhere to be seen and we look for all the constellations we can see.

We have set the alarm for two days now at 5 o’clock in the morning and around 6 o’clock we are on our bicycles. It is wonderful to cycle in the fresh morning air with the rising sun. But it also takes some getting used to a new rhythm. The first day we take a break just too early so that we cycle on again in the heat of the day without having taken a nap, so we are very tired in the evening. The next morning it is difficult to wake up. We have a tough day ahead of us with very long high climbs. The environment is beautiful. We take a break on the coast, eat something, sleep a bit and at the end of the day continue to Marmaris where we can pitch our tent in the garden of a bicycle shop that is listed on Warmshowers.

When we arrive we are welcomed with a chai and chat about cycling and travelling. Tolga has met many people through Warmshowers and has met the most special figures. It’s great to see how much passion people here have for cycling and how special it is here. At home it is so normal and we take it for granted. That evening the governor of Marmaris comes by with his bicycle, we start talking with him. He invites us to eat with him. He has already eaten but takes us to a restaurant. We are totally spoiled! It is special to see how everyone reacts to him. People are immediately on edge, don’t bow just yet but welcome us as if we are royals and after we sit for a while the waiters relax a little more and have a chat with the governor. After dinner he walks with us to the bike shop. We walk past his house where there is 24/7 security. We thank him for the very nice evening and agree to see him again tomorrow.

In the garden we go “cowboy camp” for the first time, sleeping in the open air without a tent. Tomorrow is a chores day. We are going to start arranging visas!