Saturday August 9th Near Gole Turkey
1:45:54 22.62/124.62 Av 12.8 Mx 22.4 Odo 1564.2
My cycle computer got reset again today. I am pretty sure it happened when I stopped in a town to buy ice cream. Unfortunately I had left my money in my pants in my day bag. As I explained that to the shop owner my bike was surrounded by locals. They were looking at my bike and either I reset my computer of one of them did. Today I also got hit in the back with a rock by a local kid. The group was asking for money and since the road was under construction there were all kinds of rocks. I guess they decided it would be fun to throw them since I wasn't giving them any money. Earlier some kids had thrown rocks but none of them hit me. The road was really rough today. There was a ton of construction so the road was really bumpy gravel at times. There were also times where it was almost washed out and the Turks were demolishing rock. We passed by some very poor houses. There was even a group of houses. We are bush camping again. The place is actually okay. It will be interesting if we actually get into Georgia. The Georgians and Russians are starting to fight over South Ossetia. We might have to detour around Georgia and if that happens I will be heading to Amsterdam early. So it looks like the situation in Georgia is rapidly detoriating. Tomorrow we are biking to Kars where we will stay for two nights before taking a bus to Ankara. Nobody would be allowed into Georgia even if they tried. Tomorrow we will be able to find out exactly what the situation in Georgia is. It sounds like the van would not be allowed in Georgia if they tried to enter. Most likely I will get a flight from Ankara to Amsterdam. Definitely interesting times. I am really glad we were not in Georgia when all of this happened.
Sunday August 10th Kars Turkey
4:41:42 83.2km Av 17.7 Mx 53.6 Odo 1647.4
Today we changed our route and biked from our bushcamp to Kars. The first 40km was over rolling hills with a stiff headwind. We stopped for pictures of these hovels. After fighting the headwind I had time to take pictures of the others. Then we got to the top of the hill and had 20km down which was very nice. After lunch we had a few hills but nothing like the morning. It was a fairly easy ride into Kars. We passed some very primitive stone houses in the morning. They were clustered right around the road but didn't have anyone in them when we passed by. Now I have to contact my insurance company and NWA to see what I can do about my ticket.
Monday/Tuesday August 11th and 12th. Kars Turkey/On a bus
We spend monday in Kars. During the morning I tired to find out more information about Tbilisi. The civilian airport had been bombed. I thought maybe that would have made it easier to change my ticket but I had no luck when calling NWA later in the day. I was left with having to contact Georgian Airways to arrange a different flight. I had no luck contacting them. I plan on talking to Turkish or American Airlines to arrange a one way ticket home. In the afternoon yesterday we went to the city of Ani on the Turkish-Armenian border. The ruins are very cool. They city used to have 100,000 citizens at its height back before any other city in Europe was even close to that number. Some of the churches had outlines of the frescos in them. It was interesting to see the difference in how different frescos have weathered. Today we are taking a minibus charter from Kars to Ankara. The ride will take about 17 hours. It is going to be a long day.
Wednesday August 14th Istanbul Turkey
I did not expect to be back in Istanbul even if it is just a quick stop in my way back to the states. Yesterday morning I went to downtown Ankara to find a ticket office so I could buy a ticket back home. I walked into what I thought might be a THY office but it also had a sign for Delta who I was really looking for. Either way they got me a ticket to JFK for about \$1800 US. She was going to add a Boston leg but I didn't have her do it because it was 200 euro. In hindsight since I am travelling with my bike I won't save that much money. I then went and got a Jetblue flight from JKF to Boston. So either way I should be getting home baring any other suprises. Jess will be at the airport to meat me whilch will be really cool. I can't wait to see her. It has been a busy three weeks but I will be glad to get home. Now I am going to my gate. Also yesterday I walked from our hotel into the old town of Ankara and saw the citidel and some statues. I didn't feel like going to a museum though in hindsight I should have went to the Ataturk moseleum. It looked like it would have some good views from it. Also last night I had a good sendoff from everyone else who was continuing the tour. It was a great time riding with them.
P.S. I ended up getting back to Boston on Friday at 11:30am after spending the night in JFK because of thunderstorms.
Biked for 14 days
Rested on 2 days
Traveled 1647.4 km(1023.64 mi)
Maximum speed of 67.7 km/hr(42 mph)
Longest day 158.75km(98.64mi)