Saturday August 2nd Amaysa Turkey
Today was a rest day and it was very good. We had breakfast provided by the hotel. Then I went with Mike and Clive to visit the ruins that are in the hills surrounding Amaysa. Amaysa has been settled since 3500BC the caves where at times tombs and prisions. Then we walked into town and ran into Stuart on a corner so we went and had lunch. We walked into a place and the guy served us a mixed plate of food. Then we popped next door for some baklava. It was very tasty. I showed Mike and Clive the Internet cafe. I tried to call Jess but she wasn't up. So I went back to the hotel and read and slept for 45 minutes. I made it to the cafe just about 3pm so I called Jess and we talked for 30 minutes. Sounds like she is having a good time. I am looking forward to seeing her in two weeks. After that I read the news for another hour. Then I cam back to the hotel and read until supper. I went out for dinner with the crew and had a minced meat convered in a pasta in a yogurt sauce. It was really good. I took a nice night shot of the river in Amaysa. Tomorrow we will have a long day of biking. I am curious how I will feel after having my rest day. 8:29
Sunday August 3rd Resadiye Turkey
7:02:02 158.75km Av 22.5 Max 53.2 Odo 950.1
Today when started out from the hotel in Amaysa we know it was going to be a long day. Luckily the day was mostly downhill. There were a few kilometer long hills but the grade never got that steep. My regular group stayed together to the 40km mark when we stopped by a petrol station and got a coke. It was Sunday so the owner opened the store just for us. Then we rode at our own pace. I made it into lunch without a hassel. We also had a water/peach break at 120km. I got into camp at 3:30 because I didn't take many breaks. We are camping next to the Termal Otel so called because of the the thermal springs in the area. There was a good portion today when I was biking alone so I thought of and through many things. I can't believe I have known Jess for almost 6 months. It will be fun to get back to her in two weeks. Now sleep. 8:38
Monday August 4th Sebinkarahisar Turkey
6:22:39 116.79km Av 18.3 Mx 62.1 Odo 1066.9
I broke 1000km today. The day started out easy. I was late getting out of camp because Al and I took photos. Then I had to stop and use the bathroom at the hotel. There was light rain as I left the hotel. I was able to catch most people before lunch. Lunch was along the river. A gypsie family took Tereasa's bag which contained her passport, visa, credit cards, and money. Also a team of "police" men showed up and started asking for our passports. I never saw any badge so I don't know where they were from or if I could have made sense of it if I did. While they were taking our names and countries of origin, was when we noticed that Tereasa's bag was missing. So that distracted the officials and I never ended up showing them my passport. Unfortunately none of the bikers had photos of the gypsie family's car so it wasn't likely that they would find anything. The gypsie family most likely threw everything out of the car farther down the road. After lunch was a killer. The hills were pretty insane. I wasn't thinking I would be able to make it. Eventually after going up and down a ton of hills I finally made it into town. I even stopped at a good handful of the water troughs along the way to wet down my handkerchief and attempt to cool off. Even the tractors needed a break. It was cool to finally get a photo of a tractor with a rug on it. I finally made it into town and rewarded myself with an ice cream bar. It was a tough day probably the hardest one yet. The heat was a killer it was at least 45C. Quite a change from the morning. I guess a few people also had problems with local kids throwing things and actually hitting us while we were biking past. I guess we are getting to a part of Turkey where that could be more common. Today I was the happiest I have ever been to see the sign marking the edge of town. A brilliant sunset from the hotel. This truck just happened to not have it's covering on so we could see it's load. A nice sunset in Sebinkarahisar. 8:15
Tuesday August 5th Kelkit Turkey
5:59:22 119.1km Av 19.8 Mx 53.9 Odo 1186.0
Today was alot easier then yesterday. We had a few good hills in the morning but I was able to get over them just fine. One of the hills in particular was so steep that even in my granny gear I almost couldn't keep the pedal going round. I saw a red fox in the ditch today. I also got hit by 5 or 6 bugs today. I haven't had much contact with insect before today. After lunch we had a period of almost 30km down hill. That was a good break.
Wednesday August 6th Near Pazaryolu Turkey
We had a few hills at the end of the day and we are camped on the top of a hill near a cattle trough/water well. While biking today I saw a boy and his sister carrying a wheelbarrow full of rope down the road. I didn't stop quick enough to take a picture and I was down the road before I though of it. About 15km out of camp there was a small town where I stopped to get an ice cream and a pepsi. We were the sight of the town with the kids. This was the first store I had biked past that day. We are definitely getting out the poorer areas of the country. The view from the hill above our camp
Thursday August 7th Yusufeli Turkey
3:10:40 54.04km Av 17 Mx 41.2 Odo 1439.6 137.3km total
Only a part of the day was recorded by my spedometer. I reset it halfway through the day.
I am writing this on the 8th. Yesterday was a very tough day biking. I think we biked for just about 10 hours total. It wasn't straight through biking we stopped a good number of times. Once we stopped in a village and the whole group of men outside drinking tea drank with us. The roads were pretty horrible later in the day but the scenary was amazing. We were biking down the river valley all afternoon. We started the day right around 7am and biked until shortly after 5pm. Right outside of Yusufeli was a bunch of ruins. The campground in Yusufeli was a pretty good ground. At least the showers were warm. After that Al and I went into town to grab a bite to eat and then we sat around and bullshit for a good hour or so.
Friday August 8th Yusufeli Turkey
Today was our second rest day. I spent the morning doing laundry, eating breakfast, and working on my bike. At breakfast I was able to get on the internet for the first time this week and check my email. Jess had sent me a couple of emails which was really cool. She saw Holly Brewer in the grocery store but didn't say hello. I did the same thing when I saw her a few months ago. Then with Ben's help we tightened the rear brake cable on my bike. Later today I will clean the chain. I walked into town to find an envelope to mail a letter to Jess. It took me a while but eventually I found a stationary store on a side street. Then after writing Jess a short note I went to the post office and mailed it. The town doesn't have much tourism so there are not really any postcards available in town. I also stopped and bought cherry juice and peaches from once store and ice cream from another. The man in the store with ice cream stopped and asked me where I was from. He wanted to know the city and the state when I said America he said "America has 51 states which one are you from?" He then asked what I did and I told him I was a computer engineer for IBM. He seemed pretty impressed. I am back at camp and plan to spend the afternoon relaxing and maybe watching the opening Olympic ceremonies. Yesterday I stopped on the side of the road where a local family was drying fruit on the side of the road. After I took pictures of the fruit the lady came out and offered me some dried mulberries. So I took them and ate them and they were delicious dried fruit!