1 The longest day



1 The longest day, originally uploaded by Big Al!.

Leave Istanbul through insane traffic, several near death experiences. Make it out alive onto toll road. Pick wrong lane at toll booth resulting in 30 euro shocker. Eventually leave motorway heading north to black sea coast, which is much more enjoyable. Really getting into it when we get waved in at a police speed trap. 90 kph in a 70. Looks like it’s going to be expensive. Cop takes a shine to dave and thinks it’s all very hilarious. Offers to swap his wife for dave’s bike. End up being fined 96 lira. Onwards until we crest the mountain road to be presented with an incredible vista of the black sea from the clifftop coast road. A really breathtaking view. Hopeful of finding a decent spot for some wild camping we cruise on, only to find one spot after another is too lumpy, too public, too fly infested. Our choosiness costs us dear as it gets dark and we run out of options. End up finding an out of the way spot and start preparing dinner. A local pulls up and starts shouting and hand waving. I have no idea what he is saying, not even a word. He goes, but returns minutes later with sons 1 and 2 in tow. Son number 1 repeats the hand waving and agitated gibberish while son number 2 grins and pokes around my bike. Eventually we catch on that they are trying to warn us of ticks, or possibly snakes. So we pack up and go, suddenly itching, convinced we must now be covered in ticks. A ride on the twisty, bumpy, gravelly mountain road in total darkness is not what we planned. By now my back is agony. We stop on a flattish gravelly patch and sleep on the floor in full bike gear, helmets and all. I find it suprisingly comfortable, dave doesn’t.