09.06.2010 - 11.06.2010
In the morning we had to make new plan. We knew, that first planned route from Amasra to Sinop will be very hard to achieve and it would take us much longer as we first thought.
One of my problems was to many things on my bike. Although this was now my 4th bicycle trip, I made a big mistake again and brought with me to many things. My bags were really heavy and this made cycling uphill much harder. There were also spots, where I wasnt able to cycle and I had to push my bike. All the hills are signed with sign 10%, but we just couldnt belive that. Where I live, there are many hills, but only few so hard and worst is 16%...Probably their government bought somewhere those 10% signs and had to use them somewhere...I was training hard back home for this trip, but those hills were a hard nut even for me!
We both agree to move to another location with bus. Because we wanted to see Sumella Monastery near Trabzon, this was our next destination.
We bought a ticket for mini bus (dolmus), which took us over hills to town called Kastamonu. It was a 2,5 hour ride full of nice views. We started on Black Sea coast and climbed over the mountains. After we drove down on other side, landscape chaned to beautyfull green plateau. Strange thing happened when we were stopped by army armed with AK-47 guns in some small village. They camed on bus and arrested the man sitting infront of us. Than they took him down and we could drive forward. Bad luck for the man, but nobody knows what he had done... In Kastamonu we had to catch another bus, this time to Samsun which is placed on Black Sea coast. The reason why we turned over the mountains to inland is old bad road on which we were cycling previous day. Hills never end and are streching along coastline till Samsun from where it is possible to use coastal road. Nobody wants to drive twice as long for even shorter distance, so most of the people choose inland roads. In Kastamonu we had to wait arround 2 hours before some bus station employee arrived and start edexplaining something in broken english. Bus should arrive to peron 6, but now it is on some other location. He asked us to pack bicycles and all the baggage in old Renault 12. It was almost impossible, but we did it somehow!! In same car was besides of 2 fully loaded bicycles also the driver, two of us and another passenger Our luck was, that we had to drive only 300 meters in back of the bus station where another mini bus was parked. We couldnt belive, that we had to disassamble bicycles and load all baggage, since it would be easier to drive there on bicycles. It was very funny and in end we all laughed as crazy. Driver of bus asked us to lift bicycles on the roof of the bus. We did as he told us. In Turkey, there is no any problem to carry bicycle with you on the bus. Usually they shouldnt charge you any aditionally fee, but some private drivers do. This one didnt charge any fee, but he showed his kindness later Next 4 hours we were driving trough magic landscape again. We could see mountains on our left and rice fields on our right. Later we were driving along beautyfull river ........ I was sorry because I didnt cycle this part of the trip, but I couldnt foresee it...
30 km before Samsun in town Bafra driver made a deal with taxi driver and left us there. Taxi driver was payed to bring us to our final destination. Situation was similar as in Kastamonu, but this car was running on gas and it had a gas bomb in the trunk. This ride was little harder because we drove more than 30 minutes like fishes in the can. I had to sit between driver and another passenger on my right, while Teddy was ridding in the back with 2 bicycles and complete baggage- ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE!!
We were on the road almost whole day, but we still had a long way ahead of us. We had luck and catch the bus for Samsus. This time we waited only 10 minutes before bus left for Samsun. Another 2 hours in the bus passed by and we arrived to Samsun otogar arround 22h. We bought tickets for Trabzon and had to wait another 2 hours. One of my bad characteristics is being non patient plus I hate travelling by bus. My last long bus ride before Turkey was when I was 16 year old. I never wanted to travel with bus again, but this journey changed everything. On this trip I really learned how to be patient and also how to travel comfortable with bus
While we were waiting, we were drinking a lot of Turkish tea. This was keeping us awake and clear. Turkish tea was one of the best thing for me in Turkey. Compared to Sri Lanka black tea, it is not so strong and we could drink 5-10 cups per day. You can get it anywhere, a lot of time for free. For local people it should not cost more than 25krs.
Around midnight we entered the bus for Trabzon. Ahead of us was another 6 hours of ride. I was totally tired and wanted to sleep, but 4 teenagers behind us didnt allow me to. It was just to much noise for me. Tried to silence them few times, but without a success. Another funny thing were 2 boxes with chicken which where brought on bus. Because baggage department was full, there was no other way but to bring it on bus. At dawn it became like on farm and you could hear rooster shouting inside of bus. Soon after, chickens were also awake and start shouting back. This action was going on till our final destination Trabzon. It was 6 in the morning when we finally stepped out of the bus. After breakfast we took a small bus 30km toward Sumella monastery which is placed in mountains. In small village Macka we started to cycle uphill to find camping place. Now we really needed a sleep after 24 hours on bus. After fe km we arrived to camping place. We asked the owner if we can camp there and he agreed. Camp is placed in cosy canyon near river. In summer there is a lot of tourists here, mostly from Turkey. Soon after assembling tents we went to sleep. After 20 minutes loud sound waked me up. I thought that I am dreaming. When I looked outside I saw a big buldoser digging wholes 10 meters from our tent. I was really not glad and went inside the restaurant to ask what is going on and how long this is going to last. I asked the wife of the owner and she said something to her 3 adult sons eating near us. I couldnt understand what they were talking, but this guys got angry and start acting aggressive. I got their message and left the restaurant. Soon after they camed out and went to playground near our tents and started playing volleyball dressed as waiters. All this was strange and stupid. We were their customers and they wanted to disturb us while we were sleeping. We soon noticed, that we are not welcome there, althou we didnt understood why. People in this region are acting strange and as I noticed, they dont like tourist. I herd, that they also dont care about what is happening in Istanbul or other big cities and they want to live for them self. You can notice also that they have different faces and look different. This is because many people here are "lasi" and not turks. I am not sure if we had such bad luck or they are really so mean
We assambled tents and payed for the camping. No matter how tired we were, we went cycling towards Sumella Monastery. We were cycling in small canyon along river. It was a hard climb till we reached the top after 2 hours. I was out of power and had to sleep. The plan was to overnight here and than visit the monastery in the morning. After finding right guy we found out that he wants to rip us off. He was really rude and demanded 80 eur for the room. For our bad luck, he didnt want to negotiate and we also couldnt pay so much, since we didnt have enough money on us. We wanted to see the monastery, but it is 45 minutes of walk away and we were to afraid to leave bicycle and baggage with such people. Slowly we were getting really pissed. We couldnt understand what is wrong with this people. We didnt feel good energy arround here at all and decided to leave the area. We were hungry and stopped for lunch. Also this guy ripped us off and charged way to much. We didnt want to argue, but only leave as soon as possible. After lunch we cycled 50km back to Trbzon. We were riding downhill, but wind was strong and we still had to pedal hard to reach town. We went to bank to exchange the money, but situation was even worst. They wanted big provisions and it took us some time to find fair rate. At the evening we drove over Zidana pass towards trough Bayburt to Erzurum. I was so sleepy that no metter loud music I was able to sleep for at least 2 hours. We arrived at midnight and tried to find a bus for Cappadoccia. Because we couldnt find one we tried our luck at railway station. Trains dont run so frequently and we were stuck. We searched for cheap accomodation in Lonely Planet guied. It should be very close to where we were, but because of small twisted streets it took us some time to find it. At 2 in the morning we finally arrived to hotel Cinar. After 42 hours and around 1100 km on bus all I could do was sleep.