Pedaling from the Black Forest to the Yellow Sea
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Day 89 (Turkey): somewhere past Tatvan - Aydinlar (turtle invasion)

daily distance: 84km
total distance: 5920km
riding time: 4-5h

I wasn’t sure what made me sleep so badly last night. I kept waking up and figured it was some kind of rodent that kept me awake not far from where I was lying. In the morning I saw the real answer …

The turtle was snuggled up between the bike and the tent and I suspect that it moved around a bit during the night and woke me up as my head was right next to it.

After a short breakfast I set out and completed my next rescue mission (I must say that I am a bit surprised by the number of turtles that I am seeing here at 1700m):

I had decided to take it easy after two hard days of biking and so I bumbled along the lake at a very leisurely pace and took my time.

In Ahlat I went to a huge cemetery, which was quite impressive (though it did lack any of the ravens sitting on the gravestones as my guidebook had indicated - it was still impressive).

Over lunch in Ahlat the weather changed dramatically. There were dark clouds all over, the wind had picked up immensely and was coming in from the side. I decided to put off my departure a bit and though not great, it got better after a while. Sometimes pushing, most of the time a force coming in from my left hand side the wind was playing its game. As over the last couple of days, I saw a lot of buses from Iran - a number of bus stops specifically catering to them (signs are a giveaway, not that I understand any of the writing).

Towards the end of the day the wind was with me until I hit a little hill and from there on it was fully in my face. There was no chance to pitch a tent in that kind of wind I thought and there were no trees or bushes to hide behind. The area was amazing, but camping was out of the question. I stopped at a gas station hoping for the wind to lessen. No chance. The owner offered his place which I gladly accepted. I ended up in the guestroom - only to be woken up during the night by him and two other people talking loudly and drinking tea. Not sure what the deal was - they eventually moved after seeing me bleary-eyed and not too happy. I was grateful, but if you offer this, then give me a chance to rest. Talking loudly at 2 am (whispering wasn’t an option) wasn’t my idea of having fun. Still, the day was great and I am enjoying the views.


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