Pedaling from the Black Forest to the Yellow Sea
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Day 91 (Turkey): Aydinlar - Gümüştepe

daily distance: 108km
total distance: 6028km
riding time: 6-7h

After the midnight talk was done I could sleep finally and did so until about 6am. Packed up, had some breakfast and set out.

The wind was still there - sometimes pushing me, but most of the time coming from the front. Seems to be the prevailing story of the day. The lake on my right, I moved on to Erçiş where I wanted to take care of some logistics and experienced my second blackout in a few days as I was organizing the next visa issues online. The power just went out. There’ll be another day to take care of that. Once out of Erçiş the wind was more serious. It was interesting. It came out of completely different directions. There was no predicting what would happen when you crested another set of little hills. It was mostly in your face of course.

I was pretty tired by the time I got to the turnoff towards Dogubayazit and thought about just throwing myself down someplace and stay there for the night. The wind was coming right at me with a force that seemed impossible to bike into. I stopped at a gas station. Became bored. I looked up at the sky and saw clouds moving to the North, while the flag only 25m away clearly went the other way. Moved on and lo and behold was able to round a corner where the wind abated a bit. I kept moving for another 30km ultimately - making a stop in Muradiye. On the way further up the valley I only thought about covering distance and gaining altitude. Every one of those I wouldn’t have to cover tomorrow when I am heading towards the pass. This tractor was a major help along the way. Quite tired, it provided some good draft up the hill and motivated me to go faster than I could have done without.

This is now serious Turkey hinterland. The Iranian border is only a few km to the East and the villages are getting poorer and poorer. I camped outside of Gümüştepe after asking a farmer whether it was OK to do so. A quick tour around town showed a rather sad state of the housing and general living conditions.

One general observation since I got a number of questions about this. Yes, whenever I mention that I am from Germany the question invariably turns to the football match between Turkey and German this Wednesday. The rare times I watch TV (or have the chance), news are full with reports about the event. People keep asking me what I think the result will be - I raise my eyes and just say insha’Allah after a bit of back and forth.


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