An Unhappy Goat And Things Like Beach Clubs: Canakale to near Idremet. - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

February 15, 2014

An Unhappy Goat And Things Like Beach Clubs: Canakale to near Idremet.

The constant din of traffic on the highway below where I camped, didn't hinder a good night sleep earned after a day cycling. No dog came to bark at my tent. I was undisturbed until the dawn call to prayer woke me up.

It had clouded over during the night. The uniform grey sky making the landscape appear grime and it is noticeable cooler than yesterday. The road continuous snooker table smooth wide shoulder, four lanes; straight with sharp climbs up every hill encountered; compensated by long downhill sweeps where I average over fifty kilometres per hours.

Gradually but surely this good road come to an end and before I know what is happening, see the oncoming traffic on what hitherto had been the outside lane. I wake to the reality the road is now a single carriageway and the nice shoulder has narrowed down to barely a bike width of rough and patchy, knobbly aggrative protruding out of the asphalt and big blobs of tar that the front wheel can't avoid, shuddering the front wheel and making the ride harsh and laborious. While to the left of the road is a continuous brown band of excavated soil rolled and levelled smooth in preparation for extending the divided highway further.

I pull in shortly after eleven to a roadside café, where I point at rounds of white cheese behind the glass in the counter and at black olives in a jar on top and, say chai, or tea; which is the only Turkish word I know, then take a seat. The tea come first. A much superior quality tea than at home in Ireland which considers itself a tea drinking nation. But the tea here is always loose leaf, unlike finely ground and inside perculatable satuals used in the making of tea in Ireland. The plate of cheese when it come with chunks arranged in a neat circlar pattern is, together with bread as much as I can eat. I have a second then third cup of chai and the bill when I get up to leave is six Liras, or two euros.

Hey you! Yes you on the bike, come and keep me company.
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Don't go and leave me here all alone.
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I haven't cycled much further when a goat bleat at me from the bottom of a wooded slope to the left side and immediately bleats again with her slit eyes focused on me as I brake to a halt and cross over to her. She lets out a shorter bellowing bleat as I draw near across the low undergrowth. But then as I get closer, she turn and run off to be stopped with a rebound by a long rope attached to a stake and a collar round her neck. "What's wrong with you?" I ask as she lets out another bleat. "You've been left here all alone is that it?" I sit down on a tree stump; perhaps she may come over to me, but it seems she is unaccustomed to being petted by humans. I wait for what must be five minutes, even holding out a biscuit to coax her over, but of coarse she didn't know it is food. Then when I get up and walk back to the bike, she bleat and bleat one long continuous urgent cry, as if saying, don't leave me here alone. It kind of wrench my heart to hear her so.

Descending towards a continuous beach resort town where there's a break in the cloud cover and sunshine ahead.
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The road so far has been inland among hills and valleys up until about two, when there come a lengthy climb followed by a short steep twisting descend, feeling hairy because of the patchy rough surface. Then another short steep climb to the start of a long descend down to the coast. For descending, good brakes are necessary and mine are crap. They could be better if I had thought to bring along from home a suppy of the right pads for the particular cantilever brake on my bike. Most bike shops nowadays only stock blocks and pads for vee-brakes, as cantilevers become obsolete.

I stop not far down the descend on a parking lane to the side where there are places serving tea and see how I can make my front-brake more effective. The lever for the front touches the handle bar when applied, so I tighten the screw adjuster on the stop under the stem, bringing the pads nearer the rim. I have the further problem of salt having gotten into the spring, making the brake feel stiff and the pads not springing back off the rim, causing drag until I reach down and pull it out manually.

At the bottom of the descend, the four lane highway return and the way ahead is with the exception of short interludes of olive groves on the inland side, continuously urban, with beach club and more beach clubs with ludicrous names like "Full Moon Beach Club" occupying the shore side. If I'm not a member of the beach club, I suppose I can't go on the beach, is that it. Or perhaps someone saying to someone else "You have a good tan." who replies "Yes, I've joined a beach club."

Raining on the beach.
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One good thing is there are lots of places to eat. Around five I turn off to the beach and into a walking street and among places serving tea and others cakes and sweets, though not wanting anything sweet, having cake for later, I stop at a café doing big round flat bread things spread with some kind of savoy topping. It is served with salad and chilies which I put on top and roll it up like a rap to eat. And of coarse I accompany it with tea.

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As the sun sinks and the shadows lengthen, the town has no end. But I can see the built up area is only a block deep on the inland side, so I turn left down a side street and at the edge of the block is an old olive grove. I get off and push the bike along between rows of trees to a hedgerow where I pass through a gap. By now I'm well away from any houses or people, but continue to another hedge where I feel well hidden and get the tent out and up just as its getting dark.

From where I camped.
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Today's ride: 117 km (73 miles)
Total: 10,691 km (6,639 miles)

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