Escape: Kesan To Near Tekirdag - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

January 26, 2014

Escape: Kesan To Near Tekirdag

The player had started the second track of a favourite music album when suddenly a dog barks just outside the tent. No, I think, the landowner has discovered me. It's raining. They won't want me to move: will they? It's after midnight and it's raining.

I've the player off the instant I hear the dog and remain still holding my breath. The dog barks and barks and walks by the tent and barks more, then there is silence apart from the rain drumming on the tent. I wait for what must be five minutes, then move out of the sleeping-bag across and unzip the tent and look out. I see no one.

I'm unsure of what happened next. It had stopped raining and it was daytime. I was outside the tent and saw about half a dozen other tents spaced well apart in the grassy grove of trees I've camped in. They are all green tents like mine and the group of campers are all young. Then I look and see some bugger has slashed my tent, almost cutting the fly in half and rendering the tent useless.

I detect the likely culprit and when I confront him he doesn't deny it. A smart arse who gives no better explanation than "this is our camping place and you come along and camp without asking!"

My good tent. I've almost ten years is ruined. How will I manage until I get a replacement. Tell me this is a bad dream.

I open my eyes with a shudder. Happy again. It had been only a dream. The tent intact over me, keeping out the rain still drumming like before.

It is still raining first thing in the morning. I have thoughts of staying in the tent for the day waiting it out. The thought depresses me of taking the tent down and packing it and everything wet in the panniers, riding all day in rain and then putting the soggy tent up again in the afternoon on mucky ground with it still raining. Shortly, the rain drumming on the tent eases off and stops, but when I get out of the tent, the air feels raw cold. The wind having changed to a northerly.

The straight divided highway continues today, rolling up and down across a treeless plateau; with rows of electricity-pylons across farmland of fields of young green wheat. That is before the fog come down and not only am I battling against cold crosswind and uphill stretches, but visibility is down to a few hundred metres. At lease I've to be thankful for a good wide shoulder to ride upon and many cars beep encouragement.

Before the rain started. I didn't bring an umbrella as the sign suggest I should. And every time I see the top sign, I can't help thinking some bugger has put oil on the road
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Approaching midmorning I'm passing a roadside café which had been well advertised on billboards every few kilometres for a bit back. I'm hoping for comfort. But the coffee is a disappointment being out of a machine. I couldn't communicate what I want. Wanted a cheese sandwich with black olives. But get a toasted sandwich with no olives.

Shortly after noon, I stop at a second café. Not having eaten much apart from sweets the day before, I'm determint to eat today. There is a good selection and I opt for a beef stew, rice and salad. Nothing remarkable but I remain using the WIFI for an hour losing track of time. When I come back out but still underneath the veranda, I see the asphalt wet and a car that had just pulled in has it's windscreen wipers running. Its raining again.

With the northerly wind it is cuttingly raw rain. Riding on from the café is uphill, so I struggle against a seven per cent grade leaning the bike into the harsh crosswind raining cold pellets upon me while riding into fog. The road just keeps going up. Then as if it couldn't get worst, there's road-works ahead on my side with the traffic diverted over onto the other side. So now I'll be riding on a single shoulder-less carriageway in the fog. But on getting as far, see it is possible to continue on my side which is a relieve.

When the road eventually levels out and begins going down just as the road-works end, it become hairy descending with the crosswind and at the same time my brakes are getting mushed up. It's shear misery. I'm thinking of a hotel in the next town, Tekirdag which shouldn't be far now as I passed a sign a little way-back: Tekirdag 15 km. Just then there's a hotel on the opposite side. It looks a bit expensive, but on crossing over and entering, I have to bite the bullet when told the price is 100 Liras (33 Euros) as I'm not going back out.

100 Turkish Liras; around 33 Euros. Days like today and the budget goes out the window.
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Turkisk telli-novella.
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Today's ride: 67 km (42 miles)
Total: 10,150 km (6,303 miles)

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