Day 51. Monday, September 18. Field camp to Sebinkarahisar. 125.5km of riding, with 1,575m of climbing.
Given this blog’s frequent references to food and drink, you might think it’s about them rather than cycling. No. We have our priorities right. They are means to an end. The better the fuel, the better the ride.
As ever the scenery was beautiful and the riding rewarding this morning…
…but our mid-morning refreshments were the best yet. At just the right moment we came across this splendid establishment and the wonderful people who run it.
…and the delicious sweets they make.
But wait! There’s more! Flat whites! For the first time on this long, long trip I had one…and it was excellent, even though it was from a self-service machine.
I selected a small box-worth of Sultan Pestil-Köme’s sweets. Exercising uncharacteristic restraint, I eked out these Turkish delights over the following few days.
I discovered a delight of a different kind during our tea stop in the in the afternoon. A group of fellas, from middle age to old, sitting around the neighbouring table took a keen interest in us.
Initially, we were thwarted by a lack of a common language. Then one of them got his phone out, brought up Google Translate and began a live text conversation with instantaneous translation.
Once we covered the basics of where we were from, where we were going and where we started, the conversation turned more serious. We covered subjects from the farming they did, to the changing climate (they get half the snow they used to).
– Do you think there’s treasure in the hills around here?…one of them asked me.
– If there is, I’m sure people have found it by now…I replied.
– No such luck.
– ..to which I inanely replied: Well, treasure comes in different forms. Such as a job or sitting around with your friends over tea and smokes.
Only once I was back on my bike and riding away from town I realised what a stupid answer I’d given. Likely for them, jobs are hard to come by; they could be rather tired of hearing the same stories over and over from each other; and smoking is one way to shorten one’s life.
Google Translate is amazing for practical matters dealt with tersely. Tho next time I get into a conversation via it, I’ll be more considerate in my questions and answers.
The day’s riding ended with a big climb up to the town of Sebinkarahisar. Here’s a distant view of it, followed by the view of the castle from our hotel.
Our hotel was very accommodating. Lacking a place to store our bikes overnight, they cleared the furniture from a first-floor bedroom. Excellent! An ensuite bike shed. Every bike and rider deserve such an amenity. I’ll suggest Booking.com adds a search feature for it.
The hotel also laid on an excellent dinner in their roof-top restaurant. And as I was heading to bed, this was the view from my window.