Day 49. Saturday, September 16. Erzurum to river camp at Corum. 131.8km, with 1,622m of climbing.
Today we started the fifth and last section of our Silk Road Tour. It’s called the Hills of Anatolia which takes us over 12 days of riding through high hills with expansive views, down to the coast and finally to Istanbul.
Today was also the start of our longest set of riding days between rest days – five. They are all long with lots of climbing. That also means I’m already behind on daily blog posts after just the first three days. So please bear with me if the posts for these five days are light on words and heavy on photos – and it won’t be until my next rest day at the end of the five that I’ll catch up.
This morning we (the Dane Train) zoomed down the hill from our ski resort hotel, through the centre of Erzurum and then down a broad valley flanked by some of those Anatolian hills. Our first drinks stop was some 40km down the road, where we happened to rest under an umbrella advertising Nestlé’s Turkish ice cream brand. (No endorsement implied!)
Later in the morning we headed up our first main climb and to our lunch spot just before the summit.
We spent the next few hours traversing more big hills before we came to an idyllic tea stop, where we were hosted by Erdogan (he claimed no relationship to his namesake, the President of Türkiye) and his son. He served us tea brewed on a wood stove in front of his café…
…while his son helped with other drinks and ice creams.
Their café was delightful, as was the view from it.
More climbing took us to the top of our highest pass of the day…where we could see down to where our riverside camp was that night…essentially the left hand edge of the green in the middle of this photo below.
From there it was a 1,000m descent over 20km…with another tea stop on the way down. Our host for this one was Dushan, with his wood fired tea stove identical to Erdogan’s.
Well refreshed, we swooped down the mountain to our delightful riverside campground. We were very glad of the restful location after nine hours on the road today.