Having been rudely awoken this morning at 4.30am by the strident call to prayer by all the town’s mosques (has sleep gone out of fashion in Turkey?), I decided to make an early start, and catch the cool of the morning hours. So at 7am I set off with the idea that this leg would be about 115kms….but somehow it morphed into the biggest day of the journey so far. For ‘metrically-challenged’ Brits and Americans, it was 112 miles which, on a day with troublesome winds and temperatures reaching 28 degrees C, and the fact I’ve already put 2,500 miles into my legs, was little short of surprising.
With the heat and the hilly terrain, I had to pay special attention to hydration, and my salt intake. So crisps and salted peanuts have featured strongly, as have some 5 litres of mineral water.
To add insult to injury, when I got to Bursa, drained and exhausted, I had to do battle with an Armageddon of traffic going into the city, and to get to a hotel, I had to climb a 15% hill to get into town! Where’s the justice in that?
Anyway, I’ve made it to Bursa (which wasn’t on my original itinerary) on my sister-in-law’s recommendation….so when I’ve seen the city tomorrow, I’ll be reporting in to her…..;0)
Today has effectively been the last full day on the bike. Tomorrow I’ll spend the day in Bursa, and on Friday I will catch a ferry into the heart of Istanbul, neatly avoiding the notorious traffic going into the city, and giving myself a better chance of orienting myself before I look for a room.
I will then have three full days in the city which will, of course, include time for preparing my bike for its passage on a British Airways flight on Tuesday.
But for now, I am exceedingly glad to give my btm a rest. It was telling me today “enough is enough!”. So I will heed demands from the nether regions and do my sightseeing on foot tomorrow.