*** Get all the detail of our trip at: BTF STORIFY: HOPA TO HOPE ***
Blog Post: Bartin-Eregli-Kandira
Wednesday morning we met with colonel Mehmet bey (regional military commander of Bartin) and Huseyin bey (retiree) and cycled to the town of Caycuma (40 km). We were joined by a local group of 12 cyclists that took us to the mayor for a photo session and briefing. We were than treated to lunch prior to our departure. Our permament cyclist, Aytac had a minor low-speed fall that was cusioned by his outreached hand. Thankfully he did have a wrist fracture but decided to defer cycling for the day due to mild swelling and pain. In the afternon we reached Zonguldak and finally arrived in Karadeniz Eregli in the evening (total 115 km). We settled into our motel along the seaside promenade and had dinner at the terrace. In the evening we enjoyed tea and board games at the tea garden and had a chance to meet some of Cemal’s local family members.
Thursday morning, July 17, we were greeted with rain showers that dissipated over a period of two hours. After breakfast we departed Eregli and had a chance to view the steel manufacturing plant and the shipyards on our route. Soon after cycling past Akcakoca, we drove inland and stopped at an upscale village home of a Cerkez-Turkish family. The hospitality and the lunch was superb and made us contemplate the advantages of rural life in Turkey. After lunch we were joined by a young cyclist from Adapazari. Along the coastal bike route, our friend Cemal had a minor accidental fall resulting in skin abrasions and requiring bike repairs. Cycling from Karasu into the province of Kocaeli was a unique experience. The roadside was scattered with local farms, corn fields, and sunflowers that reminded us of rural North Carolina and parts of the midwest USA. There were also small towns and lovely roads in the midst of rolling hills that reminded us of Tuscany, Italy. However several cattle crossings on the roadways made us quickly realize of our location in rural Turkey. At times it was a treacerous experience maneuvering our bikes in this heavy cattle traffic. In the evening we arrived in Kandira, a small quite town famous for its yogurt manufacturing. The evening was spent resting at the tea garden and surfing on the internet.