*** Get all the detail of our trip at: BTF STORIFY: HOPA TO HOPE ***
Blog Post: Sinop & Inebolu
We woke up early Saturday in Yakakent and loaded our gear on the bus. We made a minor change in our route and decided to visit Sinop. Due to significant elevations perceived in our digital route map showing road altitudes, we decided to drive to Gerze as a group. However in reality we found out the route to be quite easy with a downslope and several tunnels that eliminated the mountainous climbs. Upon arriving at the harbor in Gerze we were treated to a superb Turkish breakfast at a seaside cafe. Soon after we were back on the bikes headed toward Sinop. The road was uphill and the head winds made the 30 km trip quite challenging for us all. In route, we were joined by Tarik and Emel from Samsun. Upon arriving in Sinop we were struck by the beauty of the city. Although it has a population of only 40 thousand, the city has the appearance of a small cosmopolitan town, with tea gardens, beaches, fine restaurants and several tourist attractions. We enjoyed ‘manti’ for lunch and decided to spend the night in Sinop. The afternoon activities consisted of a visit to Hamsilos, a national park where families enjoy hikes and picnic. Later we had a chance to swim at the beach and relax. The evening dinner with our Turkish cyclist friends was at a local cafeteria where we finally were able to enjoy a vegetarian home meal. The evening was capped off with a visit to the castle of Sinop and the tea garden.
Sunday, July 13, we began the second week of our journey to Istanbul. We departed our hotel in Sinop in a timely fashion and headed west in our bus toward Kastamonu Soon after we started to cycle just past Ayancık, we came to the small village of Doğanlı and stopped to see Cemal’s birthplace and visit her aunt (hala). We than proceeded toward Türkeli being escorted by the provincial military police (jandarma). The roadway was most attractive with impressive coastal landscapes. However our cycling route today was very challenging with frequent hills and slippery roadways (from liquified asphalt). In fact our youngest rider, Kenan, accidentally slid during the downhill and fell on his side resulting in soft tissue abrasions. Later in the day, our group leader, Murat, had an accidental fall as a result of a broken saddle. Fortunately his injuries were limited and treated with pain killers. As we proceeded further beyond Çatalzeytin and Abana we encountered road renovation making the roadway treacherous and even more slippery. Thus, for the sake of safety we decided to terminate our days tour prematurely and drive to our nearby motel in İnebolu. In the evening we ate at a local downtown restaurant during ‘iftar’. While some of our riders enjoyed the board game “OK” at the nearby ‘kahvane’, others watched the World Cup finals — Congratulations Deutchland.