First day of Ramadan – lastish day in Turkey

11 08 2010

Regardless of the fact that our first encounter with a Turk was a cheeky trickster who tried to steal our cash card and pinch our pin, ignoring the man who overcharged us at the gas station, or the one who tried to get us to pay double the usual dolmus (local mini bus) price, we concur with the default position cited by our Turkish mucker – the Turkish default position is to offer help. Overwhelmingly, in our humble, generalised, and minimal experience, the Turks have been super helpful. Indeed considerable care needs to be taken when stopping for a rest or lingering just a second too long over a map for a veritable cushion of the very helpful might rapidly descend!

For the last 200km’s we have been passing through Turkey’s Tea region. Heady black-tea aromatics have blunted the usual mix of turgid engines and hot tarmac.  The roadside hills have switched seamlessly from twiggy hazelnut trees to stubby carpets of tea bushes. Yet the early morning trucks crammed full of pickers still whistle past just the same. We wonder often about their lives as our winding hours in the saddle follow them from pick up to picking and back home again – home that often appear to be transient and nomadic and is often a makeshift camp of some sort.

Last night was the start of Ramadan. We hope so at least, otherwise there was some wild west shoot out occurring just outside our hotel! To show respect to those fasting we spent the morning furtively sipping water behind parked cars and worried our way through a packet of biscuits before registering the vast number of people drinking water and hoeing down on ice creams! *sigh* obviously it’s an if-you-do-you-do-if-you-don’t-you-don’t kinda thing. It will be interesting to see how Ramadan affects the persistent, cheery cries of Cay (Chai) that have floated behind us as we have whistled up the Black Sea coast. The Turkish drink tea. A lot of tea.

Tomorrow we will be heading into Georgia (Catherine’s stomach permitting).

Check out our little dodgily edited video….

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2 responses

11 08 2010
nicola

Hey – I am very, very impressed by you chaps. You’ve only gone and cycled across Turkey! No I’m not counting the slight bus diversion, that was mostly up I reckon so doesn’t count 😉

Anyway well done, and keep it up. Oh and yes I was also clearly worrying unnecessarily over ramazan – it’s not that far shy of business as usual here; there I was wondering if I’d have to swear off office coffee and water for a month but apparently not!

12 08 2010
oneproject

last day…. hauled up with the sqwits!

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