Today starts with yesterday: once we had been put to bed by our policemen neighbours and were falling asleep in the tent behind the barracks, we saw lights flashing outside and the same policemen came opening the door to our tent to give us ice-cream! Delicious cornettos which we wolfed down as a nightcap!
The riding for the day was good, a big hill, a glorious long descent as a reward into Devrek and then a winding valley road East In the scorching sun. We drank our coca-cola, which is becoming customary as an end of day reward and began to look around for somewhere to pitch our tent, settling on a newly built warehouse forecourt. We then headed off to the mosque for our sink shower!
As we left the fountains to return to our bikes, however, we encountered a new and pleasant surprise of a few local mums bringing us some homemade flatbread. The usual conversation, mostly in sign language, began revolving primarily around our route (they understand the names of where we are going) and our pleasure of eating any food they gave us!
We were treated to a tour of their beautiful little mosque, outside of which we sat for a couple of hours while we played frisbee with some small boys and introduced them to a game of ultimate. As we sat, more and more villagers gradually gathered around, commenting and joining in the entertainment for the evening. Following another (inevitable) wash due to any movement in Turkey at this time of year, the mums all decided they would cook us dinner. Some went to get spaghetti, others homemade yoghurt, chips, ayran, cheese and homegrown vegetables and brought everything for us to eat at the Mosque!
By this point, a very kind 18 year old named Taylan had come to our rescue to break down part of the language barrier and provided lots of explanations as to what was going on. The mums delighted in looking at all of my pictures from the UK, especially those of my girlfriend!
Having agreed to let us stay the night in the dome of the mosque, we went for a tour of the village with Taylan, were offered tea and food everywhere we went and Alex was introduced to girls as the singleton of the trip! Retreating to the school playground, we played football and another game of ultimate frisbee until the darkness made catching pure guesswork, and headed to Taylan’s house for – you guessed it – more food. A late night four course barbecue was a fitting end to a day of Turkish culinary delectation.
Sadly, the plan to stay in the mosque fell through, but in their seemingly incessant and much appreciated goal of keeping us the happiest tourists around, our hosts had already been to book a hotel for us for the night and a taxi to take us there and back! Unfortunately, our vocabulary is still rather limited and so however much we wanted to say we like certain things, all we could do was say it was either pretty, very pretty, yummy, or very yummy!
Latest body check is that Alex’s knee which has been sore and slowing him the last few days is improving fast and Ant is in a fair bit of pain with lower back soreness from the climbing, currently stretching it out in the cat pose in front of me on a roundabout in central Karabük… Thanks Ellie!