So this post covers the last two days. Not that we’re trying to cut back, but we’ve been enjoying a rest day in Kastamonu, and economy of effort has been order of the day. To pick up where we left off, we started yesterday morning by blitzing our way up the remainder of the mountain, before coasting down into Kastamonu in time for breakfast. Nick then cycled to Kastamonu Airport to meet his girlfriend, Lisa, who is visiting for two days. Having thought the airport was a couple of kilometres outside the city, this romantic gesture turned into a labour of love, as he climbed over 400 metres in the space of 15 kilometres.
Meanwhile, Ant and Alex were sat in a cafe in Kastamonu, doing very little indeed. Our first question on reaching a cafe has become ‘wifi?’, the drink of kola that accompanies it an afterthought. Administration accomplished, we went to check out the town, which dates from antiquity but became politically significant in the tenth century, when the Byzantine general Manuel Komnenos built a fortress there. And as we discovered, it is quite a fortress, with a commanding view of the valley below. It is mostly still standing today, and well worth visiting if you ever find yourself in the area.
The rest of the day was spent lazing in the shade, and investigating the rival high point in the town, a clocktower, of which we were given a guided tour by a group of students we started chatting to in the main square. This seemed doubly kind as the clocktower was at the end of a hot climb, and our new friends could not drink any water, it being Ramadan. Mission accomplished, we dispersed and found a tub of ice cream (who knew that Carte d’Or did baklava flavour?), winding down for the evening in the main square.
Fortified by a solid night’s sleep, we’re now heading for a day of bike repairs, necessary purchases, and reading in the shade, before hitting the road to Samsun tomorrow morning. Pictures to follow!