My iphone dies at some point during the night and so I miss my expected wakeup call. Fortunately I rouse just before 8:00am - giving me sufficient time to pack and eat. Once I'm through with breakfast I haul my bags up the hill to the main house. Sitting on the patio I soak up the vista before me. It's as though everytime I cast my eyes over the scene I see something new. Various features of the landscape are respectively cloaked and highlighted by the fluctuating light. On this particular morn the sun has pushed its way through the grey fluff to touch a circle of ocean. Another highlighted sliver appears at the base of the Greek island of Lesbos.
As the routine goes - George arrives on the quad-bike and we gather our gear for the days work. We walk the narrow path to the cluster of olive trees. With stick and rake we harvest a respectable quantity of fruit. Once the work is complete we make our way to the western most village in Turkey. I video my final ride - it being a most pleasurable segment of each day. If the commute I was making back in England had been like this, perhaps I would never have left.
As I pack my bike in the olive processing room George calls in to tell us its çhy time. For the last time I take my seat on the plastic garden furniture and sip the sweet tea. Looking around I see the walls I helped to work, along with the faces of my new Turkish, Australian and American friends. My investment of time, not to mention a few blisters, has been worth every drop of sweat. But as always the road calls. And I really must get on and sort this visa out.
Murat (Garp founder and owner) has returned today. Sahli suggests I stay for lunch and meet Murat. Well, who will eat Ramazan's delicious leftovers if not me!? I take a walk around the pretty little village and along the castle walls. At lunchtime I return for fish stew and fresh bread - scrumptious!! Once full I am beckoned up to the tea room over looking the harbour. Here I meet Murat and his girlfriend Simone who is from Holland. I'm glad I got to meet them but wish we could have spent more time talking. Sahli get a call and the group rush to catch a boat for an evening fishing. I say my goodbyes. Alone again.
I think because I was expecting the riding to be really tough, it turned out to be OK. Though I noticed my head throbbing as I crested the bigger hills along the coast - that’s a new, and slightly unpleasant sensation. I'm immediately struck by the silence, and actually I don’t mind it. It allows me the time to think and reflect on the week. Which has, even in its chilled out way, been quite full on. I'm excited to be back on the bike. In the three weeks that have passed sin e I arrived in Istanbul the weather has changed massively. It now feels very much like autumn. A very pleasant autumn, but autumn none the less. The temperature drop will no doubt make the riding easier. But the reduced daylight hours will mean I need to make efficient use of my time – hardly my strong point.
I use my phone map to pick the coastal road. I quite fancy a night on the beach listening to the sea. Soon enough a suitable path arises and I roll down towards the sound of the waves. Unsuccessful fire making attempt. Simple tea and an early night. Rain.