Friday, 24 December 2010

Sapanca - dongelli 62km 17/12/2010

Lessons you should learn as a child...

To the shock of ourselves (and perhaps any readers) we manage to wake with the alarm. The biting wind is howling over from Russia and rattling the precarious tin roof above our heads. Çay and bulgarwheat for breakfast.

By the time we hit the road the headwind has died down - even becoming a slight tail wind. As yesterday, the road is lined eitherside by scabby industry. The day is grey and light rain falls steadily for much of the morning. Piles of ploughed snow line the roads. Finally in snow country. At times the road becomes slushy mud and our bikes get coated in kack.

The rain gets gradually heavier. We resist going for full rain gear. Often on the bike ones body produces enough heat to cause a drying effect. Not today.

By lunchtime its raining with fury. The riding is grim. In our ill equipped state we lose the battle with the cold. Hands and feet lose all feeling. Seeking refuge in a mosque we change into the only dry clothes we have. Pop into a cafe for a royal ripping off - think they saw us coming. We are both grateful for the brief respite. After perhaps an hour of radiator hugging our bodies feel a little more lively. Back to the bikes

We are warned by a passer by about the road ahead - and the apparent two meters of snow that currently cover it. I start to fear for the future of my trip and begin to believe the hype about the harsh winter predicted.

We roll on, feeling a little warmer. Kicking ourselves for not putting on waterproofs at the first drop of rain. We really should know better...

We turn our attention to shelter - in the knowledge that we really need a way to dry our clothes out.

An abandoned garage and restaurant take our fancy. A good selection of rooms from which to choose. One on which contains several wooden chairs - clothes drying fire sorted.

Concered about keen eyes spotting the orange glow emitting from our window we both keep an eye on the carpark out front. But aside from the odd car stopping for a look, no-one takes any notice.

Black painted chairs are smashed up to create fire wood. We pick a room with an open window hoping it will draw the smoke out. Get the fire cranking and lay our soaked clothes around it. In no time the is filled with thick smoke - the kind that makes your throat sting and eyes stream.

Lessons one: when it rain, wear waterproofs.

Lesson two: Burning paint is not good for your health (expect cancer) - though it does dry wet clothes.

I expect most of you don't need to be taught such things. I write them in the hope that I remember them.

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