Thursday, 6 January 2011

Tosya - Hacihamza 29km 26/12/2010

If your going to get arrested - do so in Turkey!

Another alarmless wake up. Lie in for a few hours and natter like a pair of grannies. We listen to some podcasts and then get our gear packed up. Wrestle the bikes back up the embankment and rejoin the joyous flat tarmac of yesterday.

Huge mid-day wifi stop and some lentil soup.

Once we reach to the village of Hacihamza it's dark. We stalk the streets for a market to top up our supplies. At the only open shop we meet Metin the chubby cheery owner. We drink several rounds of cay and talk with his friends. We decide to unpack the instruments to give them a mini street show. It goes down very well and we receive gifts of food for our efforts. People are confused when I lay the guitar flat on my lap, even more so when I start bashing it with a knife and using a slide. I don't think they know where to start with the didgeridoo! The crowd disperses and we tell a fib that'll we'll keep riding tonight - when actually we'll just pop back to a small shack we saw on the edge of town.

Sling the bikes around the back of a seemingly unused electricity sub station. A quick feed and then we lie in our sleeping bags and watch a film on the laptop. As we do so we hear a car pull up outside and torch lights begin to dance around the shack. We lay quiet for a moment - the old "perhaps they don't know we're here". But we're wrong, they do, and we decide to admit defeat calling "hello" back. We hear several shouts from outside. Stu goes through the door and I pop up at the window. Jandarma (military police). Commander with semi auto pistol, translator with a G3 and four others with MP5's - all pointed at us! Brown pants moment. We stand outside, our bare feet in the brambles, as they check our passports. Things calm down - though we are under arrest. With the help of the others we throw our belongings into the back of their truck (the bicycles wont fit). We are instructed to follow them and do so under some very watchful eyes. Not so far down the way we stop again. The translator says "Are you hungry? you look like your hungry". We go into a restaurant and they bring us a meal. A really big meal. Stu and I do our damndest to demonstrate the awsomeness of the cyclists appitite - that and we no longer know when our next meal might come! Over dinner the commander removes the round from the chamber of his pistol and puts it back in the magazine - but makes sure we are aware that it was meant for us should we need it.

With a grand feed over we are instructed to follow once more. We carry the bikes through the entrance of a government building. The rooms downstairs have barred doors and windows. A night in the cell it is then...not so. We carry our gear up several flights of stairs to a room. Theres a bed, a light, a plug socket and some blankets. They leave us there - it seems because they no longer have to worry about us. In the morning we a free to go on our way. Score!!!

I speak to family back home on the phone – my “one phonecall” I guess. We plug in all our gizmos to charge and get back to the film. We remark that it wouldn't have gone this way had it happened in England or Austraila. C'est la vie.


  1. Omg james sounds like you certainly had a Christmas to remember! Can't believe the treatment you received getting arrested, maybe you should do it all the time! It certainly would be a different story in this country, can't believe they fed you, sounds like a holiday lol! Sxx

  2. Woooow. Multiple pairs of brown pants...