Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Askale - Erzurum 58km 11/01/2011

I feel compelled to mention, if only briefly, the Turkish soap operas that play continuously in truckstops and service stations. Their "quality" trancends the language barrier. Think Eastenders - written by Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal. Busty beauties feature heavily, storyline takes a back seat to drug dealing, door kicking and fiery arguments. Firearm props appear to be taken from the Judge Dread set.

Many a glass of cay has disappeared while I warm my digits in a greasy truckies cafe - peeling my eyes away from the action only long enough to drop two sugar cubes into my glass. This is culture!

Warm night thanks to the for walls and roof that surround me. I knock back a few glasses of cay and get the wheels turning.
I ride across a huge plain that is fenced all around by snowy peaks extending heavenward. Wide open space bliss. Few cars disturb the tranquility - at such times its easy to remember why I'm doing this, and why a chose a bicycle.

I come close to loosing the battle with the cold - mainly due to my insufficient gloves. As I pick up speed on a gradual downhill the windchill freezes my breath into my beard.

Brunch of road kill grilled on my stove, charred dog leg with a side order of hydrocarbons - don't think I'll be trying that again in a hurry!

I climb gently up into the centre of Erzurum. I park the bike up in the street. Seconds later I'm being called by the security guard of a gallery to join him for cay and a warm by the radiator. Ahmet hands me a big old glass of cay and we get to talking sport. Erzurum is hosting an international winter sports event in a few weeks - shame I can't stick around. I'm then ushered into the restaurant next door and treated to a free feed of delicious chicken stew. I say my thanks and good byes and seek out a cheap room for the night.

1 comment:

  1. Wow james dog leg couldn't be further away from your old vegetarian palette!! Good to read some blog updates again!! X