Alone among Turks

You do not meet foreigners on the Black Sea coast. Turks live here. And Turks also rob here, just like Germans on the North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts. It is still the low season. Everything is quiet. There are 1000s of picnic places where you can spend Sunday with your extended family.

In Ünye, a town of 110,000 inhabitants, we are the only tourists. Three young women approach us because they are curious where we come from.

Samsun is located about halfway between the Georgian and Bulgarian borders. Sport is quite capitalized. Strong, Auerbach volleyball in Asia Minor.

Auerbach in Asia Minor: High level mixed tournament sponsored by Red Bull
Rice cultivation near Banfe

We no longer meet travelers. We get a lot of invitations for tea. If you go to the toilet at the gas station, you are immediately invited to tea. The family that lived in Ravensburg for 14 years whose house was destroyed in the earthquake zone and who have now moved to the Black Sea coast.

Met Rehan, Gamze and Aisha at the picnic park. 17 people are involved to admire the Alemani Touries. Between Occident and…, between commerce and consumption. The three women from Samsun dance boisterously to loud music, get drunk on tea and party until dawn, after letting us go to bed half an hour before midnight.

Ladies choice in the middle of the park
At Rehan’s home, the party continues after dinner. Music turned up and dancing.

Rolf plays soccer and volleyball with youth and children.

Gamze, Astrid, Rehan and Asiha

There are private questions about life in Germany, religion and the coexistence of men and women. Unfortunately, we can only talk via translator. Anyway, Islam is a beautiful thing, the new friends think, and we can see and believe it. We now have a home in Turkey. After an early delicious breakfast we say ‘goodbye’ with heartbreak and Rehan certainly goes to bed again.
First at Sinop, so after a approx. 600 kilometers we meet the first travelers. Swiss, a German motorcyclist and a British couple. Together a handful.
There it remains. At least five stages in the North Anatolian Switzerland or the North Anatolian Brittany. The route is unique, with great bays. There are cattle again. The crisp climbs are rewarded with wonderful views and winding descents.

A mix of sun and clouds, sometimes a warm rain and often a fresh breeze from the sea. When we go shopping, we get two iced teas as a gift. Just because we are there.

On the way we meet Devran who is on his moped. We drag ourselves up one of the mountains. There are three options. A resort: too expensive for us, camping on the beach or Devran’s home. Plus a phone number. Seven kilometers until we give him a call.

Devran picks us up at the beach and takes us to his home in Bozkurt. He is a Kurdish nurse, younger than our boys, insists on cooking for us. With the delicious food we have Kurdish music, followed by tea and lots of videos and stories about his family and Kurdish tradition and culture.

In the morning Devran is already to work while we can sleep in after the exhausting and eventful day. Blue-white we continue after breakfast on one of the picnic area on the beach of Abana. We enjoy the panoramic drive through the solitude which ends at a place with a beach and fishing port. We watch black dolphins with binoculars. Instead of beer we have Ayran.

The stage is hard again. 90 kilometers, quite a few meters of altitude, felt a thousand curves. But beautiful, indescribable, not to be developed and thus it will probably remain so for a while. Not attractive for touring cyclists. They usually want to go further, as we did four years ago. Now we ride bravely and with sporty ambition this dream coast road. The public bus stops and wants to give us a ride. On the way there are mulberries. They have a lot of vitamin C.

A man carries three artichokes from A to B. A hay cart from the previous century with a couple over 75 years of age drives merrily in front of us. The affectionate dog has its tongue hanging out of its mouth. On the way a fox crosses the path. Finally we arrive in Cide. Since two days the first bigger city. There is ice cream, Ayran and yogurt, so that we manage the last hilly 15 kilometers. The final stop is in a beautiful bay. (Like back then in Cres, Croatia)

We are rewarded with the best omelet Rolf has eaten in his life. Later we have barbeque from our neighbors whom Rolf helped to set up the tent. In any case, we have filled up our calorie stores well.

Turkish bike packer on the way from Istanbul to Batumi

Thanks to Duolingo, we know some phrases and vocabulary in Turkish and getting better every day.

We especially greet our Swiss friends, our Brittany fans, the Marsupilamis and Dani and Matthias. We have thought of you especially in the last days.

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