I was woken early as the bed needed to be put away so the children could have breakfast before school – the room I was sleeping in doubled as the dining room, in the same way as Hanife and Mustafa’s did. A tablecloth was spread on the carpet and a large tray of food placed in the centre.
Nuriye has had four children – three surviving: a set of non identical twin boys and the younger daughter I had seen whilst fast asleep the night before. Two LSCS operations I think, as her first baby was still born. I did get told their names but I’ve forgotten already. Their handsome children enjoyed hearing me make a hash of Turkish words while they tried out English ones – the boys are learning English at school. I watched with fascination as Nuriye oiled and smoothed her daughter’s hair, without taking it out of its pony tail.
Nuriye is really smily and fun – while her husband is much quieter at home. She definitely seems to be the boss!
Breakfast was simple, but plenty of it. Çay from the bottomless pot, tomatoes, cucumber, cheese, olives, bread.
Suli took the children (including a neighbour’s) to school while Nuriye and I chatted. She was telling me how difficult it’s been to lose weight since she had the children and the doctor has her on a diet. Problems are the same the world over and I wished I could introduce her to Slimming World.
I was packed and all ready to leave by the time Suli got back. They both waved me off cheerily and, by the time I got on the road, it was still only 9am. The road that runs north close by their Nuriye and Suli’s house is the main route to Istanbul – so it was easy to get on it and keep going. I’d clocked up 35miles before 1300hrs. That’s twice as far as yesterday in total – but very little uphill. Just pedal, pedal past long flat plains between hills. Reminded me a little of the cycling in France –but no rape fields, just ploughed brown acres, or dusty, dry brown grasslands –the occasional shepherd and his flocks and lots of industrial places. The numerous petrol stations seem to be struggling to survive – despite flashing lights still lit up outside, many seemed to be shut. Even if they were open, many had nothing for sale in their shops. There seems to very little planning involved in the arrangement of industrial units, residential and farming land. Gill and Jeremy had pointed out that a lot of land in Turkey is owned by the government as its too barren/mountainous to be of any use agriculturally or for building.
The long, straightish road I was riding along – the D-650 – was very similar to the road the coach took from Istanbul to Erzurum, when Steve, Seth and I came to Turkey on holiday back in 1998 – went on and on and on. Still – made good progress.
I decided to stop for lunch in Buçak and look around for a hotel/pansiyon. First one I asked in was ‘full’ again. So continued on, asking several people and searched the internet. Finally, really helpful young woman in Pizza/ice-cream place directed me to the town centre and I found the Otel Duru (3* - which is more about what’s provided than standards I think) after asking in a taxi place. When looking for something/anything in a town, a taxi place is a good place to ask. They had a room for £18 – which, apart from reeking of tobacco, was perfectly adequate. I left the window wide open and went in search of supper – not much after the late lunch – just a pastry and a coffee.
Got the wifi to work but was too tired to blog.
A newly retired Terri following her heart into a world of woolly creativity. Live the dream