I get offered a lift by Mehmeb, who doesn’t speak much English, so we have guesses at what each other is saying without verification. He appears to think I’m ‘easy’ and wants sex. He keeps invading my body space. I’m not impressed with his driving skills as he keeps taking his hands off the steering wheel. I make it very clear that I’m not interested and we part, amicably enough, in Tavsanli, which is off my planned route, but makes it straightforward to get to Domaniç. HEY! I’m no longer riding along the D-650!
Perhaps just because its new, this road seems infinitely more interesting than the old. I pass through a victorian style black smoke belching industrial zone on the outskirts of town, but then start following a river. The water means the surrounding area is fertile, has trees, shows green. Farmers are growing strawberries! Then I go past a vast quarry – stark and strangely beautiful in an alien way.
I find a hotel easily enough in Domaniç and the cheapest yet, at 40TL including breakfast (that’s a tenner to you and me). Don’t know where I’ll be staying tomorrow night as there are a dearth of large towns on my route.
Going out to find supper – the town does its best to get rid of me: First I step squarely on a shoe size, flat piece of wood in the dark. It slides on the cobbles as well as any skate. I do the splits and come down heavily on my left knee – which must have looked highly amusing in a “clown slips on banana skin” sort of way but was a wee bit shocking to experience. No harm done apart from a mildly bruised feeling wrist where I put my hand down to save myself. Then, not 5 minutes later, I stub my toe on a raised brick in the road – and decided it’s probably not simple to sue the council here either. I shake my fist at the universe instead.