Doug & Janice's World Tour Turkey Journal

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    August 4.2009
    Hello from Istanbul!

    We arrived in Turkey this AM on what we thought was a car ferry but turned out to be a cargo ship with 2 cars lashed to the deck. Way cool way to travel. There were maybe 100 passengers who ate well and drank plenty on the way from Sevestopol in the Ukraine. We left on Sunday and arrived on Tuesday. They even stopped the ship in the middle of the Black Sea so that we could go swimming in water that they said was 6000 feet deep. And Istanbul is a hoot, expensive and very much a tourist town. We rode / pushed our bikes all of a mile on the way from the dock to the hotel district.
    Signed. Am very tird of Russian and now Turkish computer keyboards...

    August 5.2009
    Relaxing in Istanbul.

    Twenty months on the road...
    Update time: 17 countries...12 airplane flights...13 trains...52 boats...11 buses and one tractor that took us, very slowly up to 12,000 feet in Nepal.. And two budget bicycles that after 13,000 miles have so far chewed up...6 wheels, 2 derailleurs. 2 chain rings, 1 crank set, 4 bottom brackets, a handlebar (due to a maniacal Chinese security guard) 6 clusters and chains, many bearings and countless tires and tubes.

    Sometimes I think that half my luggage is from a hardware store or bike shop. Floods in Viet Nam, sandstorms in the China desert, India heat. Protesters in Bangkok, incredible hills both up and down, headwinds that nearly stopped us, and tail winds that sent us to our single day 124 mile record. Locals that treat us like movie stars or throw rocks at us. People that love us for where we were born, and people (Westerners) that never tire of giving us crap for it. Police that first try to toss us off of highways only to then sit with us to have their photo taken. It seems that we exist only to eat, and search for food. ...And we would not have traded any of it for the world!!!! What a blast...Some advice. If you ever get the chance to piss your life savings away... we can point you in a direction.

    August 27, 2009
    Greetings from Cappadocia Turkey

    Wow...what a place. When these folks decided to hide from invading armies they did it in style... caves by the 1000s built up to 3000 years ago..underground cities that are claimed to have held 10 thousand people... canyons... amazing rock formations... .all full of caves. This area of Turkey is amazing.

    There are churches built into the caves dating back to the first century. And the fresco paintings are still perfect (thanks to desert weather). And this is also a great place to ride a bike. Time to leave the bags in our room and head to the hills with "naked" bikes. Great rides.

    The weather is perfect. It looks like we missed the desert heat by a few weeks. It's fun to be in the desert again but this time it's hilly. We head south now through Nigde to the Med. coast. Then we head either to....Greece .. Egypt or Cyprus depending on how travel arrangement$ work out. Still having a great time ...
    Janice and Doug

    September 5, 2009
    Greetings from Merzan Turkey

    When I hear someone say 'I don't like that place..its too touristy' I know they have never been to a place like this. It looks like Miami but... There are no tourists on this stretch of the Med and we can't wait to get on our way tomorrow. It's not that its boring. its just that its a pain in the ass. We spent the day seaside doing bicycle maintenance. Amazing how much stuff breaks once we get away from bike shops. And one of our MP3 players quit. We do still have plenty of coffee so sanity still rules..but....

    What an idiot I was to say 'It's fun to be in the desert again''s fun and we are still loving it but when we came over the last mountain pass on the way to the coast the temp went up and the wind hit us in the face enough to make me think we needed an air conditioned Crown Vic for the rest of the ride. Okay enough whining and winging. We head West along to the coast next. There is beach sand in our future..I just know it.

    September 30, 2009
    Greetings from Rhodes, Greece

    I think I can conclude after 2 months in Turkey that these folks are the coolest people that we've met so far. Turkey has been a fine experience. Sophisticated Istanbul to the natural wonders of Central Turkey to the stone filled beaches of the Med. It has been a blast. Great cycling. Climbs into the mountains and brake burning descents. (2500 feet in less than 10 miles.) We've had to stop just to give our brake hands a rest. And out of the blue, people will just stop and offer a lift up a mountain road - great life when you only have downhill rides!

    Now we're in Greece, and the land of tourists. There are many. Five cruise ships in town today. We are staying in a hotel that claims the building is 700 years old. We're still trying to pick our next direction.
    Still happy to be on our bikes,
    Doug and Janice