March 5

The wind was not good to us.  Luckily we still had another great day, with plenty of sunshine and more very friendly Turkish people.

Started off bright and early, with a lovely adhan waking us at 5am from two different directions, after a fairly cold night’s sleep – I woke a few times during the night to bury a little deeper into my sleeping bag, but it didn’t affect me too much.  I immediately dropped back to sleep after the call to prayer, but 745 saw us back on the bikes and cruising out of Sivrihisar and from there we had a day of constant climbing and descending small hills.  In much the same vein as yesterday, the countryside was nothing especially amazing but the people were lovely – at one point a policeman called Ryan over and just as I cycled over to make sure we weren’t being arrested Ryan turned around with a carton of juice and some biscuits.  If that happened in the UK I would assume it had a GPS attached to it and they assumed I was a drug mule. 

Although the sun was shining, we had a pretty consistent headwind pretty much all day, so we didn’t make as incredible time as we did on our first and second days.  By noon it was becoming we could make Ankara only if we really push and get there late in the evening.  It was clear that that wasn’t a great idea, so we decided to stop sometime around 3, and just as we pushed through a little village called Temelli we stopped at a petrol station for the ubiquitous cey.  Inside we found a nice man called Hassan who invited us to use his laptop if we wished, and we wished.  We fired off a few warmshowers requests for Ankara and checked our facebook/emails before asking if he knew any good places to camp.  He showed us the back of the station and told us to make ourselves comfortable. 

Since we still had a good hour or two of daylight we spent sometime doing some bike maintenance – my rear brake has developed an annoying squeak that I tried to sort, but to no avail.  We dropped in to say goodnight to Hassan and for a little extra cey/to get into the warm and after three games of backgammon, which i was lucky enough to win, said our goodbyes. Since backgammon seems to be the Turkish national sport I’m not quite sure how I was able to pull of the victories, but I think his sly pointing, nodding and head-shaking may have had something to do with it.  Ankara is only 50k away, so we should be there by noon tomorrow and hopefully if the warmshowers requests don’t come in, some of our friends from Istanbul might be able to help us out.

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