It was time to leave Cappadocia, and I have to say it is an amazing place. I didn’t know much about it before coming here, and I can really recommend everyone to visit the place. And I think spring is a good time to be here. There are tourists here, but not at all as much as it is in high season. And the weather at this time of the year is great for hiking around the area. I think it would be really hard in the middle of the hot summer.
When I left Göreme I headed for Kayseri and when I came closer I could see the majestic Mount Erciyes rising up in front of me. I was early in town and had some time before meeting my host. The first thing I did was to find a bike shop and by a new chain for the bike. In the afternoon I met up with Mehmet, and as I have learned 50% of Turkish med is named Mehmet. He showed me around town before we took the bus back to his flat. The first bus driver didn’t want to take my bike on the bus, but the next one reluctantly agreed to it. It was a little difficult getting it on the bus and when the bus started to fill up with people I felt a little bit in the way with my big bike. Eventually we came to our stop and got the bike off the bus. Mehmet cooked a great dinner and some friends of his came by before the big game started. Fenerbahce against Plzeň In the Europa League. Mehmet was a big Fenerbahce fan and was happy when they won the game and eliminated Plzeň.
After taking a look at the weather forecast I decided to leave the next day. There would be a strong wind, but most of the day it would be in my advantage. And even if I didn’t leave Kayseri until 11 I still cycled 95 km during the day. And at lunch time I reached a big goal of mine. 10.000 km!!
After riding the wind and reaching a new top speed at 79.4 km/h down a hill I started looking for a place to sleep. I came by an abandoned house on top of a little hill. I decided it would be a good place to sleep and set up my tent inside to keep warm in a house with a couple of broken windows and to keep the cockroaches away. On my way up to the house a dog started following me, he was scared of the bike at first but when I leaned it against the house and had a look around he followed me everywhere. This was my birthday, and beforehand I didn’t imagined spending it in an abandoned house with a stray dog as my only company. But I had cake the day before with Mehmet and didn’t feel a need to spend money on a hotel just because it was my birthday. I’ll rather do that when the weather is bad and I can’t find another place to stay. I gave the dog some bread and apple peels before calling it a night.
In the morning a tried to put on the new chain only to discover that the man at the store had sold me a chain that was too short. Even though I showed him the bike and tried to explain what I wanted. But I was lucky that morning to find a bike shop in the first little town I came to. And they had one that was the right length and put it on for me. The wind was with me today as well and I was flying. The plan of the day was to reach Sivas and maybe get a hotel room. But I was in Sivas at lunch time and had done 100 km by then, the most I have ever cycled before lunch. And since the wind had done most of the work I wasn’t even tired. So I decided to continue on, taking advantage of the tailwind for a little longer. At four a clock I found a little barn that looked like it wasn’t being used. I cleaned the floor and set up my tent on the stone floor. It was great to have a roof over my head again, and a great shield from the wind.
When I woke up the next morning I was surprised to see snow on the ground. It had been a cold night, but it was still surprising to see. I put on more clothes then I had ever had when cycling and headed out on the road. The snow stopped and the sun peeked out for a little while. But at midday it started snowing again, and this time it was snowing a lot. I fought against it for a while until I heard someone shouting çay, çay from a restaurant by the road. It was exactly what I needed and the tea warmed nicely. The friendly owner even gave me lunch and then told me that I shouldn’t continue on cycling in this weather, and told me that I could sleep in the restaurant for the night. It was a 24 h restaurant so there where people coming and going and the TV were on all the time. But I still had a good night sleep and woke up to another cold day. It wasn’t snowing but it was white everywhere from yesterday’s snow. And I had to knock off some ice from the bike and thaw my water bottles that were frozen solid.
At first it was easy to keep warm since I had to cycle uphill to a top at 1690 meters. But it got really cold going down and afterwards I had an icing headwind. So when I after just 25 km came by the town of Imranli I looked up a hotel. It was cheap but still nice, so I decided to stop for today. Because from here I’m going further up in the mountains to about 2200 meters and I didn’t want to do that on a very cold day since it’s still going to be cold there anyway.