I was very pleased to discover my front tyre was still full of air when I woke up. I was very pissed off to get a puncture in my rear tyre after just 7km. My rear tube has no less than four tiny holes in it. An inspection of the inside of my tyre revealed the cause: tiny thorns. It seems I will have to be extra careful in this part of Turkey and avoid taking my bike off well-trodden surfaces as much as possible.

I struggled in the morning as I got cold in the night. I woke up to ice on the tent and my bike. My hands got so cold they started hurting badly. When I started riding, they became so agonising I couldn’t help but yell out in pain. My gloves are just not thick enough to keep out the air. I had to do something. I pulled off the second pair of socks that I had on my feet and stuck them over my hands. This was just enough to keep them a little warm and the pain slowly faded away. My feet however, now with only one pair of socks covering them, got a little cold. Tomorrow I will have to utilise my third (and final) pair of socks so that I can have two pairs on my feet and one on my hands. I’m unlikely to pass through a place that sells gloves for quite some time.

When I woke up the world was shrouded in mist and I could only see for 50m around me. It wasn’t until 11am that it began to clear and my surroundings revealed itself. More farmland on rolling hills. Fixing my rear tyre problem took a while, so my day felt a little ruined and I haven’t made it as far as I’d hoped. Unlike yesterday, which was generally flat, I had quite a few hills to get over today. Still, they were nice hills. The area I have passed through is sparsely populated, with a small village roughly every 10km. In between is just empty farmland.

My home tonight is a derelict building adorned in graffiti. I couldn’t resist getting a roof over my head in the hope that it wards off further ice. I had to clear away some dirt and glass from the main room in the building before I could set up my tent. It’s still going to be pretty cold though. Half the building is completely open to the air. My room has an empty window and a breeze blows through it and into the open space on the other side. Before I could set up my tent I had to dry it off. This morning I had packed it away while covered in ice, knowing it wouldn’t dry for hours, so when I pulled it out this evening it was completely soaked through. While the tent was drying I set about preparing dinner. I set up the tent while my rice was cooking, then got changed into warm clothes while my vegetables were cooking. Tonight I am doubling up on everything: two pairs of socks, two pairs of thermal long johns and two pairs of thermal tops. I will likely also have to sleep in my thick buff, beanie and gloves.

Day 952a

Every road leads to Gamze

Accommodation Free-camp
Distance ridden today 67.86km
Average cycling speed 15.2kph
Total distance ridden 25,820km