Would you believe it? I got too warm in the night, thanks to a roof over my head and a fat mattress under me. Having got most of my stuff ready the night before, including laying out my clothes in the order I put them on, I had a relatively easy time getting ready for the day. I did indeed need to solve my problem of where to do a number two. Fortunately, I was right to suspect the mosque has some open toilets. Luckily, even though it seemed I was up well before anyone else in the village, the toilets were open and the lights worked.

As I climbed out of the village the mist dissipated and I could take in my surroundings as I entered a dirt road that took me through picturesque countryside. I came across a road block in the form of a herd of sheep being directed by two guys, a man and a boy. The boy on his donkey trotted over and I introduced myself before asking if I could take a photo of him. The man caught up and we had a very basic chat consisting of those questions I can understand in Turkish: where are you from and where are you going? The man invited me to sit on the donkey for a picture and I was happy to oblige. He posed next to me while the boy took the photo. Eventually, I popped out onto a main road, and the hard work began. Today was a day of extreme interval training, with long climbs followed by long descents. At one point I got a fright when a car veered straight for me. It was already behaving erratically on its approach and as I watched it continue behind me it continued to weave all over the road. At the top of the next rise I came across a car that I think had been run off the road. The driver seemed to be on the phone to the police and was stopping approaching cars to warm them about the crazy guy ahead.

The big hills continued all the way to Polatli, my current home. I decided to stay at the first hotel at which I checked the price, saving a run around. I then got super frustrated by the fact I had to wait for the water to get hot. I was told it would take an hour, but after this time the water was still cold. I got the impression one guy didn’t turn on the heater like he was meant to. I was then told to wait another hour. After a further one and a half hours the water was only just lukewarm. I approached reception again, and this time a guy came up to check it. He ran the water and in one of those annoying situations it began to run hot. It seems you need to run the water for a couple of minutes before the hot water starts coming through. Finally, I got my first properly hot shower since leaving Malatya, 12 days ago. I shocked myself at how skinny I looked in the face. I have been getting extra hungry lately and I think it is because my body is using up everything to try and stay warm. To combat further weight loss, I was happy to have an excuse to completely stuff my face. I visited a doner shop where I got a kebab and chips, then went to Domino’s where I got a pizza. I am now eating a big packet of chips as I write and have some more snacks to get through to bedtime. I also need to drink more water. The cold temperature has made me forget to keep my fluids up, but my urine colour and slight headache suggests I haven’t been having enough. I also need to start wearing suncream, as my face is a little burnt.

On arrival in Polatli I stopped when I spotted a chemist. My skin is wearing through on two places on my thighs, thanks to my bike shorts becoming slack with age and rubbing. I wanted to find some cloth tape. I was about to leave, having been told (after using google translate etc) that they didn’t have any when a kind bystander who could speak English asked what I wanted. ‘A bandage that is sticky’, I said. He passed on this information and lo and behold they brought out some perfect stuff.

As I eat my snacks and write, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, in Turkish, is on TV. When I checked in I wasn’t sure if I was going to have a day off or not, but I have decided to push on for another two days before I have a break. Hopefully my body holds up.

My new ride

Accommodation $ Hotel
Distance ridden today 79.61km
Average cycling speed 15.3kph
Total distance ridden 25,993km