I was on the move all day today and I’m feeling a little sick. Pushing my body hard over the last week is now taking its toll and I won’t be surprised if I wake up unable to face a day on the bike, especially when it’s going to be raining relentlessly. I got an early morning ferry from Canakkale to Eceabat and proceeded straight to TJ Hotel, to enquire about their Gallipoli tours, which had promising reviews on the internet. I learned that the hotel was closed, but that they could do me a deal on a tour and a neighbouring hotel. (In fact, I ended up learning that many hotels had closed up for the winter and that not many tours were running due to low demand). I was extremely disappointed to learn that the ‘deal’ was by no means a good one. Fortunately, the guy passing on the information from the owner hinted that I would do well to ask around town a little before making my decision. I did so and ended up securing a perfectly nice place to stay and a spot on a tour (organised via Crowded House Hotel) for half the price being offered by TJ Hotel. The lucky thing was that I had just enough time to join the tour that was running today (and that tomorrow there wouldn’t be one). The tour that I joined had started in Istanbul, and it had only four others (two middle-aged couples) on it. I had just enough time to check into my hotel, pack a bag, and join the group for lunch before taking off for the sites. The tour was led by a man called Bulant, and he was an excellent guide.
I wasn’t prepared for feeling emotional as I visited the Gallipoli peninsula, but as I walked the ground where over 8,000 Australians (and so many other soldiers) faced the end of their lives as they fought to secure an important piece of ground during the First World War, I was struck by deep sadness. How many hopes and dreams were shattered here? How much pain and fear and hopelessness was felt? How much blood drenched the soil? The stories of bravery and patriotism do little to hide the great waste of life. It proved very special to be able to see with my own eyes the ocean and the hills that hosted such a terrible battle.
When I went to get money out to pay for the tour I learned that I’ve depleted the account from which I draw cash. I haven’t been monitoring it. Fortunately, I had just enough left to take out for the hotel and the tour. It leaves me with 25l (AU$8) to get through the next couple of days. I plan on camping tomorrow so it should be fine. I am planning on riding tomorrow despite the definite rain, but my final decision will be made in the morning when I wake up and see how I feel. I know I’m about to get sick, it just depends on how sick.
|Distance ridden today||0km|
|Total distance ridden||26,589|