Posts Tagged ‘Akçaabat’


Today the skies were grey and the rain was penetrating. The çorba women were laughing ‘çok guzel, I love you’, and the dog was friendly. The truck drivers were giving knowing winks – going to Batumi? The Georgian seaport has quite a reputation – all along the Black Sea coast. We are going there tomorrow.

Me on the way to Rize

Me on the way to Rize

Our breakfast was wonderful with our two super-friendly cooks. We were all laughing at each other’s foreign language skills. They were imitating our ‘çok guzel’, and giving us cause for amusement with repetitions of ‘I love you!’.

Çok guzel, I love you

Çok guzel, I love you

‘You are going to Batumi?’ Grin (after the photo was taken).

One of our 'warm up with tea' stops

One of our ‘warm up with tea’ stops

The mind remains blank cycling through the cold rain. The kilometres pass like the trucks. I was woken out of my cocoon of thoughts by my new best friend – Fido the dog.

The bones thaw and the mind returns. Black Sea fish, and a warm sub-table heater.

Legs thawing

Legs thawing


We’ve done it again, but more extreme today. Its 15:00, 80km to go, and a 30km/h dash isn’t happening with a fierce headwind. I stop on the side of the road, trucks whizzing by. I feel weak, hot and frustrated. ‘We can make it,’ says James. I look at him with big sorry dog eyes. Down with a chocolate bar, pump up the music (for the first time on this trip), and the world changes. On, into the evening and night on another adrenaline rush. We’re not doing this tomorrow.

A hidden beach

A hidden beach

Today was a good day. We woke in our hazelnut orchard farmhouse looking down over Giresun in the bright sunlight.

Giresun from our hazelnut orchard farm

Giresun from our hazelnut orchard farm

A lovely breakfast with our host’s family, and then a royal escort by the Giresun cycle gang, being showed all the secret insider cycling tips along the road to Trabzon.

The hidden beach

The hidden beach

The mountains are getting bigger

The mountains are getting bigger

James passed 8000km on this trip, and I passed 7000km – both just a few hundred metres from our lunch stop – the last insider tip of the day.

7000km

7000km

7000km

7000km

An tea factory tour, followed by a buffet lunch. It was an amazing spread, and James and I (and the whole crew) were ravenous.

Tea before the mains

Tea before the mains

Plates 1 and 2 for James and me

Plates 1 and 2 for James and me

Plates 3 for James and me

Plates 3 for James and me

Plate 4 - James and me shared

Plate 4 – James and me shared

Thanks to the whole Giresun team for a great day cycling in the warm sun!!

The Giresun team

The Giresun team

And, arriving in the dark in Akçaabat, we were swept up by another great, warm welcoming committee. Yeşim we had met in Karabük when we stayed with Kaan – her boyfriend. This time she had a whole crew, lead by the english speaking Ahmet, to take us to eat famous Akçaabat köfte. Thanks!!!!!

The Akçaabat welcoming committee

The Akçaabat welcoming committee