Sunday, April 12, 2009

DAY 139

And so after 28 days in Istanbul it was finally time to load up the saddle bags and take the boat across the the Bosporus River and start pedalling stage 2; Istanbul to the Chinese border.The legs have gotten surprisingly lazy after their months rest, and seemed almost on fire as I crawled up the hılls and out of Istanbul. But it felt great to be back cycling and my mind drifted off into the road ahead and the upcoming adventures that awaited me. Stepping from Europe across into Asia is only a short boat ride but the coming months with be filled with excitement and adventure as we step away from the main tourist trail and join up with some of the old 'Silk Roads'. But with the excitement comes some niggling fears. Eastern Turkey has mountains 5 times higher than anything we have in Ireland. Mt Arafat is almost two thirds the height of Everest. The region is home to bears, wolves and the ferocious Kangol sheepdog. Being top of the food chain is always something I have taken for granted.After Turkey we cross into Iran. From my research, the Iranian people are some of the most welcoming, friendly and generous people in the world. In fact its very common for tourists here to look to extend their visas. But when fellow travellers hear I'm going here, I regularly get asked "Is it safe to go there?"I think its as safe as it gets. Yet such consistent questions raise doubts. But what is worrying about Iran is that it does not recognize Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, Maestro, Laser etc. Basically you have to cross that border with a months worth of cash in your pocket. I don't like that. But that border is nearly 2000kms away and we'll cross that bridge/border when we get there. Finding wi-fi to update this site may also be more difficult to find over the coming months so there might be long periods when the site is not updated.
P.S.-I got stopped by a TV crew today.(photo above) They were interested in my bike ride from Ireland and so they filmed me cycling and asked me a few questions. Apparently I'm on Turkish national TV on saturday night...............

No comments: