28 August 2011

Ali was there to farewell me from Sinop this morning. I sort of knew and hoped he would be. He brought one of his sons with him and he helped me start the bike. Gave it a good rev too.

Ali was also bearing gifts for me, including a ship in a bottle, tesbih, and some cold water. He had made my stay in Sinop truly memorable.

Earlier while loading up the bike, Gordon, a spritely 75 year old from Bristol, stopped by for a quick chat after seeing my GB plates. He was travelling alone, by bus, and we shared stories of local hospitality, places to visit and our experiences with hotels (concluding that hotels and B&B’s in the UK are a rip-off!). He had already been east, now slowly working his way back to Istanbul and warned me of some more roadworks not far out of Sinop.

Armed with this information I set off. There were some roadworks, but they were nothing compared with what I’d already been through.

On joining the main coastal highway coming into Samsun, all roadworks disappeared. Dual carriage and good surfaces accompanied me the rest of the day. These were fast roads too although they did suffer from a slippery, terrazzo like surface in the cities.

I ventured off the main highway at Bolaman to take the old coast road to Ordu via Perşembe. This stretch of road was great and should not be missed. It was a shame not to see more motorcyclists out enjoying this road on such a great day. If this sort of thing existed in the UK it would have been jam packed with sports bikes, tourers, cruisers etc.

Here are some images of Perşembe.

After battling the highway traffic through Ordu it was a short run into Giresun, known for having Turkey’s finest hazelnut plantations nearby, the destination of my overnight stay.

Tomorrow will be day 33 of my Turkey motorcycle tour.  Weather permitting, I should reach the most easterly point of my journey along the Black Sea coast, and venture into the Kaçkar Mountains.

Total miles today 238 (383km), cumulative 4,638 (7,030km).